Wildfires have been ravaging California these past few years, and firefighters have been working around the clock to put out the flames. It’s hard, risky, and terrifying work, but these courageous first responders are working around the clock to ensure the safety of everyone else.
There is no question that as they struggle to contain the raging fires, and these courageous few remain in our thoughts and prayers.
While the challenge is overwhelming, it is the little things that are making a difference and raising the morale of all of these men and women, such as the support of 2-year-old Golden Retriever Kerith.
Perhaps the sweetest girl in California, Kerith is providing much-needed affection to overworked firefighters and boosting their morale.
Kerith’s job is just as critical as those fighting the flames now that she’s been trained as a certified therapy dog. Heidi Carman, the owner of Kerith, told the media that she was initially qualified as a guide for the visually impaired, such is her loving and caring nature.
However, when Heidi discovered how well she connected with others, she changed career paths due to her naturally affectionate and bubbly disposition.
Kerith started working in the emergency room of her local hospital after completing extensive training at Pet Partners, a California-based organization. She would go around to patients, friends, and colleagues, with the sole aim putting a smile on their faces.
However, once the wildfires started, Kerith began spending more time with those in charge of putting out the flames. Heidi describes Kerith’s first experience with the firefighters as “love at first sight,” so much so that the fire department personally demanded that Kerith visit several of their stations shortly after their first meeting.
She was a big hit with the firefighters right away, and she came back on a regular basis. However, as the fires spread, the pressure on the fire department grew, and Kerith started to pay visits to the on-duty firefighters.
And it was much needed! Her love and encouragement have made a huge difference, particularly at the woodwork and creek fire base camps, which were two of the hardest hit.
Heidi and Kerith’s typical day on the job begins early, when they arrive at the camps as early as 6 a.m., just as the firefighters are eating breakfast. She then spends the rest of the morning giving out cuddles and kisses, making sure to get as many belly rubs as possible before the firefighter’s 24-hour shifts begin.
Kerith’s uncanny ability to display empathy and match other people’s energy, however, distinguishes her as a therapy dog. Given that she is a Golden Retriever, this comes as no surprise. A breed known for its ability to provide emotional support.
In any case, Kerith is a unique dog who is doing more than she will ever realize to raise the spirits of those who need it most. Therapy dogs are extremely valuable, and it’s wonderful to see them helping America’s frontline heroes.
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