Sweet Pup Is Bringing Much Needed Positivity
She takes her job as a therapy dog very seriously – and firefighters happen to be her favorite patients.
As wildfires continue to rage in northern California, firefighters are working overtime to try and stop the flames from spreading.
Day after day, hundreds of men and women strap on their boots, helmets and goggles and work for hours in the sweltering heat, risking their lives to save the homes and property of people they've never met.
Although the firefighters put on a brave face when they're at work, when they return to their homes (or, in some cases, hotels) after a 24-hour shift they're left to process the traumatic events of the day, which can be incredibly overwhelming.
That's where Kerith, a certified crisis response therapy dog, comes in. Kerith is a two-year-old golden retriever who lives with the Carmen family in Marin County, CA. She was bred to be a guide dog to the blind, but due to her energetic and friendly personality, the family decided to get her certified as a therapy dog instead.
While Kerith offers her services to hospital patients, medical staff and students, she has a fondness for firefighters.
"Kerith is a very special dog with endless love and affection to share with all who meet her," Heidi Carmen, Kerith's mom, told CNN. "Her favorite people are firefighters."
Kerith has been visiting firefighters in Marin County to bring them some comfort as they continue to battle multiple wildfires in northern California. @dog_rates
Thankfully, the feeling is mutual. Members of several fire stations in the community have grown fond of the pooch and look forward to her visits after a long shift.
"She makes people feel loved, special and important," Carmen said. "One firefighter told me 'Kerith has the uncanny ability to make me feel like I am the most important person in the world.'"
Kerith has been joining the Marin County firefighters for their morning briefings, and while the lack of staff and unfavorable weather conditions have made this year's fire season extremely stressful, having Kerith around helps the firefighters start their day with a smile.
"During the Woodward Wild Fire in Marin County, Kerith is boosting morale during the crew's morning briefing," Carmen said. "She brings levity and a sense of playfulness even though they know the task of the day will be challenging."
The two-year-old pup was too friendly and energetic to be a guide dog for the blind, so her family got her certified as a therapy dog. @kerith_the_golden_retriever
Even when the lively pup isn't around, Carmen wanted the first responders to have something to cheer them up, so she gave them all a card with a photo of Kerith to carry with them when they're out in the field.
"She doesn't know there is a fire. She doesn't know there is COVID, so she just knew she was seeing her friends and was really happy to do so. For the firefighters, I think it really made their day," Carmen said after a recent visit.
What an inspiring pup! Kudos to Kerith for bringing joy to our nation's heroes, who risk their lives every day to stop the fires from spreading. Now, where can we get one of those Kerith trading cards?