A firefighter who rescued a puppy from a fire last year has made his furry companion an official part of the firehouse family.
Last April, Bill Lindler of the Hanahan Fire Department in South Carolina was returning home from work when he saw flames engulfing a neighbor’s garage. As the structure burned, a dog and several puppies were able to escape by themselves, but one puppy was trapped by a fallen piece of burning ceiling and unable to escape. After backup arrived, Lindler went into the building to rescue the puppy, who the firefighter has since named Jake. Jake had to receive emergency oxygen and was sent to an emergency veterinary clinic tor receive treatment for his burns, which covered 70 percent of his body.
A few weeks after the fire, Lindler visited Jake at the clinic to see how he was doing. To his surprise, he found that no one had come to claim the puppy. So, Lindler decided to adopt Jake, and started to bring the puppy along for his shifts at the fire station. There, Jake fit right in. He started assisting the firefighters with their educational efforts, traveling with them to local schools for classes about fire protection. He’s a hit with the kids, and his presence around the firehouse has been a huge boost for the morale of the firefighters working there.
"Everybody was just thrilled to death," Lindler told The Dodo earlier this month. "He's just the cutest little thing there is. Everybody fell in love with him."
As a reward for all his hard work, Jake was recently sworn in as an honorary firefighter, making him the fire department’s official mascot. He’s currently being trained as an arson detection dog. Despite his scars, Jake is happy and in perfect health, said Lindler.
"Sometimes people ask about the scars, and when they do I tell them Jake's story,” he said. “I tell them that the scars are just his badge from being a firefighter."
Photo courtesy of the Dodo.