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    Nov 1999
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    Smile Eagle Mountain FD gets Girl a Puppy

    Eagle Mountain firefighters get new dog for 4-year-old

    Sammy Clark refused to let go of her new therapy dog, 7-week-old English Bulldog Snow White, a gift from the Eagle Mountain Fire Department. She pulls her mother Kimberly Clark by the hand to go and look at some of the things the firefighters brought for Snow White: a new carrier, a sleeping bed, dog food, a dog brush and chew toys. Jeni Allred courtesy photo .
    ..Share10EAGLE MOUNTAIN -- A puppy might melt anyone's heart, but for the Clark family in Eagle Mountain, the 7-week-old pup that firefighters brought to them Saturday afternoon was a new beginning, a gift of love.

    Firefighters from Fire Station 2 in The Ranches climbed into a fire truck and drove the white English bulldog puppy wrapped in a pink and white baby quilt to her meet her new owner, 4-year-old cancer survivor Samantha "Sammy" Clark. Sammy lost her first bulldog in a house fire firefighters believe was started by faulty electrical wires.

    "She hasn't put it down since they left," said Sammy's mom, Kimberly Clark. "She couldn't be more excited."

    Wal-Mart donated a $100 gift-card so the firefighters could purchase a new carrier, dog food and other needed items for the puppy. They were able to purchase the dog with funds from the Eagle Mountain Firefighters Association.

    "We found a breeder who was actually able to negotiate a price with us given the special circumstances where she has gotten cancer and lost her dog that was supposed to help her," said EMFA President David Ulibarri. "With fire fighting you usually see the bad things that happen to people. This was an opportunity to see something good that we could make happen. Something like this is the reason why 17 years ago I became a firefighter."

    They used money they had left from the annual Firehouse Grill fundraiser during Pony Express Days and received a few donations to purchase the replacement dog.

    "Awesome, absolutely awesome," said paramedic/firefighter Wade Wathens of their ability to replace her dog. "This is the opportunity the fire department has, this is what firefighting and the fire department is all about."

    Sammy was shy at first, but she didn't waste time naming the puppy. Just a few minutes after they met one another, the young girl said the bulldog, who is white except for a large brown spot over her right eye, was going to be named Snow White.

    "I like the firefighters because they brought a bulldog," Sammy said.

    Sammy had lost her first dog, Delilah, in a house fire on Jan. 16. The fire also was a total loss for the family of five, and they had to move out.

    "We lost everything. Our oldest boy got to keep some of his toys and that was it," Kimberly Clark said. She is expecting her fourth child in May.

    The family had been to Disney World for Sammy's wish granted by the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and Sammy lost her Disney princess castle, and Disney and Make-A-Wish memorabilia in the fire.

    "The day after the house burned down, they told us they were going to get her a new puppy," Clark said. "We were really excited to find out that they wanted to replace it and we were really grateful for it. ... Today was awesome, they were so great to bring it in the fire truck."

    She said their life has been difficult since their daughter was born.

    "That would be our life, ever since we had her we've had a rough go," Clark said. "She started spitting up blood when she was 4 days old."

    After several spinal taps, the physicians couldn't figure out what was wrong. Then there was the severe sleep apnea Sammy had until she was 8 months old. At the young age of 2, she began losing her ability to move on her left side and had seizures. Doctors found she had an ependymoma brain tumor.

    "We bought the first dog to have a buddy for her when she came home to lay on the couch, to be with her," Clark said. An English bulldog, it was already named "Dixie Delilah Doolittle" before arriving to their home.

    "Sammy just liked the Delilah part, so we called her Delilah," she said.

    In February 2008, doctors removed Sammy's first tumor and for two years she was cancer-free. Two weeks ago after a standard check up and MRI, doctors found another tumor and they had to remove the cancerous growth, making it the fifth surgery she has had in her life.

    They were able to leave most of Sammy's long, brown curly hair intact during the operations.

    "They try to do that with the little girls to let them keep all their hair if they can," Clark said.

    The family were away the day of the fire. Delilah was upstairs in her carrier and she died of smoke inhalation.

    "It's been hard," Clark said. "You know how that is. We still have all of our family, we have our kids. ... You know, through everything that we have been through we couldn't ask for anything more."
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