From the front page of FH.com.....
Updated: 01-14-2005 09:53:40 AM
Berkeley, California Firefighter Dog is Laid to Rest
Contra Costa Times via Associated Press
ONE OF BERKELEY'S most beloved firefighters retired Monday. But instead of a gold watch, he got a Milk-Bone.
That's because he was a dog -- a friendly golden-colored German shepherd named Dylan, who was the fire department's search-and-rescue dog for the past 71/2 years. He and his owner, firefighter Darren Bobrowsky, were one of only 28 FEMA emergency response teams in the country. Whenever somebody needed rescuing, they were the first ones called.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Dylan and Darren flew on a military transport to New York to rescue survivors of the terrorist attacks.
As we all know now, hardly anyone trapped in the buildings survived. So there was nobody for Dylan to rescue, which was terribly depressing for him because a rescue dog's greatest joy in life is rescuing people. He got so down that Darren finally resorted to trickery and arranged for another dog handler to hide in the rubble and pretend to be rescued, so Dylan could get a little peace of mind.
Back at their home base, Station No. 5 in south Berkeley, Dylan was a regular member of the team. Every morning at roll call, the firefighters went through a solemn ritual: They'd stand at attention while Dylan went from person to person, pausing at each one to let his head be petted, then moving on to the next one.
Dylan was also a certified Animal Assisted Therapy Dog, which allowed him to go into hospitals and nursing homes and bring some warm-and-fuzzy love to the patients. His results were often astounding. Little kids with cancer would pet him and smile for the first time in months. Old people with Alzheimer's would pet him and start talking about the dogs they had when they were young.
Two years ago, Dylan and Darren were the grand marshals of the Solano Stroll parade.
But it all came to an end Monday because Dylan was suffering from an excruciating spinal degenerative disease. Darren and his wife, Lori, tried everything they could think of, including acupuncture treatments. That helped for a little while, but in recent weeks Dylan was suffering so badly that Darren and Lori were forced to the awful conclusion that not only would Dylan have to retire, he would have to be euthanized.
As word got around the department that Monday would be Dylan's last shift, firefighters from all over the city dropped in to say goodbye to their old friend.
One was Sam Hoffman, a paramedic at Station No. 7 in the hills, who has been friends with Dylan since the time they worked together at Station No. 5.
"How you doing, boy?" he asked, gently holding out his hand.
Dylan weakly raised his head up to be petted. Hoffman turned away and choked back tears.
"I can't look at him without thinking how energetic and full of life he used to be," said Hoffman. "It's heartbreaking."
"This is going to create a big hole around here, and I'm not just talking about Darren," said Lt. Gil Dong, the station supervisor. "I've never been a dog lover, and when Dylan first came here I was a little apprehensive. But Dylan taught me to love and appreciate animals. There isn't a person here who won't miss him terribly."
In the last few weeks, Dylan lost control of his bowels and bladder, which distressed him terribly. While Darren and I were sitting in the station house talking, Dylan had an "accident" on the floor. Darren moved quickly to clean it up. But he didn't mind.
"I'd give everything I have just to be able to clean up his pee for another year," he said. "And suppose I could have it, too, if I was willing to make him go through more of this. But I couldn't be that selfish or that cruel."
Dylan was put down yesterday. Darren was with him when he died.
Go to sleep now, Dylan. Good dog.
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Thread: Berkeley, CA FD Loss
01-14-2005, 08:43 PM #1
Berkeley, CA FD LossThe comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
01-14-2005, 09:02 PM #2
Rest in Peace ..........IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
"but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
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