>Dolly the Fire Dog


Meet Dolly the Dalmatian. Dolly was a fire dog that I remember from my childhood. She worked at a fire station downtown in Erie, Pennsylvania, although I can’t remember which one. I tried to email both the Erie Fire Department and the Firefighter’s Historical Museum to find out more about Dolly, but I never got a response. My mother probably remembers Dolly better than I do, but I remember seeing Dolly a few times when I was very young. She used to ride in the fire engines for all of the parades, and I remember that she was quite proud. My mother loved Dolly. I have a very vague memory of my mother taking me to the fire station to see Dolly one day, and 30 years later, I still haven’t forgotten her. In the photo above, you can see that I’m about halfway finished beading her. When she is complete, she will accompany my beaded 1943 Chevy fire truck.

We all associate Dalmatians with fire trucks. The dogs came first came into use because they were loyal and easy to train. They have shared barns and hunting trails with horses for centuries. So, when fire apparatus was horse-drawn, most firehouses had a Dalmatian. These dogs were companions for the horses, but they also guarded the fire station. More importantly, Dalmatians directed the horses by clearing the path for them while they were on their way to a fire. When fire stations did away with the horse-drawn fire wagons and replaced them with fire trucks, both the horses and the dogs lost their jobs. But, today, some fire stations still keep a Dalmatian as a mascot, guard dog, and as a companion for the firefighters.

If you’re looking into getting a Dalmatian, please consider adopting one before going to a breeder. These dogs have worked hard for many years by helping to rescue human beings. The least you could do for them is save one from euthanization. For more information about these dogs and where you can find a rescue organization near you, please visit 1-800-Save-a-Pet.com.

14 thoughts on “>Dolly the Fire Dog

  1. >I had read that Dalmatians were coach dogs in England. I don’t know what you needed a coach dog for, but they are neat dogs, and too many people get them, not realizing they need to work and run everyday. Then they get big and no one wants them. Very sad for the dogs and I’m glad you put the cavaet in your blog. Thanks!

  2. >Damn you are quick!A person should be very careful when getting a Dalmatian, a lot of them (as with many pure-breds) have been over-bred and can have health problems (this comes from a firefighter I used to know).

  3. >Dolly is a doll!!! She will compliment the fire truck beautifully! I’ve enjoyed the process of this successful piece very much. Thanks!

  4. >Ohhh that is sooo cute! The story that goes with it is wonderful! Firefighters make such a big difference! I didn’t know that Dalmations were fire dogs. I love Dalmations! There was this one friend of mine who had a dalmation and it would smile this HUGE smile! LOLOL It was soo kewl! Anyhoo, I just wanted to tell ya that. GREAT WORK!

  5. >Dolly looks great. When I was a kid there was a fire dog dalmation at our local fire department, his name was Rex. He rode in the fire truck and was credited with saving several lives too…he came to our school, and was the local hero, we all loved him a lot. When he died the whole town I lived in was so upset we had a town memorial for him and all the kids at my school drew pictures and cried a lot. He was deaf, and that made him extra special to us all, because he could sense your feelings and was the nicest dog ever. I still remember him, he saved my best friend from drowning one year when I was about 7 or 8…and after that we would stop by the fire house on sunday’s if they were there to say hi to him after we went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. He was a major cool dog.So, anyway…great post! Have a great day. 🙂

  6. >I did not know that Dalmatians were often fire dogs. I don’t know if it was the same here. So, I was a little bit surprised about the association Dalmatian – Fire Dog. For me the association is Dalmatian – 101 Dalmatians. ;)But the dog looks already very cute.

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