Kerith The Therapy Dog Is Helping California’s Firefighters During The Wildfires

Dogs are truly charming creatures. Just their presence alone is enough to brighten up anyone’s day. Case in point, Kerith the Therapy Dog has been boosting the morale of firefighters braving the wildfires in California. Offering hugs and spreading love, the two-year-old golden retriever has been a vital support system for the weary fire heroes.

Kerith is the adorable in-house stress reliever of the Marin County Fire Department. As early as 6 a.m., she and her owner Heidi Carman drops by the base camp to greet the crew. They spend four hours mingling with firefighters who are either back from their night shifts or just starting the day. Indeed, the pooch’s presence helps lighten up the mood at the camp. As featured on her Instagram page, the firefighters simply love her company, with many of them photographed petting her or embracing her.

Without a doubt, the golden retriever has a unique affinity towards humans. In fact, she was originally trained to be a guide dog for people with visual impairment. However, given her energetic and playful demeanor, Carman thought it would be more fitting to train her as a therapy dog. So, Kerith underwent training as a comfort dog through the organization Pet Partners and earned her certification later on.


“Kerith has the ability to make the people she interacts with feel special, loved, and important. She has a gift of giving her love and attention to all she meets. I saw that in her and knew I needed to share her love with others.”


Kerith the Therapy Dog has been a vital support system for the firefighters braving the wildfires in California

The pooch then began serving as a therapy dog at the Marin Health Medical Center’s Emergency Department. This was also where the caring canine found her true calling and developed her affinity towards firefighters.


“She provides unconditional love and instant stress relief to first responders. She forms bonds with the firefighters by simply being herself: she greets with playful wiggles, adoring eye contact, and makes each person she meets feel important, special, and loved.”

According to the California Statewide Fire Summary as of October 6th, 2020, there are still 23 ongoing major wildfires across the state. Over 16,400 firefighters continue to work around the clock to contain said wildfires. Unfortunately, high temperatures and low humidity levels also continue to make it more difficult for them to combat the fires.

Containing wildfires and saving people’s lives, these firefighters and first responders undeniably deal with insurmountable pressure and stress each day. Aside from putting their lives on the line, they’re also susceptible to encountering traumatic events while on duty. Indeed, these are the inevitable risks that come with their jobs. Luckily, at the end of their shift, they can always run to their trusty canine pal for some much-needed stress relief.

Indeed, the joy that Kerith brings can be particularly valuable to people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may also check out Carman and Kerith’s GoFundMe page to learn more about their mission.

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