When wildfires tear through California, countless firefighters put everything on the line to try to contain them and minimize the destruction they leave in their wake.
It’s exhausting, dangerous and fearsome work, but these brave women and men are fighting day and night to keep everyone else safe.
To support them, 2-year-old Kerith has been offering her services as a certified crisis response therapy dog.
The hardworking and compassionate golden retriever has been making therapy visits to two fire stations who are positioned in especially affected areas; the Woodward Fire base camp in Marin County and the Creek Fire base camp in Fresno County
Kerith, whose friendly personality and love of humans marked her as a future service dog from an early age, loves making people happy and is thrilled to get to snuggle up to so many firefighters and make them smile.
She and her owner, Heidi, have begun turning up at the fire stations at six o’clock in the morning to provide some love and comfort for the people getting ready for their 24-hour shifts, as well as for the people who are just returning from completing their shifts.
Kerith is providing a very important service. The firefighters are under extreme pressure right now, and studies have shown that service dogs can help people by improving both their mental and physical health.
Possible benefits include reduced anxiety and lowered blood pressure and an overall improvement in general mood.
Because of the nature of their jobs, first-responders, such as firefighters, are prone to PTSD, anxiety and depression.
Kerith is trying to play her part in alleviating the stress of the job and serve as a source of calm and happiness.
Now, with the wildfires tearing through the state, some pure moments of joy and comfort are more important than ever.
Kerith was originally meant to become a guide dog, but as a young pup, she displayed such a natural talent for comforting people that Heidi quickly realized that Kerith could do even more good as a service dog.
And she was right.
Kerith has excelled as a therapy dog and she always seems to know exactly what someone needs.
She can sense when someone just wants her to sit there quietly and enjoy a peaceful and contemplative moment, and she knows when someone needs her to be energetic and playful and provide a fun distraction.
Because of the ongoing situation, many firefighters haven’t been able to see their families in weeks.
Though Kerith can’t change that, she can at least provide some comfort and support.
“Not only does Kerith bring big smiles and much-needed happiness to first responders, but she is also a link to home for them,” Heidi explained in an interview with Popsugar.
We’re so happy that these amazing heroes have Kerith by their side and we’re so proud of Kerith for doing everything she can to provide them with some hope and joy during these difficult times.
This good girl has clearly found her calling in life and we know she’s making the world a better place one snuggle at a time.
You can follow Kerith on Instagram to see more of her and her important work.