Therapy Dog Comforts Firefighters

Hello wonderful readers!

Today I want to share an uplifting story sent to me by a dear friend in Ohio…

After being rescued from a kill shelter in Arizona, Smokey was matched with a fire department in Toledo, Ohio.


As you may know, I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the human-animal bond and how this special relationship can help reduce stress.

Smokey, one of the first fire department comfort dogs in America, works at a fire station helping to lower stress levels and provide emotional support to firefighters.

As you can imagine, fighting fires is a dangerous and stressful job. But having a therapy dog like Smokey around the fire station can help reduce both the short-term and long-term effects of job-related stress.

How can you be in a bad mood with such a friendly and beautiful animal in your presence?


An ABC news report said Smokey was rescued from a kill shelter in Arizona after his owner died of cancer. The dog was matched with the Toledo Fire Department by a non-profit organization called K9 Defender Fund.

The K9 Defender Fund is a unique non-profit and 501(c)(3) registered organization that is designed to aid specialized K9 teams, who in turn provide a service or services, to the general public.

These K9 teams are comprised within the units of:
– Military
– Police
– Fire
– Search & Rescue

With a name like Smokey, it must have been fate that this animal was matched with a fire station!  🙂


Unfortunately, it’s not entirely a perfect situation for Smokey. It turns out he was bitten by a tick in Arizona and has both Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

So far, all of his treatments have been paid for by donations and by the firefighters themselves. But the diagnosis, treatment and vet bills are adding up.

If you’d like to make a donation to help Smokey with his medical care, you can do one of the following…

CLICK HERE to visit the K9 Defender Fund where there is an account for Smokey. There is a link to PayPal on that page. When you make your donation, please be sure to specify in the Notes that the money is specifically for “Smokey’s Account.”

You can also mail a donation to the K9 Defender Fund at the following address and be sure to write “Smokey’s Account” in the check memo line:
K9 Defender Fund
8893 Summerfield Road
Lambertville, Michigan

Thank you for reading and for your donation to a charity so close to my heart and passion!

Your truly,


Dr. Elena Pezzini
You Have Got The Power