Some very special guests made a surprise appearance at the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) base camp in Lytton on July 23rd, cheering on wildland firefighters battling the Nohuman Creek wildfire.
The six-week-old litter of 10 puppies arrived courtesy of owners Tricia Thorpe and Don Glasgow, whose home was destroyed in the June 2021 Lytton Creek fire just outside Lytton. They had to leave without their animals, leaving them at their mercy. elements.
A trio of BCWS wildland firefighters — Jamie Van Seeken, Olivia Hughes, and Chad Goldney — joined Mama Sunshine, Dad Thunder, and Grandma Moonshine, along with Sunshine’s litter of nine pups. Thorpe says the adult dogs, all of whom were Great Pyrenees, dug a large hole in the garden and buried the puppy in it to keep them safe.
“Jamie, Olivia, and Chad fed and watered the dogs along with our alpacas and sheep,” she says. After a few days, Thorpe and Glasgow – along with volunteers from BC and Alberta Livestock Evacuation – were able to reach the property and get the animals out. Sadly, Thunder died of smoke inhalation and stress on the way to safety in Kamloops.
Thorpe and Glasgow, who have remodeled their home, get a new dog, Lightning. He is a full cub brother to Thunder, and comes from the same breeder in Alberta as his older brother.
Given his age (less than nine months), Bijli should not have been quite ready to be a father. However, to everyone’s surprise, it was revealed earlier this year that Sunshine was pregnant, and on June 14, she had 10 puppies.
Thorpe and Glasgow named three of them Jamie, Olivia and Chad, after the firefighters who helped save them the year before, and on June 23, Hughes and Goldney – who met each other last year. was engaged, met their names. Less than a month later, he—along with von Sakon and several other wildland firefighters who fought the Litton Creek fire—was back in the area to fight the Nohoman Creek wildfire, which broke out on July 14. It started just north-east of Co Lytton.
“Jamie, Olivia, and Chad are all back from last year, and other familiar faces are back that were here last year,” says Thorpe. She was delivering dog food to residents on the west side of the river recently, when fire crews came off shift, and Thorpe asked firefighter Chad Hogan if he could bring the puppies to base camp for a morale boost. I can bring
“Some people were going away, but they turned around and said ‘Dogs!’ I said to Chad, ‘They’re done.’
Only Van Sakken, Goldney, and Hogan knew Play was coming around 8:00 p.m. on July 23, when the crew got off shift.
“I just wanted our community to see something positive in these tough times,” says von Sacken, who has lived in Lytton almost every year since 2016, and who asked to come back to help. Exited in 2021 after his experience there and his extensive knowledge of the area. He adds that several other firefighters have either chosen to live in Lytton, or were born and raised there.
“They were very excited and really enjoyed their break from work,” he says of the crew’s reaction during the surprise “Pow Patrol” tour. “They were working long shifts, and they were still on high alert from the stress of the first day until the fire started to come under control. The dogs were really good to help with that.
“Their reaction was the best part,” says Thorpe. “Someone called out in the service bay that there were dogs. They looked adorable in the back of our RAV – for the next two weeks they would be at maximum cuteness – and there would be about 20 men and women picking them up and hugging them.
“We were only there 20 minutes, but I was enjoying watching the firefighters’ reaction, and it made my week. It was just great.”
Van Sakon says the staff loves Leighton’s people.
“We all chose to live here. And the people of Lytton have stepped up to help each other again and again since June 30 last year, doing wonderful things like bringing their puppies to cheer us up after a long day. work. They are exactly the kind of people you want in your community.”
Thorpe is glad her dogs were able to help.
“We wanted to do this for the firefighters, because they did so much for us last year, and continue to do. I wonder what they must be going through last year and now with this fire.
“I think animals are the best therapy, and who doesn’t love a dog?”
BC Wildfires 2022 Lighten
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