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Kerith The Golden Retriever Is Doing Her Part To Comfort California's Firefighters

Caitlyn Clancey 17 Sep 2020

Firefighters who continue to battle the devastating California wildfires have been offered a tiny glimmer of joy in the form of a sweet golden retriever whose only job is to make them feel comforted and supported.

As CNN reported, Kerith, a 2-year-old certified crisis response therapy dog, has been providing those heroes with as much unconditional love as she can possibly give, and then some.

The adorable pup was actually bred with the intent of becoming a guide dog, but her energetic and affectionate nature signaled a bit of a career change.

Rather than helping to lead the blind, Kerith became a certified therapy dog instead. And suffice it to say, it's a role she's certainly excelled at, particularly while visiting her local hospital's emergency ward.

"Kerith is a very special dog with endless love and affection to share with all who meet her," the pup's human, Heidi Carmen, told CNN. "Her favorite people are firefighters."

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Indeed, while Kerith definitely has enough love to give everyone she meets, she has a particular affinity for the brave men and women who battle blazes.

On her official Instagram page, the smiling retriever can be seen comforting local firefighters who she regularly visits. She's even considered a honorary member of the Marin County Fire Fighting family.

"She makes people feel loved, special and important," Carmen said. "One firefighter told me, 'Kerith has the uncanny ability to make me feel like I am the most important person in the world.'"

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With the wildfires that have been tearing through California since August, Kerith's human knew her services were definitely needed.

So far the pair have visited two badly-hit locations: the Woodward Fire base camp in Marin County and the Creek Fire base camp in Fresno County.

At each one, they make sure to arrive bright and early so they can greet those firefighters coming off the previous day's shift, and those preparing for their own 24-hour turn to battle the fires.

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Kerith has helped to lift a lot of heroes' spirits as they continue their physically and emotional tiring efforts.

"Kerith matches people's energy," Carmen told POPSUGAR. "If a firefighter is super excited and lays on the ground so Kerith can roll around and play with them, then Kerith will be higher energy and silly with them. If a firefighter is calm, stressed, and withdrawn, Kerith will be calm as well."

She added, "[Kerith will] sit closely to the individual, sometimes sit on their feet and lean into their body in a way that says, 'I am here for you as long as you need me.'"

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Carmen hopes she and Kerith will be able to continue to visit those brave men and women risking their lives to battle the deadly flames.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to help assist in travel costs as the pair visit various California fire base camps. So far, they've raised over $5,100 of their $7,500 goal.

"This fund will allow Team Kerith to provide invaluable services to over 400 Marin County firefighters," the campaign description states. "100% of the funds cover Kerith’s direct time with firefighters and transportation costs to be wherever 'there' is when she is most needed."

To keep up with this sweet pup's wonderful, continued efforts, check out her official Instagram page.

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