You don’t always know what or who you are seeing, but you can “feel” what someone is like. I am pictured here with “Sparky” a proud member of the Collinsville Fire Department (IAFF Local 2625). The Fire department was hosting an open house and “Sparky ” was there to greet the public. “Sparky” does not talk, I guess everybody knows dogs don’t talk with words.
“Sparky” may not talk, but he communicates. He drops down to toddler height, he lets kids and even whole families have their picture taken at the Fire Dept. Surprisingly “Sparky ” rides a tiny motorcycle and rode it in the parade. You can not look at “Sparky” and not smile. Inside of “Sparky is someone who has helped people who are in pain, in trauma and suffering great losses. “Sparky ” cannot save everyone, but he sure tries.
Why would anyone want to be a firefighter or a paramedic? They don’t get rich. They have weird hours. Oh yeah and they deal with screaming people, sad people. bleeding people, and sometimes dead people. They spend hours sometimes extracting people from horrific automobile accidents. They enter burning buildings, which is contrary to all rules of survival. Rarely are they acknowledged for what they do.
The IAFF Local # 2625 and their families are one giant family. They protect the public and each other as they go out of their way to teach us how to be safe. “Sparky” and his fellows go into schools, have games and free popcorn and pamphlets at the “open houses” where you can meet some of the men and women who might save you or your family one day. When I talked to these guys each of them made amazing eye contact and had very soothing voices, except for “Sparky.”
“Sparky” use his body language to communicate! “Sparky” tells us all to enjoy the beautiful moments in our lives, for dogs live in the present. Those who deal with life and death and loss everyday know how to treasure those little moments that we sometimes forget to celebrate. I watched “Sparky” work the crowd as he posed with kids and adults and even a bride and groom leaving their ceremony. The newlyweds and their wedding party screamed with glee as they spied “Sparky” coming through the alley on his very tiny motor scooter. “Sparky” had time for just a few more snaps for this beautiful couple.
I enjoyed my “Sparky” hug and photo-op, but most of all I enjoyed “feeling” the love that “Sparky likes to spread around. So this Monday, spread a little love around and thank a firefighter and/or a paramedic, while being grateful that you are meeting them in a non-emergency.