Dalmatians to the Rescue


Published: June 18, 2018

These days, dalmatians mainly serve as mascots for fire departments, even friendly companions but more than a century ago, they had a very important job to do. When the alarm would sound at the firehouse informing the firefighters of a call, the house dalmatians would race to the front and notify the bystanders to make a path as the wagon would soon come roaring out of the garage. The dalmatians would flank the wagon, close to the horses and guide them all the way to the fire chasing off anything in the street that could hold up the crew, whether it be people or animals along the road. Upon arrival, the dalmatians would stand near the horses, keeping them calm from the startling blaze and protecting the equipment and belongings of the firefighters. It’s clear dalmatians played a monumental role in early firefighting practices. It was no mistake that this spotted breed became the firehouse canine. Dating back to when people used horse-drawn carriages, dalmatians would run alongside the horses, keeping pace for long distances. The dogs would even defend the horses from other animals that may spook the horses. The concept ultimately became a social status. As early as the 1700s, English aristocrats would use them to accompany their stage coach; the more dalmatians, the higher standing.

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