On September 20, the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue in Tampla, Fla. posted a Facebook thread that began, "A puppy walks in to a fire station..."
While that may sound like the beginning of a joke, they weren't kidding. Around 2:30 that morning, a wandering Dalmatian mix wisely (and perhaps instinctually) followed an engine back to the station, where the fire crew was returning from a call.
The dog didn't have a microchip or any other form of identification. "He made himself at home and was very well mannered," Corey Dierdorff, the public information office for the HCFR, tells petMD. "He wasn’t malnourished, and didn’t have any fleas. He was only dirty. So crews washed him and fed him."
"They were able to play fetch, the dog was able to sit, and he was housebroken," he says. "The crew knew that he was someone’s pet, and wanted to get him reunited with his owners."
In order to help get the loving and friendly pooch back home, the station made a Facebook video, which showed the dog playing, hanging out, and generally being a good boy.
Thanks to the video, his owners were, in fact, able to identify the dog, whose name is Chico. "They were able to give us some very unique features the dog had so we knew it was the correct owner," Dierdorff assures.
The station's follow-up Facebook post put it best, "We are all so happy for a happy ending to this story!"
This happy story also serves, ultimately, as a reminder that while kind strangers (or, in this case, firefighters) may do the right thing, it is always important that your dog has the proper forms of identifcation in the event that he or she gets lost.
Image via Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Facebook