A few years ago, before you were born, a little Dalmatian puppy sat outside the fence at the school playground. The puppy loved watching the children play games and laugh. He longed to go inside and play with the children, but he was very shy, so he spent his days running back and forth alongside the fence, jumping, wagging his tail, and sometimes barking "hello."
One day, the puppy followed two children home from school. He watched them go inside their house, then he curled up under a tree in the front yard to take a nap. He was very tired from playing all day long. Suddenly, he woke up. When he looked up, he saw sparks and flames and realized that the children's house was on fire. The puppy knew he needed to get help right away, so he ran down the street to the fire station, barking all the way.
The puppy arrived at the fire station just in time to see the firefighters jump on their trucks and leave. He tried to run behind them, but his little legs could not keep up. By the time he got back to the house, the street was filled with fire trucks and hoses and lots of people. The puppy looked all around for the children but could not see them. He was very worried.
The firefighters worked very hard to save the children's house. After the fire was out, the brave firefighters were getting back on the truck when Firefighter Janet noticed the sad-looking puppy shivering under a tree in the neighbor's yard.
"Look, you guys, it's the little puppy we saw barking at the station," she said. Kneeling down, Firefighter Janet scooped up the puppy in her arms "Hey, little guy, where do you live? It's too cold for a puppy to be outside alone," she said. Firefighter Janet's arms felt safe and warm, but the puppy couldn't stop thinking about the children from school. He lifted his head and looked across the street at the burned house.
"I know," said Firefighter Janet, "let's take him over to the neighbor's house where the family is staying. I'll bet he could cheer up the kids who just lost their house." Firefighter Janet carried the puppy in her arms to the neighbor's house, and when she arrived, she brought the little Dalmatian over to where the children and their parents were sleeping. The puppy could barely believe his eyes!
The children were safe! The little Dalmatian jumped out of Firefighter Janet's arms and licked the children's faces. His tail wagged faster than ever before. The children hugged the puppy and felt a little bit better.
"Do you know who this puppy belongs to?" Firefighter Janet asked the children. The children didn't know, but they recognized him from the schoolyard, and they were glad to see him again. "Well, he's a real hero," said Firefighter Janet. "He ran all the way to the fire station to let us know there was a fire at your house.
"I guess that makes him a fire dog," said Firefighter Janet. "Maybe we should call him Sparky. Yeah, that's it - Sparky the Fire Dog. Sparky can live with us at the fire station," she said, "but you kids can visit him any time you want."
Sparky was very proud of his new name and loved his new home at the fire station. He worked hard, like his new firefighter friends, to teach children and their families everywhere how to stop fires from happening.
Sparky® and Sparky the Fire Dog® are registered trademarks of the NFPA.
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