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Old 08-06-2004, 04:12 PM   #5
I-Am-Serendipity
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I just did a Google search for "firehouse Dalmation history" and this is what came up at http://www.brockvillefire.ca/ffhist.htm:

We're all familiar with the image of the "Dalmation" on the fire engine. The dogs came into use because of their protective nature and loyalty. Dalmations have shared the barns and the hunt courses with horses for centuries, so when fire-apparatus was horse-drawn, nearly every firehouse had its resident dalmation to help direct the horses, keep the horses company, and guard the firehouse. The horses are gone from fire stations today, but the Dalmations aren't! Firehouse dogs nearly always were called "Sparky" so Sparky was the obvious name for NFPA's fire prevention symbol. Dalmations were also used to protect the fire company's engine and equipment at a time when fire companies actually competed against each other at fire scenes, each trying to out-perform the others.Dalmations were favoured probably because of their size, friendly nature, ability to train, and ability to care for themselves. Likewise urban and nearby departments gave away puppies as new litters were born thus creating an ongoing fire service tradition.

Something I never knew!! ~Pam
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