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Bringing A Smile In Tough Times

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Tuolumne City, CA — That is what therapy dogs brought to crews working on the Rim Fire. The Tuolumne City Base Camp was closed on Friday. It became home for some of the firefighters working the blaze. To make them feel more at home each night they were greeted by some four legged friends.

Therapy Dogs International Local Chapter 186 member DJ Riendeau says, “Basically they just go up to the firefighters, whoever would like to pet them, and pretty much love on them is all they do. The dogs get petted and hugged. They’re there to give comfort and hopefully reduce stress the firefighters are feeling.”

The local chapter has about 80 members. They started taking dogs to the base camp a couple of days after the Rim Fire started. When the dogs aren’t cheering up those involved in disasters they are wagging their tails in many assisted living elderly facilities in the area. One of the chapter’s signature moves is the “Dancing Dogs” which brings plenty of smiles from the residence and face licks from the dogs.