A firefighter in Utah has adopted a German Shepherd he rescued while fighting wildfires in Mendocino, California.
Firefighter Patric Cullen and four other firefighters from Draper Fire Department went to California to help battle the wildfire raging through Mendocino in August.
While on the mountain, Cullen saw something that stopped him in his tracks.
“While fighting the fires high on the mountain, our Fire Fighter Patrick Cullen spotted a pair of glowing eyes. He was’t sure what it was, a mountain lion perhaps? And out came a beautiful German Shepherd dog,” The Draper Fire Department wrote.
“The dog was super thirsty, and after getting some water, he slept under the fire truck all night,” the department continued. “The crew took him to the city after their shift was over.”
“Patrick couldn’t get the dog out of his mind, so he checked to see if the county animal services had found his owners. Then, he found out that he could adopt him.”
It was happy news after a difficult and emotional deployment. While their small crew was battling the blaze, they lost Draper Battalion Chief Matt “Matty” Burchett after he was killed when he was hit by falling tree debris when thousands of gallons of retardant dropped on the area where he and other firefighters were working.
Two weeks after he was originally found, “Mendo” (named after the Mendocino fire) the dog was reunited with Cullen. Some volunteers from Mendocino County drove the dog half way to Reno so Patrick could pick up Mendo and bring him home to Utah.
“The dog was happy to to see Patrick he ran around in happy circles,” the department said. “Mendo we are happy to say that Draper is now your home.”
“There’s definitely meaning not only for me but a lot of other people, including the other firefighters that were there,” Cullen told the Desert News. “People already want him to come to their station. Everyone that was there, they’re excited. It definitely brings some sort of happiness to a terrible event that happened.”
The Draper Fire Department agree, and are just as excited: “What a beautiful, friendly and affectionate dog. Congrats Patrick and family on the newest member of your family!”