Rescue Dog Helps Kids Save Themselves and Father from House Fire

February 6, 2010 · Posted in Public Interaction, Service Dogs · Comment 
Dayna Sparkles and Spanner

Today I had the privilege of interviewing Firefight Dayna Hilton and her fire safety Dalmatian dog, Sparkles, on Working Like Dogs at It was so great to experience Firefighter Dayna’s passion for working with Sparkles to educate children and their caregivers throughout the United States about fire safety.

Firefighter Dayna has created some really cool interactive web sites and ( and that engage children, parents and teachers to learn about fire safety with Sparkles’ guidance. I never cease to be amazed by all of the ways that animals enhance our lives. Listening to Firefighter Dayna talk about Sparkles and how they have worked to change people’s perceptions and increased their knowledge about fire safety is just one more reminder.

Dayna shared with us about one family in particular whose child participated in one of her and Sparkles fire safety presentations in Oklahoma. The child listened to Dayna share fire safety messages in the program and then watched Sparkles reinforce how to crawl low under smoke.

Little did they know that the young girl that witnessed Sparkles’ demonstration would have to put those newly acquired skills to use when she was awakened early one morning by the smell of smoke. Thankfully, she knew what to do and was able to help her father get out to safety. Their home was completely engulfed in flames but fortunately, because of Sparkles and Firefighter Dayna’s fire safety presentation, they knew what to do and they were all saved.

I hope you get a chance to listen in to Firefighter Dayna’s interview so that you can hear another story of how dogs have given of selflessly of their talents and love to once again, serve us. It always makes me smile when I think of our canine partners and the unwavering devotion and love that they so freely shower upon us every day. Thank you Firefighter Dayna and Sparkles for all the wonderful work you are doing together!