When I saw this story in the North Raleigh News, I knew I had to share it.
Firehouse mascot Angus slowed by arthritis, tumorBY CARLENE STEIN - Correspondent
The tiny pup’s first fire call took him to the Angus Barn. He was so small, his body barely filled the hands of the firefighter who held him.
After the fire was contained, the Durham Highway Fire Department crew returned to the station and their new pup had a name: Angus.
Angus, a Dalmatian familiar to many in North Raleigh, turned 14 in December and his health is declining.
The arthritis in his hips has curtailed his duties as the firehouse mascot, but now Angus faces an even more serious threat: He recently was diagnosed with a tumor on his left leg. It’s since been removed, but the extent of the illness is still unknown.
“The men at the station are discussing the best treatment options available,” said Pam Childress, a veterinarian at Leesville Animal Hospital. “At this time, his arthritis is actually more painful, but both diagnoses have forced Angus to cut back on his duties. I’m keeping a very close eye on him as his condition could change at anytime.”
Over the years, Angus has become a fixture at the station. As an official member of the crew, he has duties, such as being the station’s public safety mascot on visits to local schools.
“Children from the schools love him,” said Capt. Mike Dillard. “He can ‘stop, drop, and roll’ giving the children a demonstration of what to do in a fire.”
Angus also is the station’s welcoming committee. “Everyone who comes into the station loves him.”
For the men, though, there is the constant concern about his health.
“It’s difficult … to watch his heath decline,” Capt. Barry Andrews said. “He has his good days and bad days, but overall we’re really concerned about him.”
Outside of the Durham Highway Fire Department along Norwood Road, there is a picture of Angus on a billboard.
He warns passersby about fireworks and Christmas lights, and the dangers of an unwatched frying pan.
These days, Angus can be seen taking a leisurely nap in front of the station.
Occasionally, when the mood strikes him, he’ll wander next door to the Hawthorne neighborhood, his nose sniffing at the grass with great purpose.
But now, he’s not looking for fires, he’s catching the scent of a squirrel passing by.
After 14 years of service, he’s earned the right.