Therapy dogs boost firefighters' morale at base camp - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Therapy dogs boost firefighters' morale at base camp

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Fire personnel have received encouragement and appreciation in many ways while the Thomas Fire has raged through central and southern California. 

The boost in morale some of the fire crews got Tuesday morning was full of licks and belly rubs -- from dogs, that is.

Each of the firefighters were more than happy to see a furry friend during a break from fighting the flames. 

"I heard from so many of them, 'ugh, I miss my dog back home,'" said Diane Rima, who is with Alliance of Therapy Dogs.  

Therapy dogs that normally visit hospitals are paying visits to firefighters at Lake Cachuma base camp. 

The Lake Cachuma base camp is where Cory Iverson, the San Diego firefighter who died while fighting the Thomas Fire, was stationed at. 

"The fact (that we lost) one of our brothers on this incident, only gives us that much more of fire of doing our work that needs to be done," said Michael Brown, with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. 

And the visit from the therapy dogs didn't hurt, either.

Firefighters who are spending their holidays at the base have made up for it in decorations. 

"So we have Christmas trees up, we have a snowman, (and) we have Christmas lights," said Chantel Herrick, with U.S. Forest Service. 

The therapy dogs boost morale and give a sense of happiness in a time of need. They will be visiting the evacuation shelters this week in Ventura and Santa Barbara, according to Alliance staff.

If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe account supporting Iverson's wife, Ashley, and their daughters click here.

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