Antelope Fire Base Camp

Start Date: 2021-08-18

Description: We were called on by the US Forest Services. They asked us to be at the morning and evening breifings. They were held at 7am and 7pm daily. We spent most of our time at the ICP. On our first morning, we were introduced and we had some people come up to us, but we mostly had to initiate meetings with the dogs. We walked the entire area of the camp to introduce the dogs to every person we could see, who worked as part of the ICP. We went to each yurt, and trailer asking everyone if they would like a visit with the dogs. There was lots of hesitation, and some no thank yous. Many people said they've never seen a dog at a base camp, and just didn't seem to understand. We had lots of people ask if they were allowed to touch the dogs, or if they were working. We said yes, they are working for you. They came here to be pet by everyone. We were asked to visit the regional forest service office, which was a great place for the dogs to have playtime in their yard, and we went there everyday. On the first morning, we were asked to visit the Spine Camp where there were more firefighters, camping closer to the fires, for the following morning brief. We were also asked to go to the community public brief that evening. We spent the 3 days between the two camps and the regional office, and after the first day, we really saw a difference in attitude towards having the dogs there. People started calling the dogs by name as we passed showing us that they wanted to come pet them. We started getting requests from people to go visit others around the camp because they thought those people would really enjoy a visit. By the second day, people were telling us they were so glad we came back because it was the highlight of their day. We really didn't have to ask many people if they wanted to visit the dogs, they just started finding us. Each day, we met new people, and the dogs were so great. They posed for lots of photos, and gave lots of pawshakes. On our last day, we would tell everyone we saw, that it was our last day and the thanks, and compliments were endless. There was so much gratitude for our visit.

Agency: US National Forest Service
Teams: Sandy and Zeke PNW, Wendy and Stella PSW