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Minn. FD begins training with first service dog

‘Ashes’ will help Roseville first responders deal with stress and assist with community outreach

By Greta Kaul
Star Tribune

ROSEVILLE, Minn. — Ashes, a puppy in training to become a service and therapy dog for the Roseville Fire Department, sat primly through her formal introduction to the Roseville City Council on Monday.

The silver Labrador was purchased with help from a donation to help emergency workers handle work stress and, eventually, help comfort members of the public who are displaced by fires. She’ll also be part of the department’s community outreach events, Fire Chief David Brosnahan told the council.

“Her primary mission is focused on the folks here at the firehouse and their needs,” Assistant Fire Chief Neil Sjostrom, Ashes’ handler, said in a post on the city’s website. “When we have a critical debriefing, she can work the room and be there for staff going through that process. She can also just hang out with the firefighters watching television and resting between calls.”

Ashes has been undergoing training around the community, including at Rosedale Center and a local senior living center, according to her Instagram account, @firedog_ashes.

Sjostrom said Ashes has become a popular member of the city staff — and joked that he’s quickly become almost invisible in her shadow. At Sjostrom’s home, she lives with fellow K9s Chief Larry, a black lab mix, and Pyro, a Dalmatian.

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