MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis Fire Department dalmatian took her final ride Monday.
Lottie Dot’s days as a member of the MFD came to an end Monday. At 14 years old, her health was deteriorating.
On Friday afternoon, the department gave Lottie Dot one final ride as she was escorted to the veterinary clinic where she crossed the rainbow bridge surrounded by her human mom and many special friends.
For more than 12 years Lottie Dot worked as a therapy dog with children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. She also visited with veterans at the Memphis VA.
Lottie Dot was deaf, but that didn’t hold her back. She joined the fire department a few years ago to help teach children in the Mid-South.
In a statement, MFD spokesman Wayne Cook said Lottie Dot loved teaching fire safety in schools around the Mid-South and at the Fire Museum of Memphis.
“Who would have thought a puppy rescued off the highway over 14 years ago would have such a huge impact on the community," said Cooke.
MFD Director Gina Sweat said Lottie Dot paved the way for other safety dogs.
“Lottie Dot taught us many life lessons, how imperfections are what make each of us special, how we can all serve our community with our unique gifts and how unconditional love can heal us," said Sweat. "We are grateful for her years of service and we will miss her sweet spotted face.”
Patricia Belt was Lottie Dot’s human mom. She and her deaf dalmatians were previously featured as Mid-South Heroes on WMC Action News 5.
“Just because they have a disability doesn’t mean they can’t be a good therapy dog and a companion out in the community,” said Belt at the time.
Belt turned her love for deaf dalmatians into a way to help veterans and educate children. Thanks to her hard work, the Spotters have received extensive training and a variety of different certifications.
The pups spend their days helping teach kids about dog bite prevention and fire safety and attending therapy sessions at the VA.
Thank you for your service, Lottie Dot. You will be missed.