December 20th, 2007 we received 6 dogs from a neglectful situation. Among them was one very special dog, Sparky. Sparky didn’t know how special he was when he first came to us because he had known nothing but sorrow in his previous home, but over many years he would soon become the pride and joy of his new family. Sparky’s journey was a great one. He trained and became a certified service dog for Betty Brown, his new mom, who loved, cherished and appreciated Sparky for all he was for her.
In the early morning hours February 1st, Sparky did what he was trained to do, alert his mom to problems that arose. Sparky woke Betty with his persistent barking trying to alert her to a fire that had broken out in Betty’s kitchen. Betty tried to no avail to extinguish the fire. Betty was forced to flee her home. Neighbors heard Betty’s screaming and called 911. Betty tried to go back into her home to save Sparky and Katie (Betty’s other dog), but the fire had grown too big too fast and it was far too hot for her go back in. Neighbors tried assisting with putting out the fire with water and also tried locating Sparky and Katie.
“Sparky was special,” Erick Erickson, Brown’s friend said. “A godsend from the beginning, just a unique faithful service dog”. “Sparky became strong and protective. That dog was uncanny. When his special jacket was on, he knew he was on duty.” Nothing but a kind word was ever spoken about Sparky and his abilities to be a service dog.
Sparky saved Betty Brown’s life February 1st, for that she is truly grateful, but also extremely saddened by his loss, as are many.
“We hope Sparky's life and tragic death will encourage others to support your great work. We are so grateful to you for providing us with a wonderful friend, companion and faithful service dog.” Erick Erickson has asked that donations in honor of Sparky to be made to the Humane Society of Cowlitz County.