Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sparkes the Fire Safety Dog

Title: Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog
Author: Firefighter Dayna Hilton
Photographer: Bruce Boyajian and Dayna Hilton
Publisher: Firehouse Dog Publishing, LLC
Genre: Fiction – Picture Book
Ages: 2 to 6
Rating: 5 paws out of 5
Available at: ,

Synopsis: This Labor Day weekend is a marvelous time to introduce a memorable working dog. Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog is a delightful Dalmatian who travels with Firefighter Dayna Hilton to teach children about fire safety. Dalmations are energetic and fun loving dogs; originally bred to run in front of horse drawn fire wagons and clear the street. They have been closely connected with firefighters ever since.

The book follows a typical day as Sparkles and Dayna get ready and present their fire safety demonstration to a group of school children. Safety tips are well presented in a way to which children can relate. Ms. Hilton and her dogs donate their time and energy to fire safety. Together, they have given hundreds of demonstrations to children throughout Arkansas. Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog is highly recommended.

The Trainer Reads: Sparkles appears to be Ms. Hilton’s life changing dog. They are lucky to be able to work and live together; each one enriches the other. This little Dalmatian is the connection that draws children and is entertaining enough to hold their attention. Pictures throughout this book show the deep bond that Dayna and Sparkles have. Sparkle’s face has such a sweet expression as Dayna slips the vest over her shoulders. Particularly, I love the shot of Sparkles smiling into the camera, her tail wagging so vigorously it’s a blur. What a great idea it was to teach Sparkles to crawl in order to demonstrate crawling under the smoke layer of a burning building. Kudos to Dayna.

Sparkles is an excellent example of how dogs can be a service to the community. She is a wonderful ambassador for her species and her breed. Contrary to protests that abound from PETA, well trained and socialized dogs most certainly belong in schools. Animals reach children in ways no human will ever touch. They bridge a much needed connection not by demanding, cajoling or threatening, but just by being themselves. I wish the very best success to Dayna, Sparkles and all of the others who represent one of the noblest occupations one can have.

While not all fire departments have a Dalmatian in their midst, most have a safety program that can come to your school or community center. This is information every child should know. Contact your local fire department for details. For more information on Sparkles, Dayna and their friends, visit .