Friday, October 1, is National Fire Pup Day, which is a great reason to post this update. Many of you will remember Ash, the Lava Fire pup, who was found huddled under his dead mother’s body by Cal Fire team leader Kevin Mancebo. Rescue Ranch arranged for his care until he found his forever home. I’m happy to report that he’s doing great.
Ash was destined to have firefighters in his life
After spending time with his foster mom, AliCarmen Carico, Ash was adopted by Matt and Lesta Corbell. Matt is a 20-year veteran with the fire service and an engineer with Shasta Lake Fire.
Matt and Lesta lost their two beloved labs of many years last spring. After reading Ash’s story, they decided that he should be their next dog. Matt felt a certain kinship with the pup. He and his team had also survived a burn over. During the 2014 Eiler Fire, their only escape route was cut off when the blaze engulfed a wooden bridge that separated the road from house they were sitting on. Their only option was to drive through the flames to safety.
Injury and heartache are no match for this resilient fire pup
Ash’s respiratory issues resurfaced after he went home. No doubt the poor air quality from the ongoing wildfires in the region was irritating his still fragile lungs. The vet prescribed another round of steroids and Ash responded very well.
He also suffered cinder burns on his body. The scabs have since healed, leaving behind pink scars. His face and paws weren’t as severely burned as some of the adult dogs that came in, but his claws did fall out after a while. They were eventually replaced by healthy new growth.
Ash’s life was completely upended by his harrowing ordeal. But, despite the tragic circumstances and the trauma he endured, the experience doesn’t appear to have dampened his appetite or his spirit.
He was just 10 lbs. when he first arrived. He gave a brief nod to 20 lbs. as it flew by, and now, at barely five months old, he weighs in at a whopping 45 lbs. And he’s still growing! Lesta says she thinks he’s part horse.
She also tells me that he’s very good natured and, while he has his share of puppy energy, he’s actually quite mellow and loves to sleep.
A wonderful future awaits Ash
Ash is now working on his basic training and even attended one of Rescue Ranch’s free Sunday morning classes. We hope to see him back here when Matt gets a break from fighting fires.
Unsurprisingly, although they work for different services, Ash’s rescuer and his adopter know each other. We hear that there are plans in the works to reunite Ash and Kevin; we can’t wait to see those pictures!
If you’d like to support Rescue Ranch’s emergency efforts, so we can continue to help fire dogs and puppies like Ash, please consider donating to the Rescue Ranch Wildfire Relief Campaign.