Anyone who has recently visited the American Treasure Tour has surely noticed our display honoring the world of the firefighter in our entryway. The importance of first responders to the safety of people and the preservation of their possessions cannot be overstated, but there’s a facet of the world of the firefighter historically that has been etched in our culture: the connection between firefighters and Dalmatians.
Dalmatians are magnificent, muscular dogs to be sure, but that’s not the reason. The reason is because they’re smart. And they get along well with horses. When the alarm went out that there was a fire happening in the days before automobiles and fire trucks, the firefighters would quickly get their horses hooked up to their engines. Meanwhile, the Dalmatians went into the street in front of the firehouse, barking out warnings to clear the way. Pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages would be expected to make way during the emergency, and the Dalmatians served as the alarm. Their ability to get along well with the horses only made their value even greater. Of course, as horses were replaced by motors to propel fire trucks, the Dalmatians weren’t needed anymore, but tradition has a powerful place in the hearts of Americans, and the association between these loyal dogs and the fire prevention service continues today. The images included here reveal something we've all known: Dalmatian puppies are absolutely adorable!