Working dogs are an often-overlooked segment of the canine population. <em>The Firefighter's Best Friend</em> provides a rare look into a specific type of these dogs—those who have lived or currently live in the firehouses of Chicago. From the mutts in the 1870s who led the horse-drawn fire wagons, to citywide heroes, to the contemporary dogs that provide security, assistance, and companionship to today's firefighters, the history and lore of Chicago firedogs is as rich as the city's cultural heritage. <p>Whether at a fire, in the firehouse, or on the public relations circuit, these mascots play an important role in the day-to-day functioning of the Chicago Fire Department. They climb ladders, sound the alarms, fight fires, save children, break up fights, roll hose, exterminate vermin, protect property, and donate blood. And these public servants can play as hard as they work. . . playing basketball, visiting taverns and ballparks, socializing with neighborhood dogs, starring in the news, dining in style, and even hopping rides on the "L" and buses all by themselves. The Orsinger brothers take readers on a tour of Chicago firehouses in their quest to document the lives and legends of every known Chicago firedog past and present.</p>
Abstract borrowed from Lake Claremont.