1. Archive


Published Jul. 6, 2006

Pumper's identification badge hangs on the side of a fire truck. He was issued an ID like the other firefighters, because he is also an employee of the city of Brooksville.

Fire Chief James Adkins gets some help with the front door from Pumper when he comes into work. Pumper knows the sound of Adkins' car and runs for the door every day to greet him. The firefighters have trained Pumper to jump up and hit the release bar on the door, so he can let people in and himself out.

Kenny Cubernot, left, and Richard Tencher, both firefighters, give Pumper his mandatory Saturday bath, a task Pumper dreads.

Capt. Steve Guckin sleeps with Pumper on the couch in the day room of the firehouse. Guckin says he falls asleep every night on the couch with Pumper as they watch late-night television during Guckin's shifts at the firehouse.

Firefighter Richard Tencher feeds Pumper a cheese cracker. Pumper has been on a strict diet to counteract the weight gain and kidney stones caused by too many treats from the firefighters. But Tencher and other firefighters occasionally give in to Pumper's begging. They try to give him saltines, not cookies, for snacks.