It was a little bit of joy in a grim time.
Two members of the BC Wildfire Service returned to Lytton just ahead of the one-year anniversary of the wildfire that devastated the community, for a reunion of sorts.
Olivia Hughes and Chad Goldney stopped by Tricia Thorpe and Don Glasgow’s property, to visit the latest litter of puppies born to mama dog Sunshine.
They were among the crew that checked on the property following the June 30, 2021 fire, to find that Sunshine and her first litter of puppies were miraculously alive.
The flames had destroyed Thorpe and Glasgow’s home, their outbuildings and it killed a number of their livestock. Somehow, the adult dogs that were on the property had worked to protect the newborns.
The couple had been in town when they were forced to flee the fast-moving wildfire that burned most of the Village of Lytton, and many surrounding homes to the ground.
Residents were not allowed to return right away in the aftermath of the fire, and Thorpe was desperate to check on her animals. That’s when the BCWS crew stepped up, and went to see what was left of her farm.
They found the puppies, fed and watered them, and shared pictures to let Thorpe know that they were OK.
She posted a picture on Thursday showing Hughes and Goldney recreating that scene with the new puppies.
“Chad and Olivia came by the other night, and you know what? The dog knew them,” explains Thorpe.
“It was absolutely amazing. Sunshine knew exactly who they were and she was showing off the puppies.”
Thorpe and Glasgow have spent the last several months rebuilding their home and barn, and adding to their menagerie of dogs, cats, sheep, goats and other livestock.
She didn’t realize what it meant to the firefighters to come across the dogs last year, when they were braced for the worst.
“Olivia was saying it was one of the highlights of the year. That and the fact that Chad proposed to her.
“They really expected to find dead puppies up here. With that in mind, they kind of, for the lack of a better term, sucked it up and they came up here. And she said it was like this ray of sunshine finding all the puppies. It was like this bright spot in all that darkness” said Thorpe.
She adds she always thought of them as heroes but she never considered the trauma it might have caused the firefighters if they had found the dogs dead.
Tricia and Don will be quietly marking the one-year anniversary of the fire.