THIS MORNING: Community gathers to remember Charlotte Fire Dog

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Firefighters in Charlotte will gather to remember one of their own tonight.

Known as the smiley dog, Calie served almost 9 years responding to thousands of emergency calls with the Charlotte Fire Department.

She died from cancer in February of 2018.

“It’s I think 25 weeks or so now.. and not a day i don’t think has went by without thinking about her,” says Charlotte Fire Asst. Chief, Tyger Fullerton.

Fullerton was also Calie’s owner.

“One of the things I always remember some of the firemen saying is that whatever incident we were on, they could come back she was sitting in the truck. Something calm something that they know they could come back and pet her,” says Fullerton.

Named after Fullerton’s grandfather, Cal, who served as Fire Chief in Charlotte i the late 1950’s, the dalmatian was part of the team.

Calming crews after heavy rescues, teaching fire safety, and flashing her trademark smile.

“That’s probably what I miss the most,” says Fullerton.

A smile that Fullerton learned, stretched beyond just the department.

“I came to the fire department and talked to Asst. Chief Fullerton and asked him if they would consider doing some type of memorial for Calie,” says Charlotte Mayor, Tim Lewis.

“We wanted something that would not just be a picture on the wall. so we just said if it’s going to be something, we want it to, a lot of people can see it,” says Fullerton.

Together they came up with the idea to build a statue.. Fullerton poured the concrete.

“I really didn’t think that something this of magnitude would be put in place. it just keeps getting better,” says Fullerton.

Between firefighters and community members, they raised $1,300 just for the plaque.

Both the plaque and memorial statue will be revealed Monday night in front of Charlotte City Hall 111 E. Lawrence at 8 p.m.

Callie was Charlotte’s 3rd fire dog.

Two dalmatians came before her, both were owned by Fullerton’s father and grandfather who were also members of the Charlotte Fire Department.

Fullerton says, he hopes to get another dog in November.

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