Soot Yourself  


The ladder truck lifted the dalmatian team up for a closer sniff.  "Code 3!"called the firefighter on the ladder. "This is not smoke from a fire.  This smells like soot.  Check the basement  furnace."

The other dalmatians barked the message to the firefighters indoors.


While Dalmatian Station cleared the site and investigated the cause of the black smoke, the others waited nervously in the Wigglebus, which was their pre-arranged meeting place in case of an emergency.  The guests followed too, and Wiggle could not remember a time when she ever had more dogs on board.

Colonel Kramer knew the Dalmatian Company would have things under control by their swift response. The Colonel watched them from the Wigglebus with admiration.  "Great choice of an emergency meeting place," he nodded with approval.

"Why thank you, Colonel!" said Wiggle.  "All families should have an emergency meeting place before you ever need it."

"My wedding gown!" cried Cricket, "and the dresses, and all our gifts."   

She couldn't stop thinking about  all their hard work. All her dreams of her special day with Patrick were going up in smoke, right before her eyes.

"But you and I and everyone's safe, Crickleberry, that's all that matters," said Patrick lovingly.

Wiggle's high beams blinked with pride.  Little Patrick had grown up so much since the days he believed that money was the most valuable thing of all.  Wiggle knew that everything that mattered was right here, and as long as they had each other, they had everything.

  "The firedog is coming," said Molly Malone.  "Maybe there is news."

"You are safe to return to your home," said the firedog.  "Your furnace had a puff back."

"What is a puff back?" asked Molly.  

"Our furnace hasn't been on all winter," said Henry.  "We use the wood stove."

"Well that explains it," said the firedog.  "You don't have your wood stove on today, and it must have got so cold it turned on your old furnace.  That is not smoke, it is soot.  It can happen when a furnace has not been on for a long time.  While I was in your house, I checked all your smoke detectors.  You get an A+. You have them in every room, and they are all working! I have shut your old furnace off so it can't come back on.  You should have that looked at."

"We change the batteries in our smoke detectors every time we change our clocks for daylight savings time," said Cricket.  "Is all our stuff ok?"

"You are very lucky," said the fire dog.  "There is soot on your roof, but it did not go in your house."

"Would you like to stay for our party?" asked Patrick O'Malley?

"I would love to," said the firedog, "but we must get back to Dalmatian Station to wait for our next call."

"Soot yourself," laughed Patrick. "But you sure have saved the day!"