Firefighters And Shelter Animals: Photo Shoot NO.11

A Sneak Peek of The Photo Shoots for The New Rochelle Humane Society 2012 Calendar

by Klara Hanincova

When Carol Marinaccio, Barbara Gallo and Dianne Heim decided to stop by the Town of Mamaroneck Fire Department on their way to lunch to talk to a fire chief about our calendar project they were in for a very pleasant surprise. They were very happy to hear that there is a firefighter on the team that loves animals and would like to be a part of our calendar project, but they were absolutely thrilled to find out that the firefighter is Melissa Brady. There are only a handful of female firefighters in Westchester County and we feel very lucky and privileged to include one of them in our calendar.

Female firefighter Melissa Brady with Mr. Bubble

Melissa has been a firefighter for fourteen years. She started off her firefighting career as a volunteer firefighter with the Rockland County Fire Department before moving to Portsmouth, VA where she worked with the Portsmouth Fire Department for several years. In 2001, she moved back to New York and once again joined Rockland County Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter. Melissa has been a firefighter with the Town of Mamaroneck Fire Department for over a year.

Female firefighter and big brown dog

Selfless people, such as Melissa, with their desire and passion to help others are truly a gift to every community. Because of her passion, Melissa became a firefighter, but her desire to help others did not end there. Melissa is also a part-time counselor for an Outreach Program in Orange County, NY. She also works for a NYC Counseling Unit where among other issues she helps NYC firefighters and their family members who are suffering from the trauma of the World Trade Center Tragedy.

Female firefighter and big brown dogStudio portrait of Female Firefighter with french mastiff

We knew right away that we would like to photograph Melissa with the biggest dog we could find at the shelter. It did not take us too long to find him. A little too big and a little too shy, Mr. Bubble was sitting right there in front of us in kennel No.1. Mr. Bubble, who just as any proper actor does, had wide repertoire of different expressions up his sleeve appeared to be a little distracted once on the set. The distraction seemed to be coming from the kitchen located next to the training room where the breakfast for cats was being prepared. Mr. Bubble was mesmerized by the familiar kitchen sounds and the smell of tuna that was spreading from under the door into the training room and floating in the air was tickling his taste buds. Well, you have to admit that this is simply too much even for such a gentleman and fine actor such as Mr. Bubble. While Mr. Bubble was patiently hanging out with Melissa on our white background paper, his eyes were fixed on the door. Thanks to Melissa who was trying to keep him busy, Mr. Bubble would occasionally forget about the tuna and play with Melissa. On a few occasions he would lay down and look in full seriousness at the camera and then, out of the blue, he would crack a million dollar smile.

Photo of Female firefighter with shelter dog

Portrait of female firefighter Melissa Brady with smiling french mastiff dog from the shelter

One of the hardest jobs during this photo shoot was Dianne’s as she was in charge of wiping off saliva from Mr. Bubble’s face. Mastiffs are masters of drooling and Mr. Bubble with the tuna on his mind wasn’t an exception. Dianne, armed with a little blue towel, had her hands full as she dutifully kept Mr. Bubble’s face bubble-free during the entire photo shoot.


2 thoughts on “Firefighters And Shelter Animals: Photo Shoot NO.11

  1. I was drawn by the beautiful mastiff in this site. Im a Dogue de Bordeaux owner and breeder myself. Half way through the paragraphs i couldnt help but notice that “Mr. Bubble” still has his testicles. My only question is, dogs and cats that belong to the Shelters get neutered, dont they!

    • Thank you for a great question Franco. About eight millions cats and dogs enter US shelters each year and about four million of them, approximately one every eight seconds, are put down even though most are perfectly healthy and adoptable. Spaying/neutering has proven to be the most effective way to reduce pet overpopulation and prevent millions of deaths. All cats and dogs adopted from the New Rochelle Humane Society are spayed/neutered prior to adoption and Mr. Bubble was neutered a few days after the photo shoot.

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