Tango The Fire Safety Dog: We will miss you dear friend….

I know this is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday, but Mom and I just couldn’t let another day go by without acknowledging the loss of a most special dog:

tangoMy buddy Tango passed away suddenly from a stroke a few days ago and it broke my Mom’s heart and my heart when we heard the news.

Tango was a guest blogger on my blog a couple of times:

The first post was here: http://dakotasden.net/2012/10/01/national-fire-pup-day-guest-blog-by-dayna-hilton-executive-director-for-the-keep-kids-fire-safe-foundation/

And the second is here: http://dakotasden.net/2013/07/15/meet-the-fire-safety-dogs-and-firefighter-dayna-hilton-national-pet-fire-safety-day-july-15th-btc4a/

Tango taught children so many impawtant things. He was such a special dog to so many, he will be deeply missed.

We are hoping that his Mom doesn’t mind us sharing his obituary that she posted on Facebook:


Fire safety educators, friends and families across America mourn the loss of Tango the Fire Safety Dog 

Clarksville, AR – January 2, 2014 – Dedicating his life to helping save the lives of children and their families, Tango the Fire Safety Dog, a Dalmatian whose efforts reached tens of thousands of children across the United States and throughout the world with his fire safety efforts, has died at the age of 12.

Born one month before the tragedy of 9/11, Tango helped save lives, reduce injuries, and prevent fire losses through fire and life safety education. In 2008, he became a fire service dog for Johnson County RFD #1 in Clarksville, Arkansas, when his pal, Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog, reduced her travel and work schedules. Over the next couple of years, Tango and Sparkles spent many hours together teaching fire safety – until Sparkles passed away in October 2010. Tango was the goodwill ambassador for the Keep Kids Fire Safe™ Foundation.

After Sparkles’ passing, “Tango became a completely different dog,” according to his owner and handler, Firefighter, Fire Safety Educator and Executive Director of the foundation, Dayna Hilton. “It was amazing to watch Tango as he effortlessly assumed the role that Sparkles once held. I could not believe the change in him, which gave my heart great joy as I watched him help carry on Sparkles’ work. Tango helped train a new fire safety puppy, Molly, and was incredibly gentle with her, mentoring her the last year and a half. Molly is carrying on the tradition of teaching fire safety to children and their caregivers, just as Tango did, and Sparkles before him.”

In addition to appearing at events across the United States, Tango Skyped with children throughout the world and participated in Sparkles’ Safety Spot, a weekly cutting edge live streamed fire safety show. Tango enjoyed sharing his adventures and fire safety tips with his numerous Facebook fans. 

Tango was a nominee for the American Kennel Club2012 Awards for Canine Excellence and the American Humane Association Hero Dog Award in the Exemplary Companion category in 2012. He received numerous honors, including being on the cover of the 2012 summer issue of American Dog Magazine.

According to Hilton, Tango’s work will continue on the Fire Safety Dogs’ website, Facebook page and blog, and through the work of his companion fire safety dog, Molly the Fire Safety Dog (https://www.facebook.com/mollythefiresafetydog). 

Memorial service arrangements for Tango are pending. Memorial contributions may be made to the Keep Kids Fire Safe Foundation, 106 East Poplar Street, Suite 200, Clarksville, Arkansas 72830 or by visiting the foundation’s website at www.keepkidsfiresafe.org. All gifts will be sent to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in honor of Tango and his efforts to keep children safe from fire related deaths and injuries.

For more information about Tango or the Fire Safety Dogs, contact Firefighter Dayna Hilton at keepkidsfiresafe@gmail.com. Visit the Fire Safety Dogs’ website at www.firesafetydogs.com, or join the Fire Safety Dogs’ Facebook page at facebook.com/firesafetydogs.

If you can, stop by the above Facebook page and leave his Mom a comment. Her heart is broken, as is ours. Thank you dear friends.

Barks and licks and love,

Dakota and Caren


  1. Emmy says:

    Tango was a gentle, yet strong, presence at BlogPaws. The good that he did is immeasurable.

    • Dakota says:

      perfectly stated and so true. That is where we first met him. Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  2. sara, oreo and chewy says:

    Oh man, what a dog! My heart goes out to his family.

    • Dakota says:

      “oh man, what a dog!” Is right :( Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  3. Paws to the family of this great dog! I bark they will be comforted during this time- and Paws to you Dakota for your loss of a dear friend. May you feel love and comfort during this time- Noah and Allen
    Allen and Noah recently posted…Product Review – Kurgo Backseat BarrierMy Profile

    • Dakota says:

      thank you so much my furiends!! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  4. emma says:

    We did not know him, but he sure sounds like a very cool and smart dog. So sorry he has passed.
    emma recently posted…Adorable Defined | GBGV | Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  5. Oh no! Mom met them at BlogPaws and we are so very sorry to hear this news!

    houndstooth recently posted…Wordless Wednesday 12/8 — In Deepest WinterMy Profile

    • Dakota says:

      yep we first met them at BlogPaws a few years ago. We were stunned when we heard. Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  6. We didn’t know Tango, but are happy we got to through your blog Dakota. Tango certainly touched a lot of lives and we will keep his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

  7. That is too bad. Farewell Tango. :)
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  8. He did his job well and we bet he touched every ones lives. No doubt they have a new fire chief over the rainbow bridge
    Reilly & Denny recently posted…Mom’s have weird ideas of…..My Profile

  9. Dakota & Caren,
    We are sooo very sorry to hear about your furend Tango. We see that Tango had a very impawtant position in teaching fire safety to children. May Tango be resting now at The Bridge knowing that he helped save many lives. A job well done Tango, a job well done!

    We don’t do FB otherwise we’d send his Mom some love.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  10. RIP Tango…..so so sad :(
    It sounds like he made a real difference though in peoples lives, and helping educate. Im sure he will be missed deeply.
    ((husky hugz))
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…UGH!My Profile

  11. Oh what a special dog. We are so sorry to hear this.
    Katie and Coccolino recently posted…Pignata Piñata Rip-ApartMy Profile

  12. What an amazing dog x
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  13. What a gorgeous, amazing dog. I am so sorry for your loss.
    Christina Berry recently posted…10 Dog Park Safety Tips & Common CourtesiesMy Profile

    • Dakota says:

      we met him when his Mom spoke at BlogPaws a few years ago. She is amazing too. Thank you. Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  14. Tango was a gorgeous dog. Wishing you lots of bones, walks, and belly rubs at the Rainbow Bridge, Tango.
    -Aimee and Chuy
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    • Dakota says:

      He sure was. That was a beautiful sentiment. Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  15. What a great dog! I’m sure he will be really missed by lots of people.

  16. Nothing ever takes the pain away, but it’s nice to read about a pup who lived a full life and helped so many people.

    • Dakota says:

      so true my furiends. Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  17. What an amazing dog! He lived a very fulfilled life! My heart goes out to his family.
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  18. We are so sorry to hear about Tango’s death he sounds like an amazing dog who touched the lives of many people. We have no doubt he will be deeply missed by those who knew him.
    Scylla, Socks, Tuiren & Fenris recently posted…Way Back WednesdayMy Profile

  19. So sad. RIP Tango.

    Sheba’s Life Story recently posted…BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday.My Profile

  20. I never knew Tango but it sounds like he did a lot of great things. My condolences goes out to his Mom.
    Jessica @YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner recently posted…How Much Does It Cost To Get a Dog’s Teeth Cleaned?My Profile

    • Dakota says:

      Thanks Jessica, he was a great woofie. His sister Molly is too. My Mom first met he and his Mom at BlogPaws a few years ago. His Mom is super special too. Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  21. oh so sorry for the loss of your k9 friend. What a great tribute you done. My sympathies.
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  22. We were very saddened to hear of his passing on Facebook, but what an amazing dog who has left a legacy of helping others. Love Dolly
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  23. Bailey says:

    RIP Tango
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  24. Very nicely done…dogs that make a difference are so important and I believe that countless kids were influenced by Tango.

  25. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your sweet friend! Sounds like he was a wonderful dog and will be dearly missed.
    Jessica @ Life with Duke recently posted…Wordless Wednesday: Tug of WarMy Profile

  26. Sweet Dakota we are so sorry your friend had to go to Rainbow Bridge. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers. Hugs and nose kisses

  27. Misaki says:

    So sorry to hear about your friend xxx

  28. Such a remarkable dog! At least he got to make a difference in the lives of so many children. That is a great legacy to leave behind.
    TMW Hickman recently posted…Love SpellMy Profile

  29. What a beautiful dog. I’m sure he left his pawprints on the hearts of children that will remain and influence their lives forever. That is a remarkable accomplishment for a remarkable Dalmatian. My thoughts and prayers will be with his mom and the people of Clarksville.
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  30. Dawn says:

    12 is a good long and full life. Rest in peace, Tango.
    Dawn recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – Snow Face & Snow TussleMy Profile

  31. We are so sorry to hear that Tango has gone to the Bridge. What a beautiful life he led. And what a wonderful legacy he leaves behind.
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  32. Jen says:

    I’m so sorry to read about the sudden passing of Tango. What an extremely special dog he was.
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  33. Very sad news. My condolences to the family of such a special hero.
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  34. Oh dear, so sorry for the loss of your good friend! He was so special and sweet. Our hugs to his family!
    Eva or sometimes Priscilla recently posted…Ugh!My Profile

  35. So sorry about Tango. Sadly our furry friends do not live nearly long enough.

    Another of my blog friends, just recently lost two of her boys, Baloo and Dazzle, within weeks of each other. Not sure if she’s up to posting anything yet, her blog site is: http://ninettesmith.blogspot.ca/

  36. kathy fowler says:

    this is a wonderful tribute to tango.I had to see his blogs again.thank you so much for the opportunity.Tango will always be in my heart

    • Dakota says:

      Thanks so much! Thank you for reading..thanks for caring!

  37. I’m sorry to hear of Tango’s passing! My thoughts are with all those that loved him, He was a very special dog.
    Beth | Daily Dog Tag recently posted…Happy Tails: JudyMy Profile

  38. Rest in peace sweet Tango. Thank you for all your hard work!

  39. Such a phenomenal dog. Hearts are heavy over here in Doodleville
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  40. Jan K says:

    So sorry you lost your friend, and our sympathies go to his family. Such a handsome dog, and he did so much good!

  41. Mommy is way far behind on her blog reading, but she wanted to let you know that we are very, very sorry for the loss of your wonderful friend.
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  42. THat is heartbreaking! Such a well written story to share to us all. Thank you!
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