CHICAGO FIRE, NBC
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If the dog is truly man's best friend, then a firehouse dog must be a firefighter's comrade in arms, as viewers of NBC's "Chicago Fire" will see in tonight's (Wednesday, January 30) episode that introduces new series regular "Pouch" -- a precocious rescue puppy adopted by Firehouse 51 as well as embraced by the show's cast and crew.
Pouch acquired her moniker (also her real name) owing to her being "half pooch and half couch," per Derek Haas, one of the hit drama series' executive producers and co-creator. In Wednesday's episode, firefighter Peter Mills (Charlie Barnett, one of the series' stars) discovers a wayward mutt and wants to keep him in the firehouse, but is overruled by no-nonsense Battalion Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker) and Mouch (Christian Stolte). Over time, the irresistible Pouch eventually is named and claimed by the entire fire-and-rescue team.
"We saw a dog like our Pouch while doing a ride-along with the Chicago Fire Department last summer," said Haas. "A kid offered his dog to the firemen and said it was either going there or it would have to go to the pound for adoption."
"All firehouses have a million stories to tell about a firehouse dog, and we thought he would make a great addition," he continued. "Pouch will literally grow up before our eyes. Plus, pets are great stress relievers, and firefighters and rescue squads are under tremendous pressure every day, so they will appreciate her presence as a working dog."
While traditional lore dictates that firehouse canines are spotted Dalmatians, Haas knows otherwise. "I have yet to see a Dalmatian in any of the Chicago firehouses that we have visited," he said.
As a pup and newcomer to show business, Pouch is still feeling her way on the Windy City set. "She's not immune to making a puddle on the floor but she has a great personality," added Haas. "She just doesn't know how to hit her mark yet."
Starting tonight, expect the cuddly Pouch to make her mark on "Chicago Fire."
Photo courtesy of NBC
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