By Lisa Kava
Yogi, the beloved mascot of FDNY Engine Company 74 on West 83rd Street, has died, according to firefighters at the station. The Dalmatian was 15.
Yogi was named after Ruben Correa, a firefighter who died on September 11, 2001. “Yogi was his nickname from playing softball with the house so we decided to name the dog after him in honor of him,” Company 74 firefighter John Keaveny told West Side Rag.
Several firefighters reminisced about the dog on Friday at the firehouse. “Yogi had a great disposition, he was good with all people and got around the neighborhood,” said one. They recalled that Yogi loved going out on the rig when they went for “runs” and that when he was younger he would accompany them on every run. “He would just jump right on and sit on the rig waiting for us while we worked. He would hop on the seat and stay there.”
Often, after work “the guys would take him to the park, the dog run, and even take him home for the weekends.”
Yogi was particularly good with kids who would come by the firehouse.
“Yogi was a fan favorite of all the kids in the area from the schools trip to the firehouse to learn about what a fireman does and how not to be afraid and get out if there is smoke or fire or a emergency,” according to Keaveny. “Yogi was a calming force for the kids when we got dressed up in our gear and he made all the kids feel comfortable while being at our house. Yogi had many tricks, but the one the neighborhood knew was to ring the bell in the back of the house. Every time the kids would come by they would always ask for Yogi to ring the bell and he loved it he would jump up and come back to the front and the kids would give him a little snack.”
He was also a calming force during stressful days.
“Yogi was very good at knowing how to calm us down after a tough ems or fire call where he could tell we were struggling and needed comfort. He helped us get through the day,” Deaveny told us.
Over the last few years, Yogi began to have trouble with his hips and hind legs and could no longer jump up onto the rig. The firehouse even started a GoFundMe to try to get the dog medical help. More recently he would look up at the crew as they departed for a run “as if he was saying bye guys… you go ahead and good luck,” said one of the firefighters.
Yogi was reportedly the 4th or 5th dalmatian to be a house pet for Engine 74. He was preceded by Sparky, Chloe and Buddy.
“We will miss him but at the end he did not have a good quality of life, he couldn’t walk, he was just hurting” said one firefighter.
West Side Rag asked if future plans included welcoming a new house pet. “Probably within the year,” responded a firefighter.