by Micah Danney
The Riverhead Fire Department is looking for a home for the dog rescued from a nasty crash last week.
Daisy, a beagle whose age is unknown, was inside an SUV that overturned on Route 25 in Calverton near Edwards Avenue on October 14. She walked away shaken but unharmed. The driver, a 49-year-old Ridge man, was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital.
Firefighter Chris Padden agreed to take Daisy for a few days while her owner recovered, but the man's injuries turned out to be serious enough that the owner doesn't think he can properly care for her.
Padden said Daisy is great with his three kids.
"She's awesome. And she's awesome with other dogs, too," he said.
Padden is a canine handler with the wilderness search and rescue team he runs and has several dogs of his own. He said Daisy hardly barks and is as friendly as can be. As he spoke, she kept her eyes on him, standing to lean into his lap whenever she heard her name. He put his hand up for a high-five and she met it with a paw.
Daisy is the second dog Padden has seen involved in a crash. The first was taken to an animal hospital with injuries. In this case, Padden said taking Daisy temporarily was just another way to help out in an emergency.
"Seeing that first one and then hearing this second one, you're just doing what you can," he said. "This was exactly where I fit in. It's funny how you think about things, you know - I didn't have my gear and I was like, let me just go anyway, and then you hear this."
Daisy's history is still being inquired about. Padden reported that the owner said he get her from Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton, but the staff there said they did not recognize her.
Padden said he's going to have Daisy evaluated as a potential trailing dog for a search and rescue team after watching her alert reactions to smells and sounds, but if it doesn't work out she will need a permanent home. He said that determination will be made by Monday.
Anyone interested in learning more about adopting Daisy can call the Riverhead Fire Department at 631-727-2751.