Department Mascots - Dogs
Dogs as mascots have been a Valparaiso Fire Department tradition for years. When the department received its first motorized unit in 1920, its faithful pal was Stubby. There were dogs before that, including one whose name has long been forgotten and whom lived in a stall with a fire horse called Old Charlie.
Old Joe the Circus DogThe first mascot to occupy a place in the hearts of the citizens, as well as in the hearts of the Firemen, was Old Joe. His breeding record listed him as Joe Gentry. The name is indicative of his ownership, the Gentry Dog and Pony Show. He was a circus dog, featured in the show as a bareback rider.
Joe was an English Bull Terrier, large for his breed, with a pedigree that would have admitted him to any highbrow dog show. He had a progeny that was large and impressive. He was a special character in the show and was allowed to live in the stall of White Molly, the sweet-tempered, broad-backed mare from the circus that loped around the ring with a group of dogs on her back. Molly and Joe were inseparable.