The typical firehouse dog is a Dalmatian, stemming back to the 1800s, as they were cited for having remarkable endurance, commendable speed, and apparent propensity for bonding with horses. Over the years, that has expanded to include others dog breeds, and history shows expanding to other animals as well.

But, why does the Park Slope (Brooklyn) Fire Department have such a unique mascot? The story is actually really sweet.

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For FDNY firefighter Darren Harris, a dog was not an option as a family pet. His daughter was terrified of dogs, and needed an alternative friendly companion. He stumbled upon someone who was closing their farm, and that's how he became the dad of Penny the Pig.

Penny became the newest member of the Fire Department back in September, and has the official responsibility of guarding the firehouse while calls are taking place. Other than that, she serves as an educational resource for area children who may have never seen a farm animal up close and personal before. She's also great as an emotional support animal for the members of department.

She also likes to paint, which is very unique, and she's developed quite the large following on Instagram. Her number of followers grows each and every day.

And speaking of growing, she will too. Penny currently weighs between 10-15 pounds. She's expected to be somewhere closer to 50, but even while growing will still be going to work with her dad.

How cute, right! If she was in our neighborhood, I'd stop by and see her cute face alllll the time - but since I'm heading out to the city this weekend, maybe I'll make a trip to say hello.

What animal other than a dog do you think would make a great Fire Department mascot? Let us know inside our station app!

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