It's a Hollywood tale. Or, you know, tail.
Quincy the Hero Dog: a 3-month-old shelter puppy whose first best pal was a blind pooch who needed Quincy's help.
Quincy's buddy was adopted first from Pet Pal Animal Shelter.
Then Ron Neuberger, assistant fire marshal with Clearwater Fire & Rescue, came along. He was simply looking for a pet -- with Quincy, he found much more.
Quincy, now 9 years old, is an accelerant detection dog for Clearwater Fire & Rescue. In other words, he sniffs out possible cases of arson.
There are just 120 such dogs in the entire country. One of the reasons for their scarcity is because it takes about $25,000 to train the dog: not just what he should detect, but what he shouldn't. Then you have to employ a handler. Ultimately though, Neuberger says, Quincy saves taxpayers money by "cutting the time of arson investigations in half."
And just how many bad guys has Quincy put in jail?
"We're probably over 100," says Neuberger, who not only is Quincy's owner and trainer, but basically his chauffeur too: "If he could drive, I'd probably be unemployed."
Quincy loves people, as gentle as he is crafty with his nose. "His disposition is that way," Neuberger says, "because sometimes we might have to walk through a crowd to see if an arsonist is there. They like to watch what they've done...There have been a couple that he's caught [that way]."
Quincy will retire in July -- to be replaced by a dog named Pyro. But before Quincy hangs up the badge, he will compete for a national honor: the Hero Dog Awards, the winner of which will be flown to Hollywood to appear on the Hallmark Channel.
"We say he has an old soul," Neuberger says. "That he's been around before."