A four legged gift from Marblehead to Swampscott

Joe Cross, 12, and Camilla Cross, 10, of Marblehead dropped off an 8-week-old chocolate Labrador retriever that they helped deliver and raise to the Swampscott Fire Department last Thursday.

Camilla and Joe have spent the last two months caring for the seven puppies in the litter.

The two Marblehead Village School students said it was a big responsibility to take care of the puppies. While they were sad to say goodbye, they were glad to see him get a new, loving home.

The department named the puppy after Mark Ryan, a Swampscott firefighter who passed away last September at the age of 57. Fire Chief Graham Archer described the name as a way to honor Mark.

Ryan’s mother is Swampscott Select Board member MaryEllen Fletcher’s dog. She said when Archer learned her dog Pearl was going to have puppies soon, he called to ask if the department could adopt one.

“It’s been a really, really tough last several years,” Archer said. “I thought it would just be a nice sort of turning the corner, turning the page, and there are lots of studies that show the benefits of having dogs.”

Ryan will now live full time at the department, getting around-the-clock snuggles.