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“Ordinary dogs doing extraordinary things.” These Canine Heroes are recognized by the American Humane Society every October in categories such as Law Enforcement, Service, Military, Guide Dog, and Search and Rescue. Read on for some stories of exceptional dogs, as reported by Anne Divine of the Leavenworth Times.
Leavenworth, Kan. — “Every October The American Humane Association honors Hero Dogs at a ceremony held in Hollywood. These canines have been nominated by persons who have known and loved them. The awards recognize the deep relationship between dogs and their people. The AHA states that “Hero Dogs are ordinary dogs doing extraordinary things.”
Some of the nominees and categories follow: Law Enforcement/Arson dog honors went to Sadie, a black Lab. She is a nationally certified accelerant detection K-9 working for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. She has worked 400 fire cases with numerous arrests resulting from her skills. The prosecution has never lost a case in court that used critical evidence ferreted out by Sadie’s nose. Some of Sadie’s work has been in extreme environments but she has never failed to perform. Sadie also participates in fire safety demonstrations. Her handler says “I am humbled to be her partner.”
The Service Dog category recognized Zurich, a yellow lab who is a Canine Companions for Independence certified service dog. She has been partnered with her owner, Patti, since 2004. Patti has major medical problems and is very dependant on Zurich. Their experience together has extended and enriched both of their lives. Patti has survived now six years beyond the best medical opinions. Patti can no longer walk or speak but she has written that “Zurich is the hero who magically makes tomorrow come again.”
A Dutch Shepherd named Bino was recognized for his work as a Military Dog. He has served as a Narcotics Detection/Patrol K-9 for almost 11 years. He deployed to Iraq for 14 months and also served on missions with the Border Patrol. He has retired and now is a PTSD demo service dog. He and his trainer go on training missions and work with “Wounded Warriors” and their service dogs to show them how to get around in public.
Roselle, a yellow lab, is a Guide dog for the blind. On Sept 11, 2001 she was with her owner on the 78th floor of Tower One when the terrorists plane crashed into it. Roselle guided her master down 1,463 steps and then helped him seek refuge from the debris resulting from the collapse of the building. Her owner credits her for saving his life.
Another nominee was Sage, a Border Collie. As a Search and Rescue Dog she helped in the recovery efforts after 9/11 and hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She has searched for missing or captured U.S. soldiers in Iraq. In 2009 Sage was diagnosed with lung cancer, probably as the result of exposure to toxic sites. She now inspires cancer patients and walks at “relay for Life” events.
Recognition was given for Emerging Hero Dog to a retriever named Richocet.
She started as a service dog but flunked the course because she was too interested in chasing birds. Richocet is a true “California girl” and has become a world famous surfing dog. She surfs with special-needs kids and people with disabilities for therapeutic purposes. A video of her journey “From Service Dog to SURFice Dog” on YouTube went viral with 3.3 million views. She has raised more than $100,000 for a number of human and animal causes and has helped inspire many people.”
The public is invited to submit nominations for Canine Heroes this year by March 26th for the Hollywood event on October 6th. If you know of a dog that deserves recognition, please submit his or her name. Having your favorite hero dog recognized is a most rewarding feeling.
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