Arts & Life
8:45 am
Sat August 25, 2012

2012 Hero Dog Awards, Part 4

American Humane Association's Hero Dog Awards give all of us an opportunity to appreciate the special talents our canine companions have for making our lives better.


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Over the past several weeks I have highlighted some of the eight finalists for the Hero Dog Award, sponsored by the American Humane Association.


Holly was nominated in the Service Dog Category; Daniel the Beagle represents the Emerging Hero Dog category; Soot is a black Labrador Search and Rescue Dog; a German Shepherd named Jynx represents Law Enforcement and Arson Dogs; the finalist in the Military Dog category is a Lab named Gabe; and Stella, a Standard Poodle is nominated in the Therapy Dog category.


The last two finalists are what most folks think of when they hear the term “service dog”.


Tabitha is a German Shepherd Guide Dog.


She helped her human, Anne, regain her independence after losing her sight to glaucoma in her mid-forties. Anne was afraid to anywhere because she couldn’t see. Having Tabitha by her side gave her the confidence to go out into the world again. After seven years of faithful service, Tabitha had to retire due to physical problems, but she will always have a special place in Anne’s heart.


Tabitha’s charity partner is Leader Dogs for the Blind.


Tatiana, part-Lab and part-Golden Retriever, is nominated in the Hearing Dog category.


Her owner, Cristina, knows her dog is a hero, because she saved her life. One night just two months after Tatiana arrived, Cristina (who suffers from asthma) was struggling to breathe. Her new dog made its way through the darkened house to alert Cristina’s mom, who called 911. The paramedics said she would have died if not for her dog’s prompt action.


In her day-to-day life, Tatiana alerts Cristina to sounds such as doorbells, kitchen timers, even fire or smoke alarms. When Cristina graduated from Perdue University, Tatiana received her own diploma, a “masters of friendship and guidance.”


Her charity partner is Dogs for the Deaf.


I encourage you to learn more about the wonderful animals that are nominated for the 2012 Hero Dog Award by visiting website at www.herodogawards.org.


Cast your vote for the finalist you think should be America’s Hero Dog. Whether saving a life or just enriching one, these four-legged heroes deserve our gratitude, when we’re speaking of pets.

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