As the Hallmark Channel says, the Hero Dog Awards "is a moving celebration of our four-legged friends and the innumerable ways they enrich protect and save lives every day...often ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things."
Several months ago I highlighted the seven finalists for the American Humane Association’s 2017 Hero Dog Award. “Atlas the Wonderdog” was nominated as a Service Dog, “Abigail” represented the Emerging Hero Dog category, “Ice” is a Law Enforcement/Arson Dog, “Adak” is a Military Dog; ““Aladdin”” is a Therapy Dog; “Pierce” is a Guide Dog; and ”Luca” represented Search and Rescue Dogs.
Abigail is a Pit Bull rescue with an inspiring story. Her rescuers believe she was used as a bait dog for a dog fighting ring, then abandoned and left to die. Most of one side of her face was missing. A determined veterinarian performed a number of surgeries including skin grafts. When she was being bandaged, the gauze wrapped around her head resembled a bow. Someone called it her “bonnet” - the media picked up the story and people started sending her doggie bonnets from all over the world. Today she is a happy dog that likes everybody. Her Facebook page is “Bonnets for Abigail”.
But Abigail is not the only hero here. All the finalists are heroes, along with all the dogs that whose owners entered them in the competition, and every animal companion we are fortunate enough to call our best friend.
And this is the time of year when we can be heroes for our pets by taking extra care to protect them on Halloween. Keep candy and other treats away from your pet. Some of it may contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetner which is poisonous to dogs. Chocolate in any form (especially dark chocolate) can be toxic to an animal. Even seemingly harmless treats like grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in pets. Also, if possible, keep your pet safely indoors or on a tight leash. Outdoors it may become spooked by all the strange comings and goings.
This Halloween, you can be a hero to your furry friend by keeping it safe, so you can both enjoy all the seasons together, when you’re speaking of pets.