Roselle, a guide dog, led her blind owner down almost 1,500 steps to escape Tower One of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The fact that they both managed to make it out safely was a testament to her intelligence and ability and to her owner's trust. For her bravery, Roselle became the first Hero Dog of the Year for 2011, and set a great example for all the Hero Dogs to follow.
Regular listeners to Speaking of Pets may have heard me talk about the American Humane Association’s annual Hero Dog Awards. This week the AHA announced that almost two hundred dogs have been nominated for the 2017 award and the first round of voting has begun.
You can go online to HeroDogAwards.org and vote for one dog in each category every day. This first round of voting closes on May 3rd, when votes will be counted to determine the top three dogs in each category. Then you will have an opportunity to vote again, to narrow it down to one finalist in each category. Those seven dogs will then compete for the coveted title of Hero Dog of the Year.
I am touched just reading the stories of the dogs who have been nominated. So many were rescue animals, and some had a pretty rough start, being abandoned, or neglected, or abused. The marvelous thing about dogs, though, is their ability to bounce back and respond when they are loved and cared for. The many different ways they learn to help humans continues to amaze me. It makes me appreciate all the individuals who reached out to help, who made such a dramatic difference in the lives of these faithful animals.
I also appreciate Alabama Public Radio. Because of APR, I have the opportunity every week to talk to you about one of my favorite subjects – pets! So today I am asking you to consider how much you value the programming you enjoy here. News hounds (get it? News “hounds”?) enjoy Morning Edition and All Things Considered from NPR, not to mention the award-winning APR news team. Where else are you going to hear classical music, or The Crooners? And Car Talk never gets old!
So while you’re online voting for your favorite Hero Dog today, click on over to APR.org, select the red "Donate" button or the “Support APR” link, and make a contribution. It takes only a few minutes, but it makes such a big difference, when you’re speaking of Alabama Public Radio!