The Midday Palate Cleanser: Hero Dog Awards

The Hero Dog Awards

I thought we could use a break from the Thrilla from Wasilla and look at some heroic dogs instead fighting bitches.

Over her long career, Bretagne has made a significant contribution to the Search & Rescue community not only through her many deployments including 9/11 World Trade Center – 2001, Olympic Winter Games – 2001, and Hurricane Rita – 2005, but through her talents as an ambassador of Search and Rescue Dogs.

Bretagne is alleged to be the last surviving 9-11 search dogs.

Chaney is an eight-year-old lab who retired from the Marines in 2013 after multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as an IED detection dog. While deployed, Chaney not only saved countless lives by locating IEDs out in front he also served as a great morale booster for everyone in his squad. Since retiring, Sgt. Chaney was adopted by one of his handlers: me, Cpl. Hatala. …instead of being on the front line Chaney has continued to save lives through education about PTSD and the ways service dogs can benefit those suffering from PTSD.

And then there’s a peace-time doggie, too:

The Hickey’s of Johns Creek, Ga., adopted Xena the Warrior Puppy in March 2013 — and this is when Xena proved to be a hero for an 8-year-old boy who needed her. Autism had left Jonny closed off and isolated. He could speak, but spent most of his time in silence. After Xena bounded into his life, he began talking and singing to her non-stop. Now a happy chatterbox at home, Jonny thrives in Xena’s company. Jonny’s thrilling his parents and teachers with the progress he’s making in school. Xena’s story has been shared in more than 105 countries around the world. Together they are “Spreading the Words” – raising awareness about animal cruelty, the kindness and gentleness of pit bulls, autism, and that shelter animals make great best friends.

I’m truly convinced that if we could become more like dogs, we would be better people.