White Dog and the White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday
White Dog and The White Dog Army often discuss what it takes to be a hero. Do you have to be brave? Strong? Do something dangerous? Save a life? We have come to believe that there are lots of heroes out there; just doing the right thing, the thing that comes without thought or planning, and in the process leaving some improvement to the World in their wake. These are the two- and four-leggeds that guarantee the World IS a wonderful place.
In addition to these everyday heroes, sometimes a being becomes a blinding inspiration by the degree or depth or impossibility of their accomplishments. Today, the American Humane Society announced its 8 finalists for 2011 American Hero Dog and every one makes your soul soar with gratitude and fills your heart with joy. No matter which pup ultimately wins, the WDA feels every single one deserves our recognition and thanks. Here they are:
Category: Guide Dogs Located: Novato, CA
On September 11, 2001 guide dog, Roselle, and her owner were at work in the World Trade Center when American Airlines flight 11 crashed into the building.
From the outset, Roselle guided and did her job perfectly. While others in the office saw fire above, Roselle did not panic. Because of Roselle’s calm demeanor evacuation occurred in an orderly manner. She remained focused as she and her human went to the stairwell and traveled down 1463 stairs to the first floor. Her poise helped him remain calm as they led others down to safety.
Outside, while debris fell around them, Roselle stayed calm. She found an entrance to the subway system where we could go underground away from the heavy dust cloud. All that day Roselle worked flawlessly. She saved her human’s life.
Arson K-9 "Sadie"
Category: Law Enforcement / Arson Dogs Located: Westminster, CO
Sadie is a 5 year old Black Labrador Retriever. Sadie has been a nationally certified accelerant detection K-9 since May of 2007. Sadie works in the Major Crimes Unit of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. She has worked approximately 400 fires, and has assisted in cases resulting in numerous arrests. Sadie has never lost in court. Sadie has worked numerous high profile arson/homicide cases where her nose has detected critical evidence for collection and prosecution. Sadie has worked in extreme environments (high rise buildings, collapsing structures, snow covered mountains) and never missed a call to duty.
Sadie has an incredibly friendly demeanor. She conducts approximately 50 K-9 demonstrations a year to promote fire safety and fire prevention.
Category: Therapy Dogs Located: Guffey Colorado, CO
Stacey Mae is a 4 year old Greater Swiss Mountain dog. She collects teddy bears and stuffed animals for the kids in the hospital. So far she has collected almost 2,000 teddy bears and stuffed animals from all around the world.
K-9 Sage, Disaster and human remains specialist
Category: Search and Rescue Dogs Located: Hagerman, NM
K-9 Sage is 12 years young and has proved to be a multifaceted canine hero.
At the age of 2, after passing the FEMA Canine Readiness Evaluation at only 18 months old, she was called to the Pentagon in the recovery efforts immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Her keen search abilities resulted in detecting the remains of one of the terrorists.
Along with numerous local missing person searches, Sage's missions have included searching for those missing from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In 2007-2008 K-9 Sage was deployed to Iraq to search for missing U.S. soldiers.
In 2009, Sage was diagnosed with two types of lung cancer, both uncommon in dogs, and believed to be the result of searching several highly toxic sites in service to our country. She has lost two lung lobes, and has undergone chemotherapy. No cancer is detected at present.
Sage's newest mission is inspiring cancer patients and survivors with her resilience, enthusiasm and zest for life. Sage becomes the children's hero at a cancer camp, showing that their illness doesn't have to dampen their fun loving spirits. She walks energetically alongside human cancer survivors at “Relay for Life” events. She has been the inspiration for the formation of “The Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve”. Our mission is to promote the welfare of all hero dogs serving in harm’s way.
Category: Hearing Dogs Located: Fountain Hills, AZ
Every dog is a hero, really. I've come to believe that dogs are representatives of the Divine, spread all over the globe by the millions to make the world a better place, helping mankind. Harley is a different kind of hero from all the other dogs I've had in my life. He became my hearing dog when I was 52 and had been severely hearing-impaired all my life. When Harley arrived in my life, his soundwork showed me how much I had missed all my life. Furthermore, he taught me that I'd never spent time just thinking -- that is, reflecting, poring over, contemplating -- because I'd always been working so hard listening for sounds. Oh, the thinking I can do now! Finally, Harley has given me self-confidence and a feeling of equality with others that I'd not experienced before. All of these gifts are priceless to me, but to imagine they came from a dog is almost unfathomable!
SURFice dog Ricochet
Category: Emerging Hero Dogs Located: Escondido, CA
Ricochet was slated to be a service dog, but has interest in prey, so had to be released from that role. A video of her journey "From Service dog to SURFice dog on YouTube went viral with 3.3 million views. It touches people on many different levels, bringing them to tears.
Through video & Facebook, Ricochet inspires people all over the world, encouraging them to be who they truly are, focus on what they CAN do, and turn negatives into positives.
Ricochet has raised over $81,000 for human/animal causes. $10,000 for a quadriplegic boy. $7500 for a six year old boy who suffered a brain injury in a car accident that claimed the lives of his parents. He used to surf with his daddy, but became fearful of the water after the accident. Once he surfed with Ricochet his fear turned to excitement. She's the only known dog in the world that surfs with special needs kids & people with disabilities for therapeutic purposes.
Ricochet held toy drives for kids & critters, raising over $13,000. More than 4000 toys were delivered. $5500 was raised for Target, the Afghanistan dog that saved soldier lives, only to lose her through erroneous euthanasia. She's raised funds for breast cancer, canine cancer, animal rescue groups, children with cancer, adaptive surfing organizations, people with disabilities, and more.
MWD Bino C152
Category: Military Dogs Located: Las Cruces, NM
MWD Bino C152 proudly served the 35th MP Detachment at Ft. Gordon as a Narcotics Detection/Patrol K9 for almost ELEVEN years! Dutch Shepherd Bino had deployed paws on the hot sands of Iraq for 14 months as well as serving special missions with the Border Patrol in the war on drugs.
Upon retirement, Bino became the Official Mascot of MWD Adoptions, earned his AKC CGC and learned a brand new skill set as a PTSD Demo Service Dog. Bino and his mom now go on numerous weekly "training missions" to teach Ft Bliss Wounded Warriors and their shelter dog partners the do's and don'ts of Public Access training. These days, Bino, the Great and Mighty Warrior, can be seen showing the Newbie Service Dogs and their Soldiers how to navigate without distraction or panic attacks in grocery stores, busy malls, on elevators and escalators and through airport security. Bino may not be on the battlefield any longer, but even in retirement at THIRTEEN years old, he is still actively and enthusiastically engaged in saving fellow soldier lives...just in a different way!
Category: Service Dogs Located: Des Plaines, IL
Hi, my name is Zurich a CCI certified service dog, partnered with Patricia Kennedy in Aug of 2004. Patti has some challenges, but together we find ways to make things work. She thinks I’m the hero but I think I am just a regular guy lab who has learned a thing or two. I have learned to retrieve everything even the neighbor’s TV remote control. (Hey I’m Labrador Retriever). There was even the time when I was courteous enough to pick up a dropped clipboard from some strange vet surgeon getting ready to do a little surgery on me for a little cancerous tumor. I was told my timing could not have been better. Our experience together has extended and enriched both our lives. I love my partner. My Patti, she’s my real hero, surviving now 6 years beyond the best medical opinions. We know our time together may be limited, but we also know, no one is really here forever. It is how you live it that counts. Patti can no longer walk, or speak but YES my partner believes I’m the hero who magically makes tomorrow come again.
Like Harley’s owner, White Dog, The Other White Dog, Another White Dog, Still Another White Dog, and Yet Another White Dog believe that EVERY dog is a hero here to help mankind learn truly important lessons. These eight are magnificent inspirations. Although it is nearly impossible to choose we suggest you visit the American Hero Dogs site: http://www.herodogawards.org/ and vote; the winning pup gets $10,000 for their selected charity.