Shelley Mamott, Staff Writer
There were a lot of great doggie awesomeness stories I came across in 2011. Whether they were historic, heroic, or heartwarming here are some that stood out to me as most memorable.
The winner of the 2011 Hero Dog Awards in the Guide Dogs category, went to a Labrador Retriever named Roselle. Roselle led her owner, Michael Hingson, down 78 flights of stairs in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The honor was given to Roselle posthumously, as she passed away in June of this year.
The picture that broke the nation’s heart – during Navy Seal Jon Tumilson’s funeral, his trusted canine friend Hawkeye guarded him one last time.
The floppy eared Beagle known as Daniel the miracle dog, survived an Alabama gas chamber. On Wednesday, December 14th, Daniel’s Law, named after the Beagle was passed in Pennsylvania. The law will make it a crime for animals to be euthanized in a carbon monoxide gas chamber. Since surviving the experience, Daniel has been adopted by New Jersey dog trainer Joseph Dwyer, and has embarked on a trail of animal advocacy.
4. Lily & Maddison
Lily, now six, was a puppy when she lost her eyesight due to an illness. It was after this traumatic event that her relationship with seven-year-old Maddison blossomed. Maddison became Lily’s trusted guide dog and the two were inseparable. The pair were looking for a home together and were adopted by the Williams family in Crewe, Cheshire.
There has been an update on Lily and Maddison’s situation that has been brought to my attention. Despite the very best efforts of their new owners the two dogs were no longer happy living together and a decision has been made to rehome them separately. Maddison will stay at her new home and Lily is doing very well back at the rehoming centre. To read more dogstrustblog.
5. Military Dog Used In The Bin Laden Raid
Accompanying the Navy Seals who completed the bin Laden mission was a faithful four-legged soldier. Little is known about what may be the nation’s most courageous dog. The identity of the military super-dog will remain a secret. The trained dog, either a German Shepherd or a Belgian Malinois, was attached to a human Seal and lowered from a helicopter into the compound. Wearing canine armor, he went along to sniff out hidden explosives or, if necessary, find a secret room of bin Laden’s.
A mere 6 hours after being adopted from a shelter, gentle giant Hercules, a Saint Bernard returned the favor to his new adoptive family by chasing away an intruder from their home.
Loukanikos or Sausage, the riot dog, continues protesting in Greece. Allegedly present at nearly every major Greek riot since 2008. He is followed by photographers, earned fame on you tube videos and has a facebook page called ‘riot dog.’ In recent photos he is seen showing solidarity with hooded protestors.
This heart-warming animal odd couple shows that love truly is blind! A blind boxer named Baks got a whole new lease on life thanks to a goose named Buttons. The goose leads Baks around everywhere either by hanging onto him with her neck, or by honking to tell him which way to go.
Determined Pitbull puppy Harper beat the odds and learns to walk again. Discovered in a trash bag, and unable to walk, a regular at the animal shelter decided to take the puppy home for one full and final day of unabashed affection. Today Harper is not only alive — she’s thriving. The frisky puppy is gaining more and more mobility each day, to the astonishment of onlookers and medical professionals.
Ricochet, one of the eight finalists in the running for the American Hero Dog Awards, won the award for ‘Emerging Hero Dogs.’ Ricochet surfs with special needs kids and people with disabilities for therapeutic purposes. She has raised more than $100,000 for a number of human and animal causes and has helped inspire many people.
Known all around the world as Patrick the Miracle dog, a Pit Bull that survived a near death experience and inspired movements nation wide. Found by a maintenance worker at the bottom of a garbage chute in Newark, New Jersey, Patrick was extremely malnourished and in such poor condition no one believed this dog would survive. After medical treatment and the doting attention of doctors and veterinary technicians, Patrick showed his determination to live and has continued to beat the odds.