For thousands of years, dogs have protected us, comforted us, and given us their unconditional love. Now, once again, thanks to a national effort capturing the hearts and minds of millions of dog-loving Americans, it’s time to recognize the remarkable ways our best friends improve – and even save – our lives.
On October 28 at 8 pm ET/7C, Hallmark Channel will premiere the 2016 American Humane Hero Dog Awards™, presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation. You’ll see the amazing, funny and sometimes heartbreaking stories of eight courageous canines whose heroic exploits will touch your heart in an emotional two-hour special leading up to the moment when we reveal the name of the top American Hero Dog for 2016. Be sure to tune in and root for your favorite in this star-studded awards gala hosted by Beth Stern and James Denton at the Beverly Hilton and featuring special performances by Katharine McPhee.
Today, please meet the first of America’s eight most heroic hounds for 2016, Guide/Hearing Dog “Hook”:
Hook is a 12-pound, 10-year-old hearing dog and goes almost everywhere with his handler. Three years ago the pair was in downtown Sacramento crossing a street. A train was coming that she could not hear because of her impairment. As she was approaching and crossing the track Hook started jumping on her and she did not know why; she could not figure out what he wanted. Then, she stopped and saw people on the street motioning to her. Hook saw the danger ahead that she was not aware of and pulled her from the track. She turned around not knowing why Hook reacted that way, but then saw the train. It had missed her by a foot. Another time a prowler broke into her office when she was in the back room. Scared and sensing a presence in her waiting room, she suddenly saw Hook bolting down the hallway, growling and chasing away the intruder. Hook’s handler is a family therapist and Hook sits beside her chair while she listens to and helps patients. She says that “the amazing thing about Hook is he is not only sensitive to my needs but to the needs of others. When he sees a patient in distress or crying he will leave our chair, go sit in the patient’s lap and lick their tears. He has brought smiles to many children, teens, and adults in our practice. Hook is everyone’s hero not just mine.”
Now THAT’S a hero dog!