The public has picked our winner from the top six stories and they appear below! We want to thank all that participated in this year's contest.
We congratulate all of our nominees for making a difference in the lives of their owners and those who care for them.
"You think those dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you they will be there long before us!" - Robert Louis Stevenson
Miracle is just that; a true Miracle. She is a yellow lab service dog, but she's also my best friend. Miracle allows me to live as independently as I possibly can. She helps to mitigate my cerebral palsy on a daily basis. Miracle was supposed to be the Program Spokesperson and Representative with Northern Indiana Service Dogs, however destiny had a different plan. I was supposed to have a different service partner, but within 2 minutes of meeting Miracle, we clicked. We have been best friends since day one and that was 7 years and 7 months ago. Miracle has been my everything; my independence, my sense of freedom and my sense of security. Through her support, dedication and training, I am able to live on my own and do the simplest of tasks. As my muscles continue to weaken, Miracle is trained to assist in ways that allow for everyday living; opening and closing doors, retrieves, picks up dropped items, tugs, waits patiently, are just a small example of her commands. Miracle is also trained to "call for help" when I am too weak and have fallen. I live in an apartment complex with 6 units on either side of a long corridor. Miracle has been my saving grace and hero by alerting neighbors that I am in danger. She will continue to "alert" until help arrives. Without her training, dedication and "alert", I would never be safe. I am forever grateful to Northern Indiana Service dogs and to my Miracle, who is my steadfast companion and daily hero
Lexi's has touched many lives in her 9 years. Her life began with challenges: She was hit by a car at 3 months old, subsequently abandoned and had her front leg amputated two months later while in the care of Midwest BREW (Beagle Rescue, Education, and Welfare). Finally, she had a stroke of luck when she met a human named Jason and adopted him when she was 7 months old. A relationship of unmitigated generosity was born.Throughout the next 9 and a half years, Lexi would attend more than 80 events for fundraising and awareness for unwanted and abandoned beagles. In one of the photos posted, she collects donations for Midwest BREW to spring her from "jail." She has visited nursing homes at Christmastime, and she has provided company to friends' dogs when they've stayed at boarding kennels. She has participated in four annual events to teach kids at Boys' and Girls' Club to accept and appreciate each others' differences. Jason gets to join Lexi at all of these events, and he even makes numerous trips throughout the midwest every year to transport BREW beagles to their foster and furever families. When she's out in public, so many people want to meet and pet Lexi that she and Jason get to advocate for beagles every time they set feet outdoors! They truly are an amazing partnership.Lexi routinely gets the longest line in the kissing booth (picture attached) at Midwest BREW's Beaglefest, providing smooches at $1 a kiss. She has helped raise funds and awareness at countless events over the past 8 years. Lexi looks forward to adding wounded veterans and senior citizens as additional lives she hopes to touch. Recent Surgeries Lexi has dealt with and overcome: It started with a bee sting to her paw... A mundane injury for many dogs. But not to those who have only three legs. As Lexi recovered from her bee sting, she had to displace more of her weight onto her hind legs, causing her right ACL to tear completely. Just like humans, dogs have an anterior collateral ligament. And just like humans, a knee with a torn ACL is extraordinarily unstable and painful. Sadly, Lexi was limited to just two legs until the injury was surgically repaired. This puts her remaining two legs in even greater danger of injury, so the stabilization surgery was essential. This was an expensive surgery. Thanks to many kind individuals we were able to get it repaired. During the many months of water therapy, it was noted that there was a popping in her left knee (the opposite leg to her ACL repair). A visit to the vet was scheduled. Vale park Animal Hospital Veternarian Dr. Jerry R. stated that she had a luxating patella. This would increase the percent chance of her left leg blowing out her ACL from 40 % to 60%. We will give her some more water therapy and hope her kneecap remains tight and doesn't need surgery. One month after she was medically released she went to her annual vet visit. The doc stated that there was bad news and we would need to get her surgery on the luxating patella. 'Let's give her some of this nice weather and schedule this just before the start of winter (august/ september).
We adopted Munson, our black lab, from Lakeshore PAWS two years ago, and have always known that he is special. In fact, our then five year old daughter chose a superhero collar for Munson when we brought him home because she said she knew he was a hero dog. We thought his status as a hero would be earned by slaying monsters under the bed and being our little girl's partner in crime, but little did we know that Munson had a few more tricks up his sleeve. One afternoon, I let Munson outside in the yard while I was cleaning up and getting ready to start dinner. About ten minutes later, I glanced through the window and saw my neighbor's dog on top of Munson. I assumed "Wally" had jumped over the fence and the two dogs were playing, but went to the door to call Munson in since We didn't know Wally well at the time. Munson always comes galloping to the door when called, so I was shocked when he didn't budge. He stood perfectly still, looking at me with pleading eyes. Something wasn't right. I went out to get a closer look at the situation and quickly realized how smart our boy really is. Wally wasn't playing with Munson. He had tried to jump over the fence, but was chained to a tree in his yard. The chain wasn't long enough to allow poor Wally to reach the ground in my yard. He was hanging by his neck, standing on Munson's back to prevent him from being strangled by his chain. Munson was calmly standing there, with the full 70 pounds of hound on his back, patiently waiting for help. He clearly understood that Wally would die if Munson moved out from under him. Wally's claws were digging into Munson's back as he tried to wrestle his way back up the fence to safety. Despite the pain, Munson remained perfectly still. I quickly unhooked Wally and released him from his perilous situation. As soon as Wally's feet hit the ground, Munson took off in a celebratory romp around the yard. I'm not sure how long Munson was holding Wally up, but I do know that the poor guy would no longer be alive if it wasn't for Munson's quick thinking and selfless actions. Munson is a true hero indeed!
© Porter County Wildlife Management Advisory Board