Hero wins nationwide contest - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Hero wins nationwide contest

August 3, 2006

Albany -- An Albany dog who lives up to his name is the winner of a nationwide contest. Hero was voted as Pedigree dog food's dog of the year. Thanks to a lot of local support led by workers at the Albany Masterfoods plant.

Hero needs no introduction to many South Georgians.  Now, the dog and owner Marty Harris who have touched many lives in this area are being recognized for their efforts on a national stage.  Much to their surprise, Hero was named this year's Americas best professionally trained dog.

"No we did not see this coming, it was a big suprise. It's so heart warming to know that our little community came out and voted for our hometown hero, and that just shows me how many lives that he has touched" said owner Marty Harris. 

Hero is a therapy dog who regularly visits hospitals and nursing homes. Earlier this year, he became the patient.  When Hero began cancer treatment many in our community who had once been comforted by him stepped forward with support in his hour of need. That support may have helped this adopted shelter dog recover.

"I fimly believe that all the wonderful people who sent their get well cards and their love and their prayers and thoughts had a lot to do with his healing" said Harris.   

His vets at Auburn University now say Hero is cancer free, so what's next for him? Maybe the mother of all talk shows to help spread the message about adopting shelter pets?

"If Oprah and hero tell people that this is what we need to do to make our world a better place people will listen to Oprah and Hero has a message and we want to get that message out" said Harris. Hero will officially receive his award at a ceremony in September.    

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