Meet your 2019 Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Service Dog Hero of the Year Nominees!

Read their incredible stories, then VOTE at the bottom of the page:

Cobalts’ Story:

Just before lunchtime, while working at a job for Citizens National Bank of Cheboygan, Super Service Dog Cobalt got up from the floor at my feet, walked across the room, sat in front of a young lady named Chandler, and alerted to her by putting his right paw on her lap. She leaned back and shakenly said, “What is he doing?”

I replied, “He’s alerting to you for some reason.” I asked her if she had any medical issues that could have caused him to alert, to which she replied, “I have type 2 diabetes, could that be the reason?” I replied, “I’m not sure, but I trust my dog, so you might want to check your sugar.” She did, and it turned out that her sugar was extremely low. She ate something and quickly recovered, but Cobalt continued to monitor her until we went to lunch. I didn’t even know that Cobalt was trained to do diabetic alerting, but I was blown away that he picked up on it in a meeting room.  My coworkers as well as Bank employees witnessed the event and can collaborate my story.

Angels’ Story:

Angel saved my life in May when she stopped me from jumping off the bridge and committing suicide. I had lost myself, and my judgment was heavily clouded due to not only my severe PTSD but also a second mental health condition I was unaware I had. I was deep in the rabbit hole as I like to say, but Angel pulled me out of it. when I started to get out of my car she got up and in my face, her being there reminded me that I am not alone. She looked at me as if she was saying “You can’t do this because I can’t go with you, and you can’t leave me here alone”.

The heartache I felt from the thought of Angel not understanding why I was gone pulled me back to reality. I was suddenly able to think clearly. I realized I needed help. I spent the next month in the VA hospital getting the help I so desperately needed. My whole life has changed since then. I’m mentally healthier than I have ever been, I got out of a toxic relationship, and now I am happily married. My life is worth living now, and I owe all that to Angel.

Flashs’ Story

On  September 4th, I noticed Flash was “up my butt,” and kept licking me, telling me something was wrong.  Kourtney had felt something in her head and called her doctor to come in, as she was over 30 weeks pregnant and already being monitored due to her seizures.  She went to the doctor and her blood pressure was 70/40 and her blood sugar was in the 30’s. Kourtney ended up having an emergency C-Section, and Brylee was born.  Flash literally saved her life!

Flash most recently alerted to a seizure about 2 weeks ago and she is very attentive not only to Kourtney, but the whole family.  They have nicknamed her Mommas, as she will check on those in the home that are sick. She always comes back to Kourtney though!  Kourtney’s husband Michael, who is still in the military, but recently diagnosed with PTSD himself, has experienced an improved mood since Flash entered their home. To top everything off, Kourtney received a job offer in Georgia as well so she and the family will be relocating in a few months!

Dennis’ Story

It started out as a typical Sunday, we got up stripped the bed put the sheets in the washer, and then had some coffee. Then I got ready and we left for church. After church we stopped at the store and picked somethings up to grill for lunch/early dinner. When we got home i started a fire to cook out on. I hung the bedding out to dry, and Dennis just followed along watching me.

While I was eating Dennis started alerting on me, so I checked my blood sugar, and it was within range, so I thought he must be wanting to play.  I finished eating and we played ball for a little while, then I decided to take my bedding down make the bed and get a shower.  This entire time Dennis kept hitting on me and nudging me like he does when my blood sugar is high, but my blood sugar was within range. I was getting ready to get a shower, and felt a very light tingling in my left arm, I thought to myself that’s weird, after showering I could feel it in both arms, and Dennis was stuck to me like glue. I decided i would lay down for fifteen minutes and if it didn’t stop I would go to the hospital. While laying in bed, Dennis would not quit licking my face and pushing with his nose. Now the faint pain had moved in to my jaw, so I decided to drive to the hospital. At the hospital Dennis is right on the bed with me while they do blood test, start a nitro drip IV, and they gave me a baby aspirin. The first test came back negative, and we had to wait three hours to do a second test. The second test came back positive for a heart attack. The next thing I knew Dennis and I were packed up and headed to the hospital in Erie, Pa. by ambulance, Dennis at this point is lying next to the gurney with his head on my side.

After we got to the second Hospital, they prepped me for the first procedure (a heart catheter). The Doctor told my family that I had a “Widow Maker” blockage-the artery was blocked in two places one was 100% blocked and right above it was 99% blocked, they tried to run two stints at the same time to break the blockage but were unsuccessful. So the next plan was open heart surgery. After the second surgery they informed my family that they believed I had, had two heart attacks on Sunday. I spent seven days in the hospital. It has been a long journey, and we are getting back to normal. I am very thankful that I have Dennis looking out for me.

Juices’ Story

From the moment we were paired I knew Juice was special. The second day we were together I was found unconscious in a parking lot with Juice lying atop of me. The police put her on her lease but Juice was having no part of being separated from me. Juice experienced her first ride in an ambulance. When placed on a stretcher at the hospital Juice immediately jumped up to make sure I was ok. She was a rock star, everyone was taking pictures of her and the respiratory therapist brought her water and walked her for me.

{At another time} While training several managers from Louisiana we exited the restaurant. While walking to the car I was talking to them looking to my right. All of sudden Juice jumped on me pushing me to the right and unfortunately knocking me to the ground. Confused by what just happened until the managers advised me that a car was speeding in the parking lot and if not for Juice knocking me out of the way we both would have been hit.

I had the opportunity to meet with my grandson’s school counselor to acquire new books after his mother and Kamren suffered a total loss of their belongings in a flood.

Upon entering the counselor’s office Ms. Kenny was speaking with a young man approximately 15 years old who was sitting at a table behind the counselor.  Ms. Kenny was advising him if he did not go with one of the other counselors he would be 302’d. Being involved in law enforcement my entire life I knew that a 302 was an involuntary mental health commitment. Hearing this I approached the young man and introduced myself. I made many attempts to communicate with him but I was failing. During this time Juice was whimpering and trying to get near this young man. Finally he asked why Juice was acting this way. I told him, “she knows you’re upset” He looked puzzled and at that moment Juice came from my left side and jumped up on the table and began licking the young man’s face. He immediately smiled and began petting both sides of her face. As Juice laid on the table next to him, he stated to me he has not been honest to the school and proceeded to roll up his left sleeve revealing what is known as hesitation marks on his wrist from an earlier attempt to commit suicide. At this point I knew it was serious. He continued to pet Juice and look at her during our conversation. He then said to me he has something on him he planned to commit suicide with. Fearful of a firearm as he reached in his pocket he pulled out a single edged razor blade and handed it to me.

He was opening up more and stated his mother had a massive stroke and he was placed into foster care where he was being abused.

We made a deal. He would go to the crisis center and tell them he’s being abused and if they don’t listen to you and get you removed he would call me on my cell phone.

The next day I received a call from the principle and counselor advising me that the young man told the crisis center “had it not been for the dog (Juice) I would have killed myself.

These brief stories are just a tip of the iceberg of the incredible heroic actions of my Juice.

Thank you for your incredible work and pairing me with such a great companion.

Rockets’ Story:

Hi Im Rodolfo, A Disabled Vet with multiple disabilities. What can I say about my Rocket, my MSD from GAMSD. Hes truly #awemazing. I along with his help do not allow my disabilities to define me, even though they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do. He has been there for me from day one, since the first moment we were paired. He has allowed me to regain myself and enjoy my new normal. He has allowed me to enjoy life when possible and cared for me when I have not been well, so much so that I co wrote a song titled “But Its Just A Dog” to be used by GAMSD as a fundraiser tool with 100% of all proceeds going to GAMSD. The irony is in the title of the song. He always lets me know in advance. He has gone above and beyond in times during my travels, where he has alerted to another person where that person later contacted me to let me know that thanks to Rocket, their husband took them to the ER where she ended up having open heart surgery. Another time while staying at a hotel in Miami, he alerted before the fire alarm went off and when it went off and I opened the room door the hotel room across the hallway from me, it was flooding from the sprinklers going off. The whole hotel was evacuated. He has also alerted when we have had recipients get together to the other recipients needing help.
He’s an amazing Good Will Ambassador for GAMSD. Because of him I set up a Nonprofit Organization to help me raise awareness about GAMSD and Service Dog Education. I am a recipient of GAMSD first and foremost, always promoting GAMSD as well as donations to GAMSD. WE have been to fundraisers/events as well as set some up, when possible to help raise awareness and funds for GAMSD (both Memorial Day and Veterans Day GAMSD booth at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, in October Stride & Ride Tactical team again and the Halloween fundraiser at the Ocala Mall in November to name a few, always representing and raising awaerenes for GAMSD.
Several years back I was almost one of the “22” since then I have always had Pay it Forward as my mantra.
In 2019 alone we set up and traveled with a group of GAMSD recipients their MSD and family members to the Bahamas, traveled to Pittsburgh for a GAMSD event, organized a GAMSD recipients BBQ in Michigan last September as well as have gone into Canada and met with the Canadian Border Patrol at their HQ on the Canadian Side and visited war memorials and local establishments there. in October we were part of a the 2019 Stride & Ride Tactical Team. Where we started at the 911 Memorial at Logan International Airport and meandered 911 miles thru several states, visiting Fire Departments, One Police Plaza (NYC) all 911 Memorials related along the way and ending at the 911 Memorial at the Pentagon in DC where we unfurled a US Flag with more than 10,500 names and pictures and laid those at the 911 memorial there. Met a lot of Gold Star Parents along the way to include having the humble honor to present a Purple Heart Plaque to a Gold Star Mother at the Flight 93 Memorial in Pa
A parent whose daughter, Kimberly Agar, was in the military, got injured during the war and sadly is no longer here with us due to the invisible wounds. I could have never done that without my Rocket.
Looking forward to February 2020, already lined up to meet with people in New Jersey to raise Service Dog Education and Awareness, a GAMSD booth at the Marion County Fair (Fl) in April, both Memorial Day and Veterans Day GAMSD booth at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, in September 2020 the Alaska Cruise out of Seattle, Wa. with several recipients, theres stops in Canada from Alaska, in October Stride & Ride Tactical team again and the Halloween fundraiser at the Ocala Mall in November
None of this is possible without GAMSD and my Rocket to include thise days when Im bed ridden due to my disabilities, simple things everyone else takes for granted or doesnt understand because of my invisible wounds.
All of us who are recipients from GAMSD, all have amazing dogs and Im Humbled and Honored to be a part of this Family.
Thank you for your consideration of Rocket for Hero Dog Of The Year

About our Service Dog Hero of the Year Contest:

We hold this contest each year, to identify the Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog that has gone far & above the course of his or her training to save a life. If you’d like to read the stories of our past winners, visit our Service Dog Hero of the Year page at: https://www.medicalservicedogs.org/service-dog-hero-year-winners/

Entries are received by Guardian Angels, and written by our Service Dog Recipients. 2019 marks the first year where public voting will account for 49% of the vote, while a panel of judges at Guardian Angels will comprise 51% of the vote.

One vote per IP address will be permitted.

Round one of voting is open to all entrants, and will begin on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, and ending on Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

Round two of voting will be between the two top vote-getters, and voting will run from Wednesday, February 12, 2020 – Wednesday, February 26, 2020.

The winner will be announced following the counting of votes, on or after February 28, 2020.

Fill out my online form.