This submission is by Tricia, whose everyday Hero Dog is Heidi, a German Shepherd.
My Dog is My Hero Because…
March 8, 2010 I lost my best friend. Katie, a collie mix, was given to me by one of my students when I started working at Bloomington High School. She was truly my soul mate for 15 1/2 years. I was devastated when she died – I do not know to this day how I made it from one day to the next. After she left me I was in a haze. Somehow I managed to finish the school year and get through the summer vacation.
The next school year began, with my old students and a new crop of freshmen! I teach German and the new kids were learning about family. Once again an overwhelming sadness came over me because I realized MY family was missing someone so very important. My students didn’t know what to make of my breakdowns in class. My older students were left to explain, I just couldn’t get it out.
A couple of days later, one of my freshmen, Jacob, told me that his dog had puppies a few weeks ago. We have a ROP Vet Assistant class on campus and he was bringing them in for their first puppy shots. He told me they were German Shepherd puppies and that they were looking for homes. I wasn’t sure I was ready for another dog, but I also couldn’t resist going over to see them during my free period. And that is when I saw her – Heidi. I knew that would be her name! She was German after all! Needless to say, she came home with me that day.
From day one, she has filled the void. Of course, I think of Katie everyday, she is always in my heart, but now she has made room there for Heidi. I am happy and smiling and telling dog stories again in class!! I would never have thought I could love another dog as much as Katie, but Heidi is such a knucklehead, it is hard NOT to love her!
Yet there is a tragic side to my story. Seven months after I brought Heidi home, Jacob was killed by a hit-and-run driver. A young boy, taken at the age of only 15. It has been 2 years to the day that I brought Heidi home and today we visited Jacob’s grave. Somehow she knew this was a special place, she looked up at me and I saw both Katie and Jacob in her eyes.
Learn more about the Hero Dog Awards.