A Dog Named Hero

by Kezia from Riley, Kansas

"Hero seems to read each child's body language and adjusts his reactions accordingly."
A Dog Named Hero! (http://www.myhero.com/go/hero.asp?hero=Hero_Leger_US_2010)
A Dog Named Hero! (http://www.myhero.com/go/hero.asp?hero=Hero_Leger_US_2010)

Heroes are often thought of as people: Men and Women throwing themselves into a precarious situation to save someone else, with no regards for their own safety; People who take time out of their lives to make a difference in the life of someone less fortunate. Soldiers, firefighters, police officers, even the everyday heroes performing simple tasks that might not appear great at first, but meant something to somebody out there. But people aren’t the only ones saving and changing lives. Surely everyone has heard stories about dogs dragging their owners out of house fires, cats waking up people when Carbon Monoxide is slowly leaking into their home, police dogs stopping robberies and sniffing out bombs, etc.

Or even stories about cats who somehow know when a patient in a nursing home has reached their last day on earth, and stays with them, providing comfort, or therapy dogs shining light into the lives of those who need it. Are they not heroes too?

Hero, who was ironically and appropriately named at birth, is a perfect example of a therapy dog who has shone light into the lives of others. When he was first born, it didn’t look like Hero had a very bright future, if much of a future at all. But he proved the exact opposite.

Hero has been an inspiration to several, earning him the title of, as his name states, a Hero, for the simple facts that he has changed several lives, he has proven to so many that there is always hope, and he has aided those researching Lymphosarcoma in dogs.

From the very beginning, Hero has made a difference in the lives of so many other people, providing happiness and hope to those who needed it. After being born dead and miraculously reviving, one the very first lives that he touched was that of his first owner. She was an older woman in her 70’s. Unfortunately, she was taken by cancer. However, the ever faithful Hero stayed by her side up to her very last moments alive. After that, he moved on to another owner, Heddie, changing her life as well. She started working him as a therapy dog, and together they put a smile on the face of too many people to count. One woman named Hazel was unresponsive to anyone who tried to talk to her. She refused to acknowledge anybody, just sitting and staring out her window all day. But when Heddie and Hero paid her a visit, she smiled and began telling them about her family. Another example is a little boy who had severe behavioral issues. Hero went and lay down by the boy, who climbed on Hero’s back and laid on top of him for a long time. As Heddie, Hero’s current owner, noted, “Hero seems to read each child’s body language and adjust his reactions accordingly.”

Hero has proven to every person he has been in contact with that there is always hope; there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Unintentionally, he started with the vets who helped birth him. They thought that there was no hope for him to survive, being he was already dead, but they still tried to revive him, and it worked! He has been the shining light in the lives of everyone he comes in contact with, with his happy smile and calming effects. Even now he continues to give hope. Being diagnosed with Lymphosarcoma, and donating his blood and lymph nodes to researchers, he continues to live a happy life, giving to others.

Hero having blood taken. Such a brave face! (http://www.myhero.com/go/hero.asp?hero=Hero_Leger_US_2010)
Hero having blood taken. Such a brave face! (http://www.myhero.com/go/hero.asp?hero=Hero_Leger_US_2010)

As mentioned in the paragraph above, Hero was recently diagnosed with stage IV Lymphosarcoma, commonly found in some dogs. He is doing very good, and has even contributed to research of the disease. He has had to have his spleen removed, and some of his lymph nodes have been placed into a tissue bank to help scientists studying this disease. He has also had some of his blood placed into a blood bank. He continues to do work as a therapy dog, seemingly determined not to let anything slow him down.

Hero loving the attention he's getting! (http://www.myhero.com/go/hero.asp?hero=Hero_Leger_US_2010)
Hero loving the attention he's getting! (http://www.myhero.com/go/hero.asp?hero=Hero_Leger_US_2010)

He may not be a hero to all, but he is still a hero to several others. Day after day he shines light onto other people, making them smile as he smiles. He has provided hope, comfort, and happiness to each and every life he touches. Hero truly has a heart of gold; receiving happiness by giving happiness to others. Not many people are as kind and giving as this Rottweiler. Dogs, this dog in particular, really are man's (and woman’s!) best friend. This is why a dog named Hero is my hero.

Loyal, loving, supportive, and comforting, providing hope, and changing lives. What a dog!

Page created on 10/24/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 10/24/2011 12:00:00 AM

Extra Info

Imagine yourself, riding a horse down an empty train tunnel. It’s completely dark, and all you can see is the shred of light at the end of the tunnel. You press your horse on towards the end, for it’s already too late to turn back and go the other way. Everything is calm, quiet, and peaceful, despite the dark.

But then, the tunnel begins to shake, and the rocks beneath your feet begin to rattle. In the distance, you hear the blasting of a train’s horn, warning you that it’s on the way. Your heart sinks, realizing almost too late that the train is coming straight towards you. Moving forward would walk you right into the front of the train. By the time you send your horse forward and reach the end of the tunnel, the train will already be on you. You could safely press yourself against the wall of the tunnel, but your horse would surely perish. The only thing left to do is turn around and rush for the other end. On foot, you wouldn’t have a hope of making it on time. But with your horse…

You turn it around and drive your heels into the horse's sides. He bursts forward, eyes shining with fear. He knows something dangerous is on it’s way.

Faster and faster the train bears down on you, finally entering the tunnel. The shadows cast due to the train's light produces eerie images, not helping to comfort you. Faster and faster your horse picks up speed, trying desperately to make it to the other end before the metal monster catches him. All that you and the horse are focused on, is the light at the end of the tunnel.

That one shred of hope.

And then, you’re out! Your horse dodges to the side and the train whistles back. Had the tunnel been any longer, you wouldn’t have made it out. All you can think about, is that one little shred of light that kept you going.

The white light that was your second chance.

I know that this drabble about the train tunnel seems to have nothing to do with the article, but it brings me to my first topic, which is indeed relevant to a hero named Hero.

I imagine that the first thing you see when you’re born is a bright, white light.

But what if you’re born dead?

It seems like quite the contradiction, but for a dog who was appropriately named Hero, this was the case.

Along with two of his litter mates, this Rottweiler was born unresponsive to life. Miraculously, he was revived, proving to the world that there is always a chance, however slim.

From that day, Hero grew up and went on to give hope to others.

His first owner was an old woman in her 70’s. Unfortunately, she was taken by cancer. However, Hero was with her until her last moment on this earth.

He moved on to another owner, Heddie, and became a therapy dog, touching the lives of many other people, both young and old.

One example, was another old lady named Hazel who refused to respond to anyone. But one her first encounter with Hero, she began to smile, and slowly began telling both Heddie and Hero about her family.

Hero often works at summer camps with children who have severe mental and behavioral problems, cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, cancer, and hospice. One little boy in particular with severe behavioral problems, and it seemed as if nobody could get to him.

Except for Hero.

As Heddie, Hero’s owner noticed, “He seems to read each child’s body language, and adjust his interactions accordingly.”

Hero has touched several other lives, too many to count and name, providing each life he comes in contact with hope. Hero was diagnosed with Lymphosarcoma. He has had his spleen removed, and has also had lymph nodes placed in a tissue bank, as well as blood in a blood bank to help with research. He is doing well, and continues to give hope to everyone around him with everything he does.

He continues to prove that there is always a shred of light at the end of the tunnel.

There is always a speck of light in the dark.

There is always hope.

All you have to do is believe.