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judges 2011


Entry Category Service Dogs
Charity Partner Canine Companions for Independence (CCI)
Location Melville, New York


We would like to nominate our son Ronnie's service dog, Iris for the American Hero Dog award. Iris is a one year, ten month old black Labrador. Ronnie is a five year old little boy with global, physical and cognitive needs.

Iris was trained in house to perform three tasks to help Ronnie for service. Iris lies on Ronnie's lap, and puts her head on his lap. Iris lies behind Ronnie and blocks him from hitting his head. Iris keeps Ronnie calm, protects him and brings smiles to his face that is priceless. She gives him kisses everyday and accepts him as he is.

In the photo, Iris is performing the task of "lap." Because of Iris, Ronnie has been more animated, more aware of his surroundings and able to better cope in a variety of situations. Ronnie has had decreased episodes of gastric reflux when Iris applies direct and gentle pressure to his body. The tasks of applying direct pressure, showing her presence through gentle touch and blocking Ronnie form self harm is invaluable.

Iris deserves the award of American Hero Dog because she changes the little boy's life, and brought a renewed sense of hope to his family. She is a hero because she makes Ronnie feel like a hero. Having a special needs child poses unique challenges for each of the family members. Iris has unknowingly assisted in overcoming these challenges. For our family, Iris has earned the title of American Hero Dog.

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