Golden Heroes

Picnics, Pythons and Heroes: Sundance's Story
By Melissa Murphy, Business Press Release, July, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO-- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- July 7, 2004 -- For nearly 50 years, canines of all shapes and sizes have been honored for their acts of heroism through the Dog Hero of the Year award. This year is no different. Del Monte Foods, maker of Kibbles 'n Bits(R) dog food today announced that it is bestowing its annual Kibbles 'n Bits Dog Hero of the Year Award to a Golden Retriever from New York named Sundance who exemplifies the spirit of canine heroism celebrated since 1954.

It was a warm, sunny August afternoon and Michelle Passalacqua of Farmingville, NY, ran inside her kitchen to pour her two daughters, Kaila (7) and Sara (3), a drink for their backyard picnic. Kaila followed her mother inside to help, leaving Sara to play in their new toy ball pit. Seconds later, Passalacqua heard a scream and then crying. She ran outside and found their pet Golden Retriever, Sundance, barking at a large, strange-looking snake dead on the ground and Sara crying on top of the picnic table.
Passalacqua quickly checked her daughter for bites, but found nothing. Sundance had saved the day. The large, eight-foot snake - a ball python - had made the Passalacqua's ball pit its home and when Sara jumped in, it became agitated and started to slither toward her. Sundance, recognizing the danger, began to bark loudly at the reptile and eventually killed it to protect his young owner.
"When I heard that Sunny had won the Dog Hero of the Year Award, I almost broke into tears," said Passalacqua. "Sundance needs an operation to remove a few tumors from the back of his shoulders and we didn't have enough money to schedule the surgery. Now, we are going to use the prize money for his operation. He has done so much for us, now it's our turn to help him."


Marti Saves the Day
By Carol Roquemore, Summer, 2003

This past summer, early in the morning my service dog Mart woke me by pawing the bed, he wouldn't stop. I transferred to my wheelchair to let him out, thinking he must need to toilet—this was so unlike him. He wouldn't go out, he just sat and stared at me with those big, soft brown eyes.
"What is it Marti" I started to notice a smell, unlike any I've ever smelt. I began to look, Marti following and staring.
I ended up at the back of the house near the room to a studio used by my significant other, the odor was very strong there. I opened the door, what could it be? I found a wax pot had been left on high and the wax was boiling. The pot was so hot I couldn't touch it to turn it off. I pulled the plug out of the wall, turned to say thank you Marti, but he was gone.
I went into the bedroom and he lay on my side of the bed sleeping peacefully. I asked my partner would that have caught on fire. The reply was yes, that would have been the next step.
We are both in wheelchairs. Thank you sweet Marti for saving us from fire as I do not think we could have escaped. Bless the Goldens!



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