Each year, The American Humane Hero Dog Awards® celebrates extraordinary dogs who go above and beyond the call of duty. American Humane seeks out and honors dogs in a variety of categories, from search and rescue dogs to service dogs, and every four-legged hero in between. This year, American Humane narrowed down their search to seven deserving canines before choosing the dog most deserving of the honor. The title of 2021 Hero Dog went to a therapy dog named Boone, whose resilience and inspirational story touches the lives of everyone he meets.
Before Boone found his current family, he was the victim of severe abuse at the hands of his previous owner. Due to his injuries, Boone lost his back legs, and with them, he lost his spirit. Tanya Diable spotted Boone on a rescue site, and after reading his heartbreaking story, she offered to get the two-legged dog a wheelchair.
Boone’s rescue asked Tanya to foster him while he healed from surgery, but just hours after taking him home, she knew Boone was meant to be part of her family. Boone healed, and as he healed, he experienced things he’d never done before. He slept in a bed, played with toys, and most importantly, he felt what it was like to have a family who loved him.
“The day he got his wheels was the very first time he wagged his tail,” Tanya’s husband Charley recalled. “That’s a day I’ll never forget.”
Because of his gentle temperament and a newfound zest for life, Tanya worked with Boone until he earned his therapy dog certification. Now, Boone spends his days with Tanya as they embark upon life-changing missions together. Boone works as a therapy dog at the Pittsburgh International Airport and provides comfort to kids with special needs at schools as well as a local children’s center.
Boone is also the ambassador of a nonprofit called Joey’s P.A.W. (Prosthetics and Wheels), which has provided hundreds of mobility devices to dogs in need. Boone is the poster dog for how far a little bit of love can go, and with Tanya’s help, he’s giving love right back to both humans and animals who need it.
He’s our hero! 🐶🐾🐶🐾
Congratulations to our PIT PAWS therapy dog buddy Boone, who was named @AmericanHumane‘s 2021 Hero Dog! Boone’s inspirational story, friendly demeanor and signature bowties won over voters and judges. pic.twitter.com/i1ZYc2vLIq
— Pittsburgh International Airport (@PITairport) November 18, 2021