"Colonel" HERO DOG OF THE YEAR
TEXAS ANIMAL HALL OF FAME
Presented by the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation
Hero Dog of the Year: An animal that has provided a special benefit to its community or human companions.
Colonel, or better known as, 'The Colonel' saves lives every day! He was hit by a drunk driver, left to die, and ultimately picked up with a severely injured leg by Animal Control Services and taken to be euthanized. A GSD rescue organization, was alerted to this and rescued him from ACS and found his leg too badly injured to save. Little did anyone know what started out as a tragedy would have culminated in such a beautiful, life saving success story. Today The Colonel is a therapy dog that provides comfort, inspiration, motivation, laughter, and great, unconditional, nonjudgmental love for wounded warriors with Burns, Multiple Amputations, Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and/or Military Sexual Trauma through the TRAIN A DOG SAVE A WARRIOR PROGRAM.
“The Colonel” works at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio Medical Military Center, Warrior Family Support Center, the Fisher Houses, Military Resiliency at Laurel Ridge Medical Center's Unit for severe PTSD/TBI warriors, and is the Executive Ambassador for TADSAW (Train a Dog Save a Warrior) Service Dog Program.
Colonel travels to military installations, such as Ft. Sam Houston, Fort Bliss, Fort Hood and with his owner/handler, is instructing as to the benefits of a TADSAW Service Dog for warriors with multiple invisible wounds, to include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries and Military Sexual Trauma.
In a heartbeat, Colonel has ‘his’ warriors lying on the floor snuggling him and proving that a dog can do myriad miraculous things to change a life and yes save a life of a warrior who sacrificed so much. He absorbs their pain and shows that a dog nobody wanted and who lost a leg can indeed work miracles.
know angels walk among us, for I've seen it all first hand. The Colonel
may be missing a leg and may not have wings, but I've seen him make
miracles that were certainly quite grand.
The Colonel has been present for television and radio interviews, high profile business meetings, meetings with 3-4 star Generals and meetings with his head in the lap of a child whose daddy just came back from war with no legs at all. This is a dog who understands and somehow ‘gets it’. He just has an instinct, an innate sense if you will that these warriors and their families need him. And he adapts to each situation in a different way, and always the right way, the needed way, and the way to healing.
You see the warriors have a unique bond with him. Amputees, have more than once have said, “If he can do it, I can do it.” Or at first glance they don’t notice he is missing a leg, which affords them with a very important message. A missing limb isn’t the end of the world. Life will go on. Life can be productive and just perhaps they have something they too can share, just as the Colonel does with his special abilities.
When he is not working, The Colonel lives with his owner and the
Program Director/Founder of TADSAW, BART SHERWOOD, in San Antonio, TX.