Friday, November 20, 2009

Archie, Dog of the Year Passes Away with Honors (Wounded Warriors)♥

PLEASE hug your dog today. You'll NEVER know how much time the two of you still have together. In addition, the holidays are just around the corner. Contact a veteran's organization or Army Wounded Warriors Project or any military base near you and ask what YOU can do for your country's heroes. Not all of them have family but all of them need love.

On October 29, a very special 8-year-old black Labrador Retriever arrived at New York City’s Pierre Hotel and charmed a ballroom full of people while receiving the ASPCA Dog of the Year award. The Lab was Archie, assistance dog and social lifeline for Iraq war veteran Sergeant Clay Rankin. The event was the 2009 ASPCA Humane Awards Luncheon.

Archie’s talents and warmth were clearly recognized by the ASPCA. His humane hero description read: Archie's loyalty and perseverance in helping Sgt. Rankin accomplish his daily tasks has allowed the veteran to regain his confidence and independence, move forward with his life and continue serving the country he loves.

It was when Sgt. Rankin took to the podium to accept Archie’s award, however, that the depth of their relationship became clear. “Archie helps me to walk. He helps me to maintain my balance. If I need something, he gets it for me,” began the Sergeant. “He also wakes me if I’m having nightmares and touches me with his nose if I start going into a flashback.” He then told a powerful story about one soldier who’d been sent home with a bad injury. When he met Archie during a hospital visit, he smiled for the first time since being deployed. “There is life after injuries,” the Sergeant assured the rapt audience, who gave him a standing ovation.

On Thursday, November 12, while returning home after visiting soldiers at a VA hospital in San Antonio, TX, Archie passed away from an apparent heart attack. His death was unexpected.

Dog and man came together in October 2006, after Sgt. Rankin returned from Iraq with spinal injuries. As Rankin suffered daily pain and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Archie quickly became his primary caregiver and social safety net. Trained by Patriot Paws, a Rockwall, TX-based organization that works with service dogs and matches them with disabled veterans, Archie was also the first canine graduate of the Army Wounded Warriors Program, which assists and advocates for seriously wounded, ill and injured soldiers, veterans and their families.

"I only met Archie once, this year at the Humane Awards Luncheon,” says Arielle Greenberg, ASPCA Special Events Manager and member of the committee that chooses each year’s heroes, “but it was enough for me to see that he was not only essential to Sergeant Rankin, but a ball of happy energy all on his own."

We honor Archie and Sgt. Rankin, and the model of the human-animal bond that they displayed.

National Canine Cancer Foundation


Dennis the Vizsla said...

So sudden. You really never do know.

Dog By Nature said...

A very nice tribute to a great dog and a good reminder to live each day to it's fullest.

JackDaddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JackDaddy said...

I didn't think that dogs generally had heart attacks.

Alex93andme said...

That is a very nice tribute to a wonderful dog. It is very sad that he passed away so sudden and I can only imagine how much he will be missed.

Benny and Lily said...

Ahhh remembering Archie
benny & Lily

Deborah said...

That was a nice post, I will remember Archie and all the wonderful things he's done. I'm always amazed by the way dogs are so loyal. I love that.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Thank you for sharing the story of Archie.
This was a nice truibute to him.
I am sad for the loss Sgt.Rankin
has in his heart right now.
Hero Archie touched many lives and will be missed by many.
Your right- we just never know.

Teddy Bear said...

Thank you so much for sharing Archie with us. Any passing is always very very sad.:(

Teddy Bear

Inigo Flufflebum and d'Artagnan Rumblepurr said...

Very lovely tribute to a very special puppy.

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

None of us evFUR know when our time is up...

Tank woo fur sharing this tribute to a special khanine!


Mango said...

What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.


KB said...

Such a wonderful story. But, it's so sad that Archie departed so suddenly and so young. I'm thinking of Sgt Rankin today and his Archie running in the sky.

The OP Pack said...

So sad when this happens. Archie was one remarkable pup - we hope Sgt. Rankin can find one to help him get by. Thanks for sharing this tribute to Archie.

Woos, the OP Pack

Sam said...

Gave me the chills.. no person should have to lose a dog like that.. and, what's more, this was a dog he relied on for service and quality of life. I'm sure he'll be sorely missed.

Thor said...

Thanks for sharing Archie´story with us.

Sir Chance-Lot said...

♥ ♥ ♥

Sierra Rose said...

Aw Archie!!! So sad. Tears over here. Thank you for sharing these heartful stories.

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Huffle Mawson said...

Archie did a good job before he left this world.

Farley said...

What a good dog, and great example he provided.

Mochi and Mommy said...

Beautiful tribute to Archie. Thank you for sharing.


SGR said...

Woof! Great post. Thanks for sharing. I always get lots of LOVE and hugs from family everyday. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Anonymous said...

What an awesome tribute!