It is with great sadness that I write you today to say that American Hero Dog Gabe passed away yesterday. On thisValentine’s Day, people around the world were heartbroken to learn Gabe made the journey across the Rainbow Bridge. Our thoughts remain with Gabe’s father, Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Shuck as he deals with the loss of his best friend, and a true American Hero in every sense of the word.
Gabe and Sgt. Shuck demonstrate the true power of the human-animal bond, the inextricable link between people, pets, and the world we share. This dog was languishing in a Houston shelter before he was adopted and trained by the military to perform the duties of sniffing out dangerous weapons. We’ve always known that adopting dogs saves lives, but in this case the dog turned that around to save countless human lives! The pair was deployed to Iraq and together went on 210 missions, with 26 finds of explosives and weapons, earning 40 medals and coins of excellence for their work.
But Gabe’s duties went far beyond the battlefield. While in Iraq, he also served as a therapy dog, bringing comfort and hope to his fellow soldiers. Following retirement from active duty, Gabe kept very busy visiting wounded warriors in hospitals to provide comfort and by visiting schools with his dad to teach and inspire children.
Both he and Sgt. Shuck are shining examples of courage and valor in the face of adversity. And due to his incredible accomplishments, millions of Americans voted Gabe as the Military Dog of the Year and the American Hero Dog of the Year at the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™.
We know the loss of a beloved pet can have a lasting, emotional effect on people, and Gabe will continue to live on in the hearts of everyone here at American Humane Association and anyone who was touched by the heroic acts of this beautiful lab.
Please remember to hug your pet today, because nothing is stronger than the human-animal bond, and on Valentine’s Day, it is the least we can do to show love and compassion for our best friends.
Let us know in the comments below this post how a pet has touched your life.
Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at American Humane Association.