‘Labor Dogs’ Honored in Recognition of Labor Day

Five dogs who work for a living received top honors in a nationwide contest geared to celebrate service dogs.

Posted: August 28, 2007, 5 a.m. EDT

In recognition of Labor Day, Diamond Pet Foods conducted a contest asking dog owners to submit essays detailing their service dogs’ contributions to their lives as well as their communities. The company selected five winners from around the country.

They are: Bear, a Labrador Retriever-German Shepherd Dog mix from Battle Ground, Wash.; Bernie, a Pug from Long Beach, Calif.; Emma, a Newfoundland from Grand Have, Mich.; Tess, a German Shepherd from Orange Park, Fla.; and Tuffy, a King Charles Spaniel from Sudbury, Mass.

Bear is a seizure-alert dog who warns his owner when she is about to have a seizure, allowing her to maneuver to a safe place before it occurs. Bernie, Emma and Tuffy are all therapy dogs. Bernie visits rest home facilities, an acute care facility and a psychiatric hospital, while Emma visits hospitals and hospice patients. Tuffy grew into his calling when his owner was diagnosed with cancer, and together they have since assisted in disasters including the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings. Tess assists in search-and-rescue operations, and worked in Iraq for five months looking for missing Americans.

“Thousands of working dogs nationwide improve the lives of their pet owners or communities every day,” said John Kampeter, director of marketing for Diamond Pet Foods. “As the nation pauses this weekend to recognize our workforce… It’s also appropriate to show appreciation for the accomplishments of canine workers.”

All five winners will receive a free bag of dog food every month for the next year.


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