little dog with a brave heart!

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Meet Tippy

This submission is by Katie Troya, whose everyday Hero Dog is Tippy, a terrier cross.

My Dog is My Hero Because…

Tippy Houdini Gestapo, the little dog with a big brave heart.

I was looking out my front kitchen window with tear filled eyes when I saw the small dog standing on my front lawn. Had it been any other
day I would have run out, caught him and tried to find his owner, but not today. I had just hung up from Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, informing me my mother had just suffered a massive stroke and would not live more than a few hours. I prayed someone would take this pup in, and then I prepared to go to the hospital.  By the time I called out to my kids in the back yard, there they were holding that very same dog. He had gone through a gate two houses down and squeezed through two basket weave fences to get into my yard! Upon closer examination, I discovered he was the same dog that ran out in front of a big rig on Natividad Road the night before as I was coming home from the hospital after visiting mom recovering from open heart surgery. It was rainy and dark and I only saw the white tips on his feet and tail against his black body.  Little did I know, he was on a mission! Of course there was no way I could put him out once he was safe and sound in my yard so we put him in a crate and left for the hospital. I told the kids we cannot keep him and they were very disappointed.

Long story short my mom survived for 2 years more and the little dog wormed his way into our hearts. He was a great comfort to me and my family. We named him Tippy for the white tip on his black tail and feet. As mom progressed he would come visit her and she came to think he was her dog. He would sleep on her lap in the nursing home and bring joy to many other patients. This went on for two years fraught with many days and months of suffering for my mom, but he always wagged his tail and cheered her up almost daily. My mother died after those long hard years and Tippy cheered us up with his sunny disposition.

Tippy’s second and third names were also given to him by our three children. The second name “Houdini” was for his ability to get into our
back yard and escape it until the fence was sealed up. “Gestapo” because he refused to allow any fighting among humans or animals. He would attack the aggressor and nip them, always defending the weaker party. You had better learn to turn the other cheek while Tippy was on duty because he would come running at the first poke .

Sadly two years later I awoke to a scratching sound on the hard wood floor of my son’s room. It was Tippy. He was having seizure after
seizure. When he saw me, he began to crawl towards me on his stomach.  We rushed him to emergency animal hospital where he spent 3 days.  Sadly Tippy died at the age of 4 of a fast moving cancer. I didn’t understand.  He was only four and he had given us so much.
Then it hit me, he was sent to help us all through a terrible season. Not only as a comfort for mom, but a comfort for me and my family through the grieving process. Tippy constantly wagged his tail literally until the moment he died.

Tippy is and always will be my little Hero.

Katie Troya

Learn more about the Hero Dog Awards.

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