Hero Dog Awards 2014 – and a fun trip to Los Angeles

November 10, 2014 at 8:28 am Leave a comment

Susie winnerMy daughter Heather works for Trupanion, a pet insurance company based in Seattle, WA.  They sponsored one of the finalists of the Hero Dog Awards held in Los Angeles this year and Heather was in charge of making all the arrangements for her company for the event.  Since it fell on her son Declan’s first birthday, she asked if I would go with her so she could take Declan and be with him on his birthday.  What a fun trip it was!

Declans first plane ride

Declans first plane ride

Off we flew to the Beverly Hilton where we were met with a nice bottle of Champaign and a platter of assorted fruit, courtesy of the hotel.

s 013s 014Our first night we met my niece and her husband (who, it just so happened, were honeymooning at the same hotel) and went to the Hotel Bel Air for dinner. (One more check off of my bucket list!)

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The next morning, as Heather was whisked off to an event, Declan and I enjoyed our coffee on the veranda.

s 029We managed to get a few pictures with some of the Hero Dog Award finalists.

Declan with Bretagne, winner of the Search and Rescue catagory

Declan with Bretagne, winner of the Search and Rescue category

Over her long career, Bretagne has made a significant contribution to the search and rescue community through her many deployments including the World Trade Center after 9/11, the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and Hurricane Rita in 2005. She now continues as an ambassador for search and rescue dogs as she visits elementary schools where she helps first graders learn to read.

Heather and Declan with Susie, winner of the Therapy Dog category, and Hero Dog Award 2014

Heather and Declan with Susie, winner of the Therapy Dog category, and Hero Dog Award of 2014

A puppy that was set on fire and a woman who suffered a brutal dog attack became a dedicated team that eventually changed North Carolina animal-cruelty laws. Susie the Pit Bull mix began life with terror and pain when she was beaten, burned, and abandoned. Susie and her owner both triumphed over pain and fear to become voices for abused animals that have no voice. They visit hospitals, schools, and nursing homes to inspire people never to give up.

Heather with Kota, winner of the Law Enforcement Dog catagory

Heather with Kota, winner of the Law Enforcement Dog category

A member of the Winchester, Virginia police force, this dog was injured by an eight-foot fall while responding to a burglary in progress. Undeterred, he helped his fellow officers finish the call, fighting with a severely fractured limb to ensure their safety.

Heather with Xena, winner in the Emerging Hero Dog category along with the owners.  Xena is the dog that Trupanion sponsored.

Heather with Xena, winner in the Emerging Hero Dog category.  Xena is the dog that Trupanion sponsored.

This pit bull was knocking on death’s door when she was brought into a Georgia shelter outside Atlanta. Emaciated and dehydrated, she was given just a one percent chance at survival. Unbelievably, she defied the odds, made a full recovery and was adopted by a family with a little boy with autism. Before, the child had closed himself off to the world, but the arrival of Xena sparked something in the child, and now he went from once silent to constantly singing to and chatting with Xena the Warrior Puppy.

We had some free time to enjoy the beautiful pool

Enjoying my niece and her husbands cabana by the pool!

Enjoying my niece and her husbands cabana by the pool!

We even got to take a stroll along Rodeo Drive!

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Aww yes, the LA life!

Ahh yes, the LA life!

Soon it was time for the Award Ceremony.

Heather on the Red Carpet

Heather on the Red Carpet

There were lots of celebrities attending who support the cause.

Heather with Pauley Perrette (Abby from NCIS).  She is a wonderful supporter of the Hero Dog Awards

Heather with Pauley Perrette (Abby from NCIS). She is a wonderful supporter of the Hero Dog Awards

Our last morning in LA, Heather, Declan and I went to Chateau Marmont for brunch.

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A pretty fancy place for Declan to spend his first birthday

A pretty fancy place for Declan to spend his first birthday

I have to include this picture of Johnny Galecki at Chateau Marmont.  I didn’t actually get to see him but my niece and her husband did who stayed there a few days earlier.  I admit watching The Big Bang Theory is one of my guilty pleasures and I was SO bummed that I missed him 🙂

Johnny Galecki (Leonard from Big Bang Theory) at Chateau Marmont

Johnny Galecki (Leonard from Big Bang Theory) at Chateau Marmont

After a busy and exciting few days in Los Angeles, we were on our way back to Seattle.

Too much for Declan!  Fast asleep on the plane ride home.

Too much for Declan! Fast asleep on the plane ride home.

It was a wonderful trip for a wonderful event!  Besides enjoying all the fun and beautiful things in LA, it was so heartwarming to hear all the stories of these very deserving dogs.

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Entry filed under: Causes, Dogs, Travel. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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