Kernel is a Hero Dog because he exemplifies bravery, selflessness, courage, and the importance of a great sense of humor! On top of his primary job of being my service dog, he also loves to do therapy dog work, where he greets and comfort members of our community in hospitals, schools, rehabs, etc. This past October, at age 5, Kernel fought a horrible bacterial infection from an undiagnosed food allergy and he ultimately was diagnosed with End Stage Ear Disease. His life was threatened and the quality of his life was diminishing fast. In December and February, he had 2 major surgeries to remove both of his ears. The pinna (flappy part of ear) that you see in his photo is now used to keep the ear hole closed shut entirely. We transitioned his training to sign language, so his work has been minimally impacted by his lack of hearing. Even through the pain, surgeries, and now deafness, Kernel hasn’t missed a beat, proving that he is meant to be here, and carrying on his mission of being my Hero Dog.