Hero Dog Awards - Martha


Stony Brook, New York

I knew the second I met Martha that she was special. She came from a puppy mill in the midwest, and made her way in the back of a filthy crowded truck to New York. Martha was in a pet shop, someone bought her and returned her probably because of her lazy eye, and an ear that looks like it was sloppily sewn back on at one point. As she was nearing 5 months, she found her way somehow to a shelter. It was there that I found her asleep curled up in a corner. I was looking for a small service dog. She was very quiet and inspected me studiously, probably checking to see if I would be kind to her. I took her home, and she was trained to be my respiratory alert, among many other things, service dog. Upon my multiple trips to doctors offices, I noted that the people in the waiting room wanted so badly to pet her and she knew she was not allowed to socialize and I can see the pain on both sides. It was then that I decided to train her as a therapy dog. The test was very easy for her, as she was already a service dog. In addition, we received extra certification as a crisis response team through Pet Partners. A week after Martha’s certification, the country was in lockdown for covid. We became creative and I advertised through the local paper and local social media sites that Martha will interact with preschool through hospice virtually. She has logged 336 visits, 667 hours, and visited virtually with 1338 people! She also won 3 AKC therapy dog awards, all while helping me live.