Tanzie — Emerging Hero

Charity Partner: Dogs on Deployment
Location: Hampton, Virginia

Everyone has an opportunity to make a difference in this world, & mine came with 4 legs & a plastic ear-tag.

I was deployed to Bosnia & noticed right away there was a prevalence of stray dogs. I had no idea where to begin, but I knew I had to help where I could.

One of the street dogs stole my heart. She came & lay down right by my feet, rolling over on her back & tucking her paws into her chest – an obvious invite for a belly rub.

She didn’t have a name, just a plastic tag pierced through her ear with the number “384.” I started visiting her every day. If people walked past & acknowledged her, she would immediately do her “tuck-&-roll” trick.

She was ambassador for her kind. All she wanted was attention – an uncommon trait for street dogs, as they usually avoided people.

She gave me a sense of home, & we even sat together outside the camp on Christmas Eve. I couldn’t imagine leaving her behind – she had become my wingman.

No longer tag #384, Tanzie arrived home to the US in 2015. Since her arrival, she has brought awareness to Bosnia’s strays, which has led to 112 dogs finding homes, & raising nearly $50K to help save the friends she left behind.

Tanzie deserves the title of American Hero Dog because in the true spirit of what it means to be a “hero,” she shed light on a situation in need of attention, & encouraged others to help. She has become the face, & voice, of these street dogs, whose cries for help otherwise wouldn’t be heard.