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Tucson Pit Bull service dog dubbed hero, nominated for national award

Cory Marshall

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Tucson Pit Bull service dog dubbed hero, nominated for national award

CREATED Jul. 8, 2013

TUCSON(KGUN9-TV) - You have probably seen them; horrific headlines detailing vicious and sometimes deadly Pit Bull attacks.

"They're associated as the 'bad boy' dog. It's unfortunate but we're trying to change that. One person at a time. One pit bull at a time too," Tucson resident Dawn Myers told 9OYS.

Meet Booker.

Police confiscated him during a 2010 drug bust. Weeks later, while browsing Craigslist for a bookcase, Myers came across Booker.

"We just have a different kind of bond than I have never had with any other dog. He's definitely, like I said, a mama's boy and I would say he's my best friend. He probably knows me better than I know myself sometimes," Myers said.

"I would say it was fate," she continued.

About six months after adopting Booker, Myers started having seizures.

Vets say most dogs can sense through smell when a person is having a seizure. However, not all pets act on that sense.

"At first I didn't realize [it]. I thought he was just misbehaving. He would climb on my lap. He would get on the furniture. He would paw at me. He wouldn't leave me alone," the paramedic by trade explained.

He's since been through the training to become a certified service dog.

Then, last November, Booker got sick too and needed emergency surgery. Myers turned to Facebook and started the "Booker the Pit Bull Service Dog" page. Within a week, donations and fans poured in.

Today, Booker has thousands of followers. It is those followers who nominated him for the American Humane Society Hero Dog Awards. Booker is the only Pit Bull in the service dog category and the only Arizona dog nominated.

People can vote daily through July 30. The winning dog will get $5,000 donated to their charity. Booker's choice charity is Freedom Service Dogs. The nonprofit rescues dogs and trains them to become service pets.

Myers says a win would allow the duo to continue their mission of changing people's Pit Bull perspectives.