Service dogs are everywhere today, serving in the military in Afghanistan, being in the front lines of daily police and fire emergencies, and as the more common seeing-eye guides we have been so used to seeing that the dogs have become ubiquitous. Yet when a human is killed in the line of duty their names and deeds become local and often national news stories. But when a service dog is killed it is rare when their often heroic actions are acknowledged.
Though some people may make distinctions between human heroes and service dog heroes, if you ask the partner of the service dog you will find they considered them just as valuable as any human counterpart. In fact, their training in part is to go into situations that might be too dangerous for a human, and have the willingness to sacrifice their lives to save a person – or the life of their human partner. The late president George H. Bush was appointed a service dog who would not leave his side after his death, lying beside the coffin.
The problem of how to honor the many dogs and their deeds that more often than not go unnoticed finally found one solution in the form of K9 Salute. It is not a special kind of hand or paw position, but a line of dog foods especially created to honor these fallen pooches. While some call it dog food other call it a line of treats, but to your dog it is all the same. But there are some unique features each bag possesses.
First, each bag has the name of a service dog that has given its life in the line of service. It doesn’t matter if they were across the street or in a foreign land, they are recognized for serving their role to either rescue people or help keep humans safe.
As for the proceeds collected from the sale of K9 Salute sales, there is a distribution to two very important causes. One is to get veterans service dogs where they can be deployed in any number of capacities. The second group the proceeds are used for are K9s that currently are in service in law enforcement organizations. Service dogs are now considered so valuable in law enforcement work that they are being equipped with protective vests, and the K9 Salute sales help buy these vests for dogs all around the country.
The treats themselves come in two basic shapes. One is the “K9” logo so commonly associated with a service dog. The second is the “Bone of Honor” where the word “honor” is chiseled on to a bone shaped treat.
The company is less than two years old. It was founded by Jessica Harris, who retired but has served as a combat medic in the Army National Guard. Obviously she has some personal experience with service dogs in combat and non-combat situations. At this point, Jessica is the only person running the company, but the concept has reached the point of finally getting its due notoriety and there are plans to add staff beginning this year.
Adding staff is actually a preparatory step in Jessica’s plans for the startup business. While many startups are of the high tech variety, she plans to meet with farmers and discuss what will make the healthiest and most beneficial treat for her customers. She is also business savvy, as she says the pet and pet food industry is a growing and exciting place to be in 2019. She has not forgotten her primary mission to honor the fallen K9s, but knows they are best honored with a national presence kept in the minds of pet owners of all types.
This is one of those projects where people are asking why somebody didn’t come up with this idea earlier. It is simple, has a recognizable brand, and has the unique advantage of being virtually impossible to get involved with the political chaos of the day. Who doesn’t like not only the service dogs, but those who are fallen heroes in the line of duty?
So here is a K9 Salute to K9 Salute and Jessica Harris who have worked together to make our country and the world a safer place for untolled thousands of people. Like the soldiers and first responders who are forgotten about until we need them between ourselves and harm’s way, they should be recognized for the daily heroes they are.