Hero Service Dog Saves Owner from Approaching RT Train

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SACRAMENTO — A local dog is proving his bark is much stronger than his bite. Twelve pound ‘Hook’ is a Chihuahua and Jack Russell mix, but there was no mix-up when the dog saved his owner’s life recently.

Coincidently now, Hook is a finalist for this year’s ‘Hero Dog Awards’ presented nationally by the American Humane Association.

“He’s had basic training where he goes out and learns the commands and such to go out in public,” said Dan Herman who owns hook along with his wife Joyce. “But the stuff I’ve seen him do is like intuitive-type stuff.”

Hook, who got his name from the Peter Pan character Captain Hook, is a licensed service dog for Joyce who is hearing impaired. Joyce has trouble hearing environmental sounds, like when you are outside.

“When there are competing noises, I have like a 50-50 hearing loss,” she noted.

That was exactly the scenario when Joyce was downtown, near K Street recently. She and Hook were crossing the busy intersection during rush hour, and Joyce had no idea an RT train was coming up behind her.

“And I was probably in the middle of the street and then Hook started jumping on me,” recalled Joyce. “When I got to the track, Hook just pulled me off the track.”

Joyce said the train missed her by only inches that day. Her husband is still in shock over the close call.

“I mean, here’s a dog who’s never been trained to take someone off the railroad tracks, to pull them away or warn them, so I think he’s got an intuitive nature,” said Dan.

For his efforts, Hook has earned himself a spot as one of eight finalists for the upcoming Hero Dog Awards. To vote for Hook go to http://herodogawards.org/dog/hook by August 24. The winner will be announced in September.

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