Local celebrity Sage and her human companion, Diane Wedel, will be leaving for Los Angeles on Sept. 29 to attend a red carpet awards ceremony for the American Humane Association Hero Dog, where she will meet fellow celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg and Betty White.
The border collie Sage won national honors in her category search and rescue, becoming one of eight national finalists.
Sage is New Mexico’s last surviving service dog who served during 9/11, where she was part of the searches conducted at the Pentagon. After the hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Sage served in the Gulf Coast. She has also done several tours of duty in Iraq.
Many people in Roswell and all across the state gave their support by voting for Sage during the National Hero Dogs competition.
Sage has also gained approval and commendations from state officials. Wedel said, “I received a lovely letter from Senator Tom Udall and a certificate from Governor Susana Martinez.”
Only after the pair have arrived in the City of Angels will Wedel and Sage learn if they received the top dog award.
For Wedel, Sage will always be top dog. She hopes, however, that Sage’s winning in search and rescue calls attention to the Sage Foundation For Dogs Who Serve. Sage is the poster dog for the foundation that bears her name. She has survived cancer.
According to its website, the Sage Foundation was created to “promote the welfare of dogs who have faithfully served their country in wars, police work, crime prevention and rescue efforts. Often when service dogs are injured or become ill, their services are terminated and their fate is uncertain.
Wedel wants people to remember the dogs who have, with loyal service, placed themselves in harm’s way.
Wedel is currently picking out her wardrobe for the red-carpet affair where the winner for the National Hero Dog will be announced. Sage, of course, will be wearing the ever-popular fur in a tasteful black and white.
The event will be televised on the Hallmark Channel on Nov. 11.