A former military dog from St. Cloud will be among the impressive canines profiled later this month when the American Humane Hero Dog Awards are broadcast on The Hallmark Channel.
Adak, an explosive detection dog, is one of seven finalists, with the winner to be named on the October 26 show.
You won't see Adak at the award ceremony, though, because the 13-year-old died this summer. Owners Dan and Kristin Hughes chose Adak's 3-year-old son, Bdak, to represent him at the event, the St. Cloud Times reports.
The seven finalists for the award have already been picked as winners in different categories – like service dog, guide dog, therapy dog.
Adak was the winner in the military category.
Public voting for America's Hero Dog was held over the summer but organizers say a blue-ribbon panel of judges picked the top dog.
Adak's long career included work for the Army, the State Department, and for the private company Dogs for Defense, his bio explains.
His first assignment was in Iraq in 2006. While checking Baghdad Central Station for explosives before the arrival of a dignitary, Adak alerted his handlers to a suspicious vehicle and the event was canceled.
In 2008 he was working in Afghanistan when a terrorist attack left some of the guests at a Kabul hotel trapped in their rooms.
While the attack was still underway, Adak began leading an American military team from room to room. They evacuated more than 20 people from the hotel, finding a number of dead bodies along the way.
Dogs for Defense is owned and operated by Dan and Kristin Hughes and when his working days were over Adak became part of their family, which includes five children. According to his Hero Dog Award web page, Adak's transition from war to family life was "incredible."
There are lots of pictures of Adak at #worldsmosttraveledK9.
Learn more about the other finalists and past winners of the Hero Dog Award here.