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2012 Service Dog Award

We will not be having a 2012 service dog of the year award. We are in the process of reformatting the service dog award to be on a national scale and include different categories. We apologize for any inconveinence this may cause and we hope that you consider filing out an application for your service dog for the 15th annual service dog award to be presented in 2013. We will still have a service dog demonstration by St. Francis Service Dogs organization at our annual open house on March 31st, 2012.

Service Dog of the Year - 2011

The winner of the 2011 Service Dog of the Year Award is Buck from Saint Francis Service Dog Foundation.

From Saint Francis Service Dogs: "Buck has improved Cody's life by making physical therapy bearable and even enjoyable at times. With Buck by Cody's side, he is able to push himself harder and even do things that he has never done in prior sessions. Cody's physical therapist says that Buck's presence is making a huge impact on Cody's results. Buck is very aware of Cody's discomfort while pushing his physical limits but somehow Buck manages to make Cody laugh. Cody sometimes uses Buck as a pillow which adds support and comfort to the sessions. Buck is very energetic and that has brought new energy to Cody's life, making him more active. Buck opens and closes doors, picks up and retrieves items, and brings Cody toys. Buck makes Cody feel more secure, confident, and less invisible. Buck inspires Cody to move and play more, and he makes Cody happy. Buck gives strangers a reason to approach Cody, talk to him and see him with his dog rather than for his disability. Buck allows family members to feel confident about leaving Cody alone for a little while because Buck will entertain Cody and watch over him. Buck is a dog who knows when something is different around the house and will alert family members when something is wrong. Before Cody received his service dog, he was lonely, insecure and invisible; now, with Buck by his side, he has his best friend beside him and is no longer lonely."

Award Archives - Previous Winners

2010 Service Dog of the Year - "Bandit"
2009 Service Dog of the Year - "Joshua"
2008 Service Dog of the Year - "Ellie"
2007 Service Dog of the Year - "Judge"

About the Booker Willoughby Service Dog of the Year Award

The award was first given in 1997, in memory of Booker Willoughby, a service dog that inspired the founding of St. Francis of Assisi Service Dog Foundation by his owner Carol Willoughby of Roanoke, VA. In 1988, Booker was named Delta Society’s “National Service Dog of the Year,” for his work in helping Carol manage daily tasks that had become difficult due to her rheumatoid arthritis.