Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Society • Unwanted Shelter Dog Proclaimed National Hero!

One never really knows love until loving and being loved by a dog.
Rev. Austin Miles.

(Los Angeles, CA)  A five year old dog named Bear was presented the 30th National Hero Dog Award by the L.A. Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Monday.

Quite a turnaround for the discarded Shiloh German Shepherd who three years ago was languishing in the Weatherford Animal Shelter in Millsap, Texas. The only German Shepherd in the shelter, he was kept in the back because nobody wanted him.

That is until Debbie Zeisler came in asking specifically for a German Shepherd for her mother. She and the dog immediately bonded and she adopted him for herself.

Debbie had battled almost daily seizures after being thrown from a horse 18 years ago. Even though Bear had never received service dog training, he tried to warn her of upcoming seizures three days after Zeisler brought him home.  It was instinctive to Bear. After a couple of falls she began to heed his warnings. Bear will either stay close to her or go to fetch her medicine, whatever she seems to need, Zeisler said. Bear will even remind her to take her medicine every morning.

According to the ASPCA press release, in May of 2011, Bear tried to stop Zeisler from going outside, but she pushed past him. Almost immediately, she was hit with a seizure, fell down the front steps of her home and hit her head, knocking her unconscious.

Bear ran from house to house, barking and scratching frantically on the front doors, trying to find help. Bear was about a block away from home when an animal control officer from Parker County spotted him. (A case of Divine Intervention perhaps?)

Bear led the officer to Debbie who was lying in the hot sun, disoriented and confused. Paramedics were called and Bear rode with Debbie in the ambulance to the hospital.

The National Dog Hero Award was presented in a ceremony at Nokia Plaza in L.A this past Monday.  Bear and his family received a gift basket and a year’s supply of pet food donated by Natural Balance Pet Foods, a sponsor of the award and a commemorative plaque from ASPCA L.A.

And that dog that nobody wanted, brought he and his owner, round trip air fare on Southwest Airlines, lodging in Los Angeles at the pet-friendly,Waterfront Beach Resort, A Hilton Hotel, and lots of love that dogs always bring.
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Rev. Austin Miles wrote an 11 part series, God and Animals that leading wildlife journalist, Cathy Taibbi called, “Groundbreaking.” That series can be seen on this website, Archives Oct.&Nov.2011 complete with the 11th episode answering the question: “Do Animals Have Souls.”

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