The 124th Rose Parade on January 1, 2013 will feature the Tanzania chimps’ favorite human, Jane Goodall as Grand Marshall this year, but there’s more good news for the animals we love, respect, and admire. For the fifth year in a row a float, this year designed with a floral replica of bronze and marble United States Military Working Dog Teams Natural Monument, will be honoring America’s armed services and the four-legged heroes who have served proudly along with their human companions.
Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance’s float will honor the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Coast Guard in the background, but in the front of the lavishly adorned float will be monuments of a doberman pinscher, German shepherd, Labrador retriever, and Belgian Malinois. Tillman, the “World’s Fastest Skateboarding Dog,” according to Guinness World Records will be riding the float as an Honorary Private First Class Marine.
“We’ve always enjoyed being involved with this historic Parade, and this is a truly special way for us to show our love and respect for these military heroes,” said Joey Herrick , President of Natural Balance, in a statement released Wednesday on PR Newswire. “We’ve set many world records for our Floats, but we couldn’t be prouder to have our Float be a replica of the National Monument saluting dogs and the soldiers that handle them.”
Military dogs have been elevated to National Monument status by U.S. Congressional Law.
Among other canine honored guests on the float will be Lucca, an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois military working dog and his handler Gunnery Sgt. Chris Willingham. Lucca was deployed twice to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2006. No humans were ever hurt during the dog’s missions. Lucca lost a front leg by an improvised explosive device.
Gabe, a rescued dog from the local pound will also be riding with his handler, Sgt.First Class Chuck Shuck. Gabe, honored with the 2012 Hallmark Hero Dog Award has been praised by the American Humane Association for 210 missions including raids, investigations and finding explosives.
To be a part of this historic Monument, contributions can be made at http://www.jbmf.us.
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