Dee Bogetti is a full-time dog trainer, specializing in Diabetic Alert Dogs. She is a therapy dog handler and founder of Life's Journey Therapy Dogs, as well as co-host of Internet radio's Bark Radio, publisher of Woofs n Wags magazine and author of Puppies chew shoes, don't they?.
Dee volunteers with Lab Rescue of Greater Richmond and sits on the board of Many Paths Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? The day that a service dog I have trained passes his final test to become certified.
If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why? When I come back as a dog I will know the joy of living in the moment. AND … I will have the ability to be asleep the second my eyes close.
What is your pet’s most treasured possession? Their pack: five dogs, two humans.
Your proudest achievement so far? Walking away from a 30-year career to become a full-time dog trainer.
Who are your heroes in real life? Most of my heroes are ordinary people thrown into extraordinary circumstances. This question brought back an old memory. It was January 1982 and I lived in Northern Virginia. That terrible day an Air Florida flight crashed into the icy Potomac River on take-off. One man out of the six who survived the initial crash handed off a lifeline time and again to his fellow passengers:
“He was about 50 years old, one of half a dozen survivors clinging to the twisted wreckage bobbing in the icy Potomac when the first helicopter arrived. To the copter's two-man Park Police crew he seemed the most alert. Life vests were dropped, then a flotation ball. The man passed them to the others. On two occasions, the crew recalled last night, he handed away a lifeline from the hovering machine that could have dragged him to safety. The helicopter crew - who rescued five people, the only persons who survived from the jetliner - lifted a woman to the riverbank, then dragged three more persons across the ice to safety. Then the lifeline saved a woman who was trying to swim away from the sinking wreckage, and the helicopter pilot, Donald W. Usher, returned to the scene, but the man was gone.” —"A Hero - Passenger Aids Others, Then Dies", The Washington Post, January 14, 1982.
“His heroism was not rash. Aware that his own strength was fading, he deliberately handed hope to someone else, and he did so repeatedly. On that cold and tragic day, Arland D. Williams Jr. exemplified the best of human nature …”
Other heroes in my world are first responders: firefighters, law enforcement, search and rescue teams, emergency services workers … all the people who keep the rest of us from harm. And members of the military, past and present, who do the same on a global level.