Pittsburgh International Airport therapy dog Boone nominated as Hero Dog Award finalist | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh International Airport therapy dog Boone nominated as Hero Dog Award finalist

Photo: Courtesy of Blue Sky News/Pittsburgh International Airport
Boone the PIT therapy dog
From enduring TSA lines to finding the correct terminal, to worrying about potential delays or cancellations, flying presents a variety of stress factors. Since November 2016, certified therapy dogs have roamed the Pittsburgh International Airport as part of the customer service program, and now, one especially good boy is a finalist for an American Humane Hero Dog Award.

Boone, known for his bow-tie and infectious smile, is one of seven finalists for the 2021 American Hero Dog. He, along with the other finalists, will appear on the Hallmark Channel on Wed., Oct. 20, when one will be named the 2021 American Hero Dog based on nationwide voting that closed Tue., Sept. 7.

The beagle mix was rescued three and a half years ago by his owner, Tanya Diable, after surviving cruelty as a puppy that resulted in the loss of his back legs. According to his “About” page on the American Humane site, Boone deserves to win because “he inspires those around him every day to overcome the obstacles that life throws at them.”

In addition to being a calming presence as a member of PIT PAWS, Boone is an ambassador for Joey’s PAW (Prosthetics and Wheels). The nonprofit provides mobility devices to more than 700 dogs in Pittsburgh and beyond, works to improve outcomes for dogs with mobility issues in shelters, and shifts perceptions about them for adoptability.

Boone is also the subject of the children’s book Bow Tie Boone, written by Diable, and illustrated by New Jersey-based artist Morgan Spicer. The proceeds from the book, available via Amazon, go towards Joey’s PAWS, which Diable started with her husband in 2017. The book won the 15th annual National Indie Excellence Award for Children’s Non-Fiction in May.

Boone’s competition hails from across the country, from Florida to Oklahoma to New Mexico, and they work in a variety of fields. Military dogs, guide and hearing dogs, search and rescue dogs, service dogs, and more are all represented among the finalists.

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