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ASPCA’s Dog of the Year dies of heart attack

archie2Archie, the 8-year-old black Lab recently named 2009 Dog of the Year by the ASPCA, died suddenly last week of an apparent heart attack, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Owned by Clay Rankin, an Army sergeant who was injured in Iraq, Archie had been his service dog for four years, helping Rankin cope with physical challenges, post-traumatic stress disorder, and difficulty with crowds.

“Archie’s loyalty and perseverance in helping Sgt. Rankin accomplish his daily tasks has allowed the veteran to regain his confidence and independence, move forward with his life and continue serving the country he loves,” the ASPCA noted in bestowing the award.

Rankin,  who serves as an advocate for other veterans, received the dog through Patriot Paws, a Texas organization that trains service dogs for veterans with disabilities .

(Photo: Rankin, Archie and Lori Stevens, founder of Patriot Paws)


Comment from Donna
Time November 20, 2009 at 9:34 pm

I was so saddened to learn of Archie’s death. As a dog lover who has rescued many strays over the years, Sgt. Rankin needs to know that many people are praying for him. I can only imagine how he feels after losing his best friend and companion animal. May God bless you!!