An American Hero

Living in L.A. you tend to see celebrities from time to time, but it’s not every day that you meet a true hero. I want to share an encounter that seems even more meaningful in the wake of the recent anniversary of 9/11.

A few years ago at its Red Tie Affair, the Red Cross honored the UCLA People Animal Connection and Captain “Sully” Sullenberger. Charley, as well as 5 of the other furry honorees, were at our table in the grand ballroom of the Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Captain Sullenberger was seated nearby.


If you’ve read some of my posts, you may find this hard to believe. On my own, I might not have approached him, but with Charley’s leash firmly in hand, I walked over to introduce myself and say hello. He could not have been nicer. As a bonus, he and his family are dog people! When a woman tried to take cuts in line for a photo, he gently told her that Charley and I were there first.

What truly inspired me to write this today is that I just saw the movie Sully. I was familiar with the Miracle on the Hudson. I knew about Captain Sullenberger’s amazing accomplishments. I had heard him humbly and graciously accept his award at the gala. Sitting in the theatre, however, there were tears in my eyes as I watched the whole story unfold. The movie really put it into perspective. Thanks to my big, beautiful canine hero, I had enjoyed the privilege of meeting a real life American hero.


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Ellen Morrow

In her former life, Ellen Morrow was a carpool mom and award winning bodybuilder. Today she is a nationally certified therapy dog handler who volunteers at UCLA Medical Center and Providence Hospital with her GoldenDoodles. She's also the mother of three grown daughters who all think she's a little crazy or in the words of a friend, "a little unconventional." She is also an avid hiker who has survived a rattlesnake bite!

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