A Clinton couple is ready for a special honor in Iowa City on Friday. That's when the American Red Cross and Hy-Vee will honor Lois and Bill Hall as Iowa Heroes with their canine companions.
When the Iowa Hawkeyes take the field against Nebraska, they'll have a secret weapon on the sidelines.
Hawk, named appropriately, is a nine-year-old German Shepherd on a mission Wednesday morning. This 85-pounder is a hard-working gentle giant. For this practice session, Hawk is on a rescue drill to find Sgt. Steve Cundiff from the Clinton County Sheriff's Department.
"It doesn't matter if it's for an hour, a day, 80 degrees or 8 degrees, they are still out there searching," said Lois.
That's why Hawk's handlers are ready for special recognition. They'll receive the Iowa Heroes award at Friday's Iowa-Nebraska game. Picked from nearly 60 nominees, it's quite an honor.
"We just do this because it's the right thing to do," Bill said. "But to get this kind of recognition is just phenomenal."
When you see Deker the Collie in action, it's easy to understand their success. These volunteers have touched countless lives over decades of community service.
Strider, a black and red German Shepherd, is the newest member of the team. Just two years old, he recently completed his certification to get into the action.
Clinton County Sheriff Rick Lincoln appreciates the many years of volunteer support provided by the Halls on many cases across Iowa and other states.
"Just the amount of dedication and professionalism that they put in as volunteers is what really drove us to ask for the nomination," he said.
Not only do these great dogs participate in searches, they also provide therapy during hospital, school and Red Cross assignments.
The Halls developed their canine team for the love of animals and people. There's a passion for helping that runs through every assignment.
"I always wanted to do something to make a difference, but do it through the dogs," Lois concluded.
They're Iowa heroes with canine companions.