MINERAL POINT (WKOW) — A Mineral Point dog that’s captured the hearts of people across southern Wisconsin is getting a big honor.
Noah, a 3-year-old cockapoo, visits schools in his custom-made wheelchair. He’s blind, but can see what it takes to teach kids how to have empathy.
“He’s got senses we can’t even fathom,” his owner, Lisa Edge, said.
Noah was born in an abusive home of backyard breeders in California. He was born without eyes and with back legs that hardly move. A rescue group saved Noah and Edge adopted him into her home in Mineral Point about three years ago.
Edge says she saw how people responded to him and knew he could help the community.
“He captivates everybody, I mean, look at him,” she said, with Noah on her lap. “What an extraordinary visual for kids to say, ‘he’s different. I’m different. It’s OK’.”
Edge, a substitute teacher, started bringing him to area schools as a lesson in tolerance. Now, Noah has become the anti-bullying dog, showing kids the importance of empathy.
“He’s doing everything a normal dog can do, he just does them a little differently, so that sympathy has turned into empathy,” Edge told 27 News.
Noah was named Wisconsin’s Hero Dog last year … and now he’s getting an even bigger honor: 2018 Dog of the Year.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) announced the winner Wednesday, based on Noah’s heroism. Now, Noah will have the opportunity to share his message of empathy with the nation.
“We know that we’re doing good with the kids, but we didn’t know this kind of organization would be watching what we’re doing,” Edge said, of the honor. “This is huge. This is the Academy Awards for dogs. It really truly is.”
Edge will bring Noah out to New York City on November 15 to accept the award. She says the pair is ready to take on the challenge.