- Name: General George S. Patton – “Patton”
- Breed/Color/Sex: Labrador retriever, chocolate, M
- DOB: December 21, 2010
- Current Status: Honorably Discharged
- Donor: Jolly Acres Labradors (Bryan Barnett)
- Puppy Raiser: Ed L.
- Puppy Sponsor: Knight Point Systems
Being a service dog is not easy and it is not the calling for many dogs. The life of a service dog is one of constant change and exposure to novel stimuli. Unfortunately, as Patton progressed in his training, he showed increasing levels of stress in many situations. Patton is a dog who will thrive best in a stable environment. While the news of his release is disappointing to the entire Hero Dogs family, we are extremely grateful to Patton's breeder, sponsor, puppy raiser, and trainers for their dedication and support. Patton has returned to his puppy raiser, Ed, where he will have a wonderful life filled with endless games of fetch.
Ed and "Patton" have written a note to their friends and supporters:
"There was always a chance this would happen... in fact they told me when I began (at 8 weeks old) that not every dog would make it all the way to becoming a Hero Dog. I needed to understand right from the get-go that to be an official Hero Dog for one of our wounded veterans means you’re more than smart, strong, and able to do tons of things that regular dogs can’t... you also have to be ‘just right’ to make it to the top.
"Well, today I got the news. I didn’t make the cut. It’s nothing I did or didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t do that made this happen... sort of like people... you’re either made for something or you’re not. And it seems, I just wasn’t the right fit for the very special work that Hero Dogs do.
"I’m sure gonna miss everyone a lot. But I’ll be watching from the sidelines rooting for my brother and sister trainees and hope they all make it all the way. The good news is that I get to go back home with Ed (who I lived and trained with since I was just a pup). And while I know he’s disappointed, I know he loves me and misses me and can’t wait to have me at his side once again.
"Our wounded soldiers deserve only the best. Thank you all for giving me the chance to try to be one... a true Hero Dog. I salute you all as I say goodbye."
Ed and "Patton"