The first time I saw Hero I knew I had to have him. He was the cutest thing I had ever seen and to me he was very special. He was a black and brown furry German Shepherd. My grandfather knew I loved dogs so much and he gave Hero to me to keep as a pet.

Some nights I would put him out of my room so that I could sleep, but he just could not stay away from me and he would come back in and fall asleep in my bed. We had many fun times together. He would chase me around my house when he was hungry, which meant I had to give him food. We would play on the grass, rolling around and he would jump on me. We got really attached to each other. I knew he felt safe with me and I with him.

When he got older, he got smarter and I decided to teach him more tricks. I took him to a training school and I loved the way he acted with other dogs. He was a really smart dog and learned really quickly. We have a very happy life together.

As Hero got older, the gangsters in the community increased. The gangsters shoot in our community and Hero really calms me down and takes my mind off the shooting. He is caring, loving and sensitive. He makes me very happy and means a lot to me. I never feel unsafe when I am around Hero.

Hero goes everywhere with me. The only place where he does not go with me is to school. At school these days I don’t feel safe because of the gang violence and I would really need Hero to make me feel safer. Sometimes it feels like I really need my dog Hero when there is violence at school or when they are shooting in the community.

To me, Hero feels like a life saver because if I did not have him in my life then my life would be so lonely. He really brings joy into my life. No-one would ever break into my house because they knew that I have a dog that really protects me.
A lot of times in my life I only feel safe at home with Hero because he is the only one who makes my day, every day.

One day I was on my way to Hero’s training school when two guys jumped out of a bush and held me at gun point and wanted to take my wallet, and phone. I then realised that Hero is trained and he could sense that I felt unsafe. He then bit the two guys and I took my things and we ran away. He really saved me because he could sense that I felt worried and he stood up for me.

After that day I knew Hero would always keep me safe and that’s why I feel safest with Hero and no other being. He is really a hero to me.