FOX21 and the American Red Cross are partnering once again to honor some Hometown Heroes – people who exemplify courage, kindness, and unselfish character. Today, we’re highlighting a special kind of hero, the animal hero, Tabor.

COLORADO SPRINGS — Tabor is more than just a family pet he’s a therapy dog.

Tabor’s owner Nancy Trepagnier said, “he’s been active duty service pretty much all of his life, and that’s when he’s happy.”

Tabor was part of the Golden Angels Flying Service Dogs. He has flown a total of 451 flights with children with autism, soldiers with PTSD, and people with brain injuries.

“He’s done the shootings, he’s also done the floods, the fires, whenever we get a call out,” Nancy explained. “They’ll call us out with the Go Team and Tabors usually the first dog at the site.”

Traveling through an airport can be “ruff,” but Tabor is making it a lot more “Paws-itive” for some.

“We flew with so many children with autism where the parents couldn’t get them on airplanes,” said Nancy.

For many of those kids, Tabor’s very presence can be the difference in a good day and a bad one.

Nancy said, “he would go in there, make him feel comfortable, roll over on his back and smile for the kids. And then after a while, the kids understood that he was there for them.” Continuing with “if a kid would open up his seat belt – he’s put a paw on each side of them and just stare at them, and if the child would try to get out of the seat, he would, 90 pounds climb up and sit in their lap until he heard the click of the seat belt then he’s go right back underneath the seat.”

He retired in 2018 from flying and now enjoys being a therapy dog. He was the dog that started the world-famous Go Team Therapy Crisis and Airport Dogs on June 26, 2012, at the Waldo Canyon Fire.

Even though Tabor’s flight path is a little smoother these days, all Nancy has to do is bring out his bandana, and he is on his way, ready to help someone new.