Wednesday, January 16th
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HANNAH - "Patriot Hannah W. Gibbons, MTX"
October 29, 1993 - May 23, 2004
Accomplishments: ABC MTX Certification
See Stories: "Hooray for Hannah" and "Where's Norman"
On a snowy New Year's Day in 1994, we drove our old dark green Ford "Squire" station wagon with wood paneling on the sides to Patriot Kennels in a town on Lake Erie, Ohio. The understanding with the breeder was to name our pup after a patriotic person and we chose Hannah W. Gibbons - a local woman from Bird-In-Hand, Pa. who helped with the under-ground railroad movement.
Hannah was partnered with Al and she soon progressed with her training and completed all levels of the American Bloodhound Club trailing trial certifications.
Hannah loved doing demonstrations and being around crowds of gentle hands. She was a kisser and always pressed her head against yours for more attention.
Hannah worked both civilian and criminal cases but her handler's most rewarding call-out was when she located Dylan Sharp, a 4 year old boy who went missing for over 2 hours, in 17 degree weather, wearing only a tee shirt. Hannah sniffed his blanket and within 15 minutes, located him across a main highway near a creek. It was an emotional night for many people. Dylan was safe and sound thanks to Hannah.
Another memorable case which Hannah worked was helping to locate criminal Norman Johnston in Chester County, Pa. This was a high-profile case and Hannah played a significant role in tracking down this criminal.
Hannah died at age 10 and in 2003, she was nominated and chosen to receive the "Meritorious Service Award" posthumously by the American Bloodhound Club at the national event in Tennessee. There before approximately 200 members, her partner, Al accepted this award for her. Al and Hannah received a standing ovation and many tears of joy. She is greatly missed and will forever be remembered for her gentleness.