Big Barker is proud to present the first winner of the Good Dog Gold Medal– Sherman the Therapy Dog!
Big Barker’s Good Dog Gold Medal is awarded for acts of kindness, bravery and loyalty. And, once you know Sherman’s story, we think you’ll agree that he is the perfect first recipient of this award. Sherman spends his life caring for others and spreading joy everywhere he goes. Even in the toughest times, he’s a beacon of hope to everyone around him. Congratulations, Sherman!
Read on to learn about Sherman’s amazing story.
Sherman, a handsome English Mastiff, has traveled up and down the west coast visiting hospitals, hospice centers, prisons and nursing homes with his owner, Sherry McAllister, since he was just 4 months old. Piling into their gray SUV with Sherry’s other three dogs, their pack goes wherever they’re called.
Sherman’s natural empathy and gregarious disposition made him an ideal therapy dog and perfect companion for Sherry. Never one to waste time, Sherry began training Sherman as a therapy dog at a young age. But, no one could have predicted just how much they’d rely on his training in the coming years.
Now fully grown, Sherman weighs in at 229 pounds of “love, wrinkles and drool.” Seeing a dog that size out on the street might make some people nervous, but to see Sherman in action is to see the embodiment of a gentle giant. His easygoing attitude helps him connect with every patient, passerby and dog he encounters.
“I spent many days through this journey, wrapping my arms around that huge chest of his… Sobbing. Scared to death, or rather… scared of death.”
Thanks to early detection, the right course of treatment and a support team that included the best four-legged therapists a person could ask for, Sherry was well on her way to beating breast cancer. With a bright outlook, she and Sherman went full steam ahead, visiting folks who needed it and reaching people all across America through Sherman’s modeling for books like Shake, Wiggle and Roll and Sherman the Therapy Dog.
Trouble on the Horizon
Just as her breast cancer treatment was coming to an end, Sherry was diagnosed with another cancer, this time with an incurable form of Stage 4 gastrointestinal cancer. The news rocked their family, but just like before, Sherry is facing it head on.
Against all odds and more than a year later, Sherry continues her battle against cancer with Sherman at her side. Because her cancer is incurable, she receives chemotherapy everyday, but Sherry tells us her good days far outnumber the bad. Their amazing story of courage, compassion and fearlessness not only inspires their community, it inspired us.
We’re proud that Sherman is our first Official Good Dog Gold Medal winner. And, even more important than the medal, we’re happy to have sent him a Big Barker bed to help keep this good dog feeling good and doing good for years to come.
What’s Next for These Two?
Sherry and Sherman have recently embarked on a new journey as hospice volunteers, putting Sherry’s unique experiences as a cancer fighter and survivor to use in a profoundly meaningful way. Sherman tags along to support her on the days where her treatment side effects are tough to handle alone. It’s easy to see that Sherman’s dedication and love of service is something he got from his momma.
Congratulations on being an Official Good Dog, Sherman and thanks for all you do! The Big Barker team is honored to share your story and we look forward to supporting this amazing duo through all their adventures to come.