For the first time ever, I get the pleasure of honoring an exceptional dog as this week's Hometown Hero, and it brings a HUGE smile to my face.

Meet Sasha DeBoer, a loyal and newly-retired member of the Rock County Sheriff's Department in Wisconsin.

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I think the reason I love the nomination letter we received from Laurie Nolan of Beloit, Wisconsin is that she took the time to honor both Sasha's exceptional work and the service of Sasha's beloved handler, Nate. I think after reading this you will fully agree that Nate and Sasha make an extraordinary pair of heroes and totally deserve this week's Hometown Hero honors;

My home town hero is Sasha DeBoer. Sasha just recently retired from the rock city WI. Sheriff’s dept. Serving Beloit Janesville and surrounding area. She was their K9. Nate DeBoer was her handler. Nate continues to serve the Rock city area. Nate also served in the US Army and served a tour in Iraq, before becoming an officer for Rock City. Sasha and Nate were partners for 9 years before Sasha retired. Longest serving K9 in Rock city. She assisted in 150 tracks and 600 searches. Sasha is spending the remainder of her retirement at home with the family. Both Nate and Sasha are my Hometown heroes.

Sasha may be able to do incredible things, but I'm assuming buying stuff online isn't one of them, so Nate, can you please use the $100 Amazon gift card we are giving you from Gustafson's Furniture & Mattress to buy something for Sasha that will really make her tail wag? Thanks!

Sasha, we hope you enjoy many lazy days of retirement and a whole lot of cuddles too!

Do you have someone special to nominate as next week's Hometown Hero? Please do so now, here.

Past Hometown Hero Award Winners

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Does your loyal pup's breed make the list? Read on to see if you'll be bragging to the neighbors about your dog's intellectual prowess the next time you take your fur baby out for a walk. Don't worry: Even if your dog's breed doesn't land on the list, that doesn't mean he's not a good boy--some traits simply can't be measured.