We all know of course that every dog has his day -- and this is it. Presented exclusively on Hallmark Channel Friday, November 11 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C), the inaugural American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, presented by Cesar Canine Cuisine for the first time celebrates the special relationship between canine and human and to recognize extraordinary acts of heroism performed by ordinary dogs.

A search involving more than 400,000 ballots cast in support of hundreds of dogs throughout the United States was pared to eight winners in categories including Law Enforcement and Arson Dogs; Service Dogs; Therapy Dogs; Military Dogs; Guide Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; Hearing Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dogs (paying tribute to ordinary dogs rising to do the extraordinary).

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The winner of the top prize of American Hero Dog for 2011, a guide dog named Roselle, was honored for having led her blind master down 78 flights of steps at the World Trade Center following the 9/11 attacks. She passed away this past summer but was remembered with the biggest award in an emotional ceremony with her owner, Michael Hingson.

Hosted by Carson Kressley Queer Eye), the 90-minute Hallmark Channel Original Special World Premiere will also feature presenters Betty White, Paula Abdul, Faith Ford, Julianne Hough, Michael Vartan, Peter Fonda, and many others.

The Hero Dog Awards illustrate something we have known for thousands of years: What dogs regularly do for us far exceeds anything we could ever give them. Paying them homage for their boundless courage and loyal support is not only richly deserved; it's also the right thing to do.