To all my fellow Roxy Therapy Dog Volunteers,
With a very heavy heart, I write that my dear sweet Irina passed peacefully on Monday, February 19, 2018. Those of you who knew her had the pleasure of meeting “the happiest little brown dog on earth” (as my daughter used to say).
One would have thought that Irina came to me as a puppy instead of a short 4 1/2 years ago. Our connection and bonding was tremendous. I used to say if I could carry her around in a baby Bjorn she would be even happier.
She came into our life not long after I lost my Mollie. She was just what I needed. She came to us overweight and not moving very quickly. I remember saying to my family, that if we have her for 6 months, we will know that she had a happy time. Well, a good diet, exercise and medication does wonders for a dog. Not long after that I realized that I needed to share her with the world.
However, how was I going to get a one-eyed, deaf little dog to pass the CGC and Therapy Dog Test? With the help of Susie and my friends at DAMC, we figured out how to teach her what she needed to know. She passed both tests with flying colors!
Her favorite place to work was Doylestown Hospital. Trisha (my escort) and I could see how she would light up any room she entered. From the time we entered the hospital lobby until we passed the staff in occupational therapy and made it to our favorite nurses on the 4th floor – Irina was the hit of the day!
I have two favorite stories that I would like to share about her and her special way with people, always knowing who needed her love.
Trisha and I would always ask who would like a visit and the nurses always could tell us someone that could use one. Well, we walked into a room and a woman was lying in bed. Her eyes lit up when she saw us and when we asked if Irina could lay with her she immediately moved so that they could snuggle and that is exactly what she did. She snuggled right up and the woman’s hand never stopped touching her. She told us that right before we came in “how sorry she was feeling for herself and was very down in the dumps.” However, cuddling with Irina made her feel so much better and how appreciative she was that we stopped by. Irina just knew what someone needed.
The second story happened very recently, while visiting the bereavement group at CB West. One of the students was very sad and was talking to the other students. The entire time that she was talking, Irina sat in her lap and the student petted her. I am not even sure the student knew what she was doing, but Irina knew that this young person needed her. I couldn’t have been more proud of my little girl.
However, she was also a pistol and the matriarch of the family. She loved Bones. She collected them and stole them from all of the dogs in the household. She would have them in her bed and “yell” at any of the other animals that came by – be it the cat or the 50# dogs. Funny story, she was at my daughter’s overnight and Jessica left with her PitBull mix Lola to run an errand. When she came back, Irina was fast asleep in the living room, having moved every single bone that was in Lola’s dog basket to her bed across the living room floor. Jessica said there had to be 20 bones with one of them being twice as long as her and weighing as much as her. She is still trying to figure out how she moved that huge bone.
As you can see, Irina moved in and became a major part of our lives. We will miss her terribly, but our memories will be in our hearts forever.
Thank you all for all that you do for the children and people in our community. I am very happy that I had the opportunity to share Irina with so many people.
I know that she will be remembered for her happy face and never stop wagging tail.