Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Everybody Loved Jessie

Jessie was one of the most beautiful dogs I've ever known or seen.
She did amazing things in the show ring. 

She was from a magical litter. Jessie, Breezy, Colby, Mollie, Emma, Fat Charlie, and Mama Pajama.
 I don't know another litter that has brought their owners more joy. 
(I agree. All dogs bring infinite gifts, when allowed, to their owners.)
But please permit me the luxury of saying that this particular litter was magical.

Linda took Jessie visiting at Johns Hopkins, NIH, and more. She went to see Roger Caras when he was in the hospital, and he said, "Have you come to see me, my beauty?"

Because the Willow Award was named for Jessie's half sister housemate, Jessie could never be nominated for the Therapy Dog of the Year. But I can tell you right now there are angels returning her love. 
So many did she comfort quietly.
Linda took her beautiful dog and brightened folks' days, warmed their hearts, made them smile, let them forget for a while.

If a patient was too fragile to have a dog on the bed, Linda would put a sheepskin on the over bed table. You know, the thing they put the meal trays on. And Jessie would lie there while the table was being rolled over to where the patient could reach her.
That kind of dog.

Before the litter was even conceived, Terrie and I had decided to give Linda the pick bitch.
The moment when Jessie was born, we all laughed and said, there she is! She's Linda's.
She is so beautiful!

When a dog lives to be sixteen years and eight months old, you can think they will go on forever.
Of course she will, in our hearts, especially Linda's.
But the Earth is a little bit less lovely now.
Heaven is even more so.

Jessie 6/29/97 - 2/22/14

hug your treasured hounds
and hold Linda gently in your hearts for a little while

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Call for Nominations for the Willow Award: Attention Therapy Whippets!

It's time to nominate a therapy whippet for the Willow Award. 

Our breed is full of quiet heroes whose stories deserve to be told and heard. 

We all know whippets who brighten lives immeasurably; not for ribbons or points, not for fame or glory, not even for win photos. This is the chance to shine a little spotlight on these dogs. 

Every nominee is a winner, and every nominee will receive a rosette in this year's American Whippet Club's National Specialty colors. The nominees' stories are exhibited throughout the week in the ballroom at the National. Throughout the week, people read the stories and quietly reflect. (I always place a box of tissues nearby.) 

People think, "My whippet would be great at that," and more miracles happen. 

If you own, or bred, or simply know of a whippet who is doing therapy work, please share their story in 1000 words or less. You may include up to 3 photographs, respecting privacy laws of course, in or out of the therapy setting. Holly Parker, Director of Animal Assisted Therapy at the NIH, will choose the recipient of the Willow Award, and their story will be featured in the Whippet Newsletter and the Whippet News Annual. 

2013 Willow Award recipient Jazz making miracles with owner Christine Heath

Please submit your nomination (remember: 1000 words or less, and up to three high res photos) to pcrenzulli@gmail.com. Entries close midnight on March 31st, because I HAVE to order the rosettes!

Willow and a friend.

A note about Willow:
Linda Solano's very first whippet, a little white bitch with a blue brindle mask and ears, is the only whippet in history to earn a prestigious AKC Award of Canine Excellence - the ACE Award now presented at Eukanuba - for her extraordinary therapy work. Willow's life was too short, yet in her time on our earth she touched the lives of so many people in need, the way only a whippet could. To honor Willow's contributions we ask you to tell the story of the whippet you know who is making people feel a little better, who is bringing about those quiet miracles, who is making people smile.
We ask you to

 Pass It On!