Upon returning from my wedding anniversary cruise with my husband, our beloved 8-year-old shih tzu, Killer Foo Foo, became extremely ill. At the hospital, he was diagnosed with severe kidney failure due to leptospirosis. Due to the severity of his illness, we made the very difficult decision to say goodbye to our special little dog.
I was never really a dog person, until this little guy came into my life as part of my work as a geriatric social worker. My brother, Zenny Ng, an expert on therapy animals and member of the Pet Partners Human-Animal Bond Advisory Board, encouraged me to keep him. He believed he would make a great therapy pup. I fell in love with Killer Foo Foo, and we became a Pet Partners therapy team together. He not only served as a “facility dog” of sorts at the senior center where I work, but every single person there was obsessed with him. He participated in all kinds of special events, did hospice visits, nursing home visits, and started doing virtual group visits dubbed, “Zooming with Foo Foo and Friends” for the seniors I worked since the start of the pandemic.
As a team, we participated in everything Pet Partners had to offer: including volunteering for evaluations, attending the Pet Partners conference in 2019, and celebrating National Therapy Animal Day by advocating for a proclamation in Greenwich, CT. Killer Foo Foo and I were featured on BronxNet’s OPEN TV show in October 2019, in which I spoke about the traits and training needed to make a good therapy dog. Because of this work, I have spoken at a few gerontology/social work conferences about conducting virtual animal-related engagement and I have become an advocate for AAI in the NYC Tri-State area. Killer Foo Foo truly changed my life.
After such a devastating loss, it is difficult to think beyond Killer Foo Foo. He not only touched the lives of my family, but he also touched the lives of so many in our community who are also devastated by his sudden passing. I am so thankful for the time we spent together, and that I was able to share this special therapy pup with the seniors that he enjoyed during our many, many visits as a Pet Partners team.
Killer Foo Foo online: