Quigley, a caramel-colored Labradoodle, first registered as a Pet Partners therapy dog in 2013 with her handlers Peter and Nancy Canning. Her work ended in spring 2020 when she passed away. Peter shared some thoughts about what Quigley meant to her family and to those she visited.
Nancy and I did some quick math calculating the number of visits Quigley performed with us as handlers over her six-year Pet Partners career. She completed visits with over 11,000 individuals including hospitalized kids and adults, kindergarten-age reading buddies, and newly homeless families that had to give up their pets.
We frequently heard things from staff members like, “That was the first word that child has uttered since arriving at the hospital” after spending time with her. Nurses and care techs at the hospitals frequently commented, “Spending five minutes with Quigley helped me destress and finish my shift with a better mindset.” Quigley’s calm and gentle nature helped young kids who had previously had a bad experience with dogs overcome their fears and gradually enjoy spending time sitting next to her on the floor petting her.
We always felt Quigley had a special ability to connect with folks. Since her passing, we have received hundreds of messages and notes from folks who benefited from the work Quigley did as a Pet Partners team member. This outpouring has validated our belief she was a unique little soul.
While we miss her terribly, we are thankful for all the time we had with her witnessing how she leveraged the power of the human-animal bond to help those individuals who needed it.