Sandye Mann & Bosun: A Rewarding Partnership

Sandye Mann and Bosun first registered as a Pet Partners team in 2014. On November 12, 2022, Sandye sent the information below, with her decision to retire Bosun—and her wonderful tribute to him and all that she gained through her years of partnering with him.

A silver-haired woman sits with her chocolate Labrador retriever therapy dog.

Back in June, Bosun was having trouble with his back legs and I learned from the vet that his arthritis had gotten very bad—some of his spinal bones had actually grown together in strange ways on his spinal cord. In addition, he had three growths in one of his lungs and another on a kidney. My son and I were very upset about the information. We’ve kept him on medication and a much slower pace since that time, trying to take one day at a time and keep things nice and mellow for him.

In addition, I’ve had a continuing medical issue I’ve been dealing with and more recently I’ve had a bad fall and concussion that landed me in the hospital.

For those reasons I feel it best to retire as an active Pet Partners team at this time. I still have some weekly visits to Oxford High School that Bosun and I made throughout the spring until the end of the school year that I realize now that I never added to our log.

Bosun and I became a Pet Partners team when he turned two years old; he now is eleven and a half. I am sure that I will eventually have another dog that I will train for therapy work through Pet Partners. There are many things that Bosun and I did in the early years that never made it onto my activity log, like parades for breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, Halloween trick or treating downtown for the littlest kids, trips through our town library where Bosun visited with kids and adults alike a couple times every week (the librarians loved him!), visits to the local farmers’ market, miscellaneous trips to the college bookstore that was two blocks away to visit college kids, and the merchants down the street who all began putting out water bowls during the summer months.

Bosun and I LOVED every minute of every single time he had the opportunity to share his love of people. Bosun especially loved our weekly visits to a large rehabilitation facility for developmentally disabled adults that became the highlight of our weekly schedule for a number of years. To the people there, Bosun was a real “rock star.”

All of these things made me a better, more fulfilled person. My life has been so enriched because of Bosun and Pet Partners, due to all the wonderful experiences we had over the years. Thanks to all of you there. The work you have done over the years to create and teach a thoughtfully developed, in-depth training program that can lead to so much joy and a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment for so many is wonderful.

I look forward to being in touch with you when my next furry friend walks into my life.

—Submitted by handler Sandye Mann