May 3, 2006 – July 3, 2016“Lifetime dogs intersect with our lives with particular impact; they’re dogs we love in especially powerful, sometimes inexplicable, ways.” -Jon Katz
For my friend, Leigh Warren, Rosie was a lifetime dog. An Australian Shepherd, Rosie was born with a congenital defect that left her completely deaf. When she was 17 months old, she came to live with Leigh, who taught her more than 2 dozen commands in American Sign Language. Together, they became a remarkable and effective Therapy Dog team lifting the spirits of countless members of our community.
On Friday, July 1, Leigh learned that Rosie, a few days shy of her 10th birthday, had an aggressive form of cancer. On Saturday, July 2, Leigh, Rosie and I met at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church to take a few photographs in hopes of preserving, even in some small way, the remarkable soul that was Rosie and the bond she shared with Leigh.
We spent a few truly special hours together. I got to see all of Rosie’s awards, certificates, and newspaper clippings. She even had her own Facebook page.
On Sunday, July 3, Rosie slipped peacefully away. Mercifully, it was without pain or fear, and with Leigh nearby.
It was an honor to photograph Rosie as a thank you and tribute to all the lives she touched. Rosie and Leigh serve as a reminder to me that no matter our burdens or issues, we all have something to contribute to this world and we should get out there and lend a hand.
Rest in peace and rise in glory, sweet girl.