In Memoriam - Susan Avers
The PAWSitive Therapy Troupe deeply mourns the passing of our very special volunteer, Susan Avers. Susan lost her courageous battle with ovarian cancer on April 24, 2015. She and her Papillons Sadie and Abbie had been Troupe members since 2004. Susan's father, a veteran, had been killed by a drunk driver the year before, and she felt a special calling to work with the veterans at Hines VA in Spinal Cord Injury, Blind Rehabilitation and Extended Care. She and her dogs exemplified the compassion and empathy that are so essential for therapy work. Sadie and Abbie brought smiles and comfort wherever they went at Hines.
Susan was an outstanding role model for how to put her dogs' welfare first at all times. Susan and Sadie were stars in our 2010 Nutcracker, and they were awesome as they danced multiple roles. Susan decided to be a walk-on "guest" only at the 2012 Nutcracker because she felt that Sadie was getting older and might be stressed dancing in front of the crowds. Those of you in the 2012 Nutcracker will remember Susan carrying Sadie on stage with her stylish hat!
Susan loved running her dogs in agility competitions. She lived for the special "high" that all of us agility competitors feel when we have the perfect run, and it almost seems like we are one with our dog. But there are lots (most) of times where we don't have that perfect run. and that was where Susan really was a shining example. She knew that the most important thing in the competition was to have FUN with your dog. She truly was an inspiration for many, many of her fellow competitors. Her sunny smile and positive attitude are going to be great missed by all of us in the agility community.
Please keep Susan's family in your prayers as they mourn her death and celebrate her life.