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A Dog Whose Owner Passed Away Is Now A Shoulder To Cry On For Many Sad Souls

A Dog Whose Owner Passed Away Is Now A Shoulder To Cry On For Many Sad Souls

One of the hardest moments in life is when we have to part forever with the person we love the most. For every dog, the world revolves around its favorite person, but sometimes there simply comes the time of the final goodbye. 

A beautiful 9-year-old Husky named Gaia spent the happiest moments with Sandra, her 80-year-old owner, and could not imagine life without her. 

However, everything changed one day when Sandra was hospitalized due to her worsening health condition, and Gaia was left alone in her longtime home in Dallas, Texas. 

From that moment on, nothing was the same in this dog’s life.

One Miracle Walk

beautiful white dog
Source: CBS NEWS

In the first few days after her owner’s hospitalization, Gaia’s eyes were filled with sadness and loneliness. Just when she started to lose hope that she would ever experience a warm human hug, one good soul appeared in front of her tiny backyard. 

Sandra’s next-door neighbor, Lisa Kanarek, was passing by the house in Dallas, Texas, and she couldn’t help but notice the lonely expression on this dog’s face. She decided to take Gaia for a walk that day to comfort her. 

However, the two quickly clicked so it wasn’t just one walk, but they continued to hang out for the next three weeks. Then, Lisa got a call from Sandra’s good friend, Gilda Levy, which changed everything.

“Two weeks before Sandra [passed away], [Levy] said, ‘I don’t know if you’ve thought about this, but would you like to take her?’” Lisa told CBS News. Knowing what could soon follow, Lisa could not refuse this request

When that sad moment came, Sandra’s house remained empty. Moments before, Lisa had come for Gaia, clipped her leash on, and walked her into a new beginning. 

Her New Life Mission

young boy petting a dog
Source: CBS NEWS

Numerous walks with Lisa were a real balm for Gaia’s soul and a way to forget about her saddest moment. She especially enjoyed being around children when she met them, and Lisa noticed that this dog was a kind of therapy for them as well. 

This gave her the idea that she and Gaia should apply for a real therapy program, which they eventually passed together. On her very first day at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, Gaia showed that she was born for this noble job.

She soon won the hearts of many children at the center. One 18-year-old patient named Brooklyn could not hide his delight, saying: “Dogs are, like, the best thing that ever happened to me, like, in this hospital.”

But, this was not the end of this beautiful story. While Gaia’s former owner, Sandra, was still hospitalized, Lisa was completing her education as an end-of-life doula. This prompted her to take Gaia with her on a new journey.

Lisa could already see that Gaia was an excellent therapy dog ​​for children, but she was convinced that this canine could provide the same amount of love and compassion in a new type of therapy: hospice.

old woman and dog
Source: CBS NEWS

After several days of working with the terminally ill, Lisa’s assumption was confirmed – Gaia’s positive energy and gentle personality were curative even for the most wounded souls

Helping those who need it the most has become the life mission of this amazing dog.

Keeping Her Memory Alive

woman walking a white dog
Source: CBS NEWS

After her saddest moment, Gaia’s life changed completely. She became the happiest dog and had a higher purpose. But, what makes this story even more special is the fact that Gaia has made the lives of many other people more beautiful, especially that of her new owner. 

Lisa was so grateful to have her that she even decided to write an essay about her life with Gaia, which was published by the Washington Post

“Gaia’s life changed when she became part of our family. She interacts with the kids down the street (her fan club) during our walks, and she provides laughter and levity to sick children, all with her tail wagging. She goes with us on road trips and to outdoor festivals where she knows that people will stop to run their hands down her fluffy back or ask her for a high-five.

“My life is different too. Meeting dozens of people during our visits has brought out the extrovert tendencies I lost during the pandemic. Before I knock on each patient’s door, I breathe in, then greet families with confidence, knowing the reaction my sidekick will receive. …”

“As we pass through the halls of children’s hospital, I think of Sandra and hope she’s smiling, knowing how much joy Gaia brings to everyone she meets.”

blonde woman and white dog
Source: CBS NEWS

As she recited these heartwarming words in her interview with CBS News, Lisa could hardly hold back her tears. However, her emotions culminated when she remembered the late Sandra. 

“I don’t know. It’s just knowing the effect [Gaia] has on people. It makes me happy; it makes me sad, because I wish I had known Sandra better, but I think this is the way that I’m helping keep her memory alive,” she said at the end. 

Don’t worry, Lisa. Gaia is the treasure Sandra left for this world, and she will live in her heart until the last wounded soul she heals.