Sia’s Story

Laurie had to share a beautiful story about a phone call she received the other day.

A beautiful, compassionate, courageous woman that I met from Houston called to say that she would like to get her white German Shepherd, “Rio”, trained as a Service Dog for her depression, anxiety, and arthritis. She told me the most beautiful story.

Her husband passed away just the beginning of May. They were soulmates. In March, he started losing weight rapidly and his blood sugars started fluctuating. Previously, they had been very adventurous – hiking, sailing, taking cruises – everything – and they are in their late 60s. They had even just returned from a trip to Hawaii, and were ready to settle down, retire, and enjoy their lives.

They took Sia’s husband, Gordon, to the doctor, and he was immediately sent to MD Anderson with the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Gordon was British, and had a wonderful sense of humor, but also was reserved when he started feeling ill – not telling anyone. But their amazing dog, Rio, knew something was wrong. When Gordon stopped eating, Rio stopped eating.

Sia realized that Rio needed to be with Gordon. So she brought him to MD Anderson to visit Gordon. Below is the picture of the visit. Immediately, Gordon’s spirits were lifted, as were Rio’s. Sia spent every day with Gordon in the the two months he was hospitalized – until the day he finally passed away. The staff at MD Anderson were so amazed by Rio’s gentle, loving, healing nature, that they asked Sia if she would consider bringing Rio in some day to visit the children in the cancer ward.

It all happened so suddenly, but Sia had so much family support as they had 9 children combined.

Now, she has decided she needs some time alone with her and Sia. She would like Sia, who is 5, to become her Service Dog to help with her depression, anxiety, and arthritis. Of course, we will help train Sia. But I had to share this beautiful story of love – between a husband and wife, and the love between a dog and his person.

God bless you, Sia. Gordon, rest in true peace.