Hospice Austin has lost a very good friend.
Quincy, the beloved therapy dog who visited Hospice Austin’s Christopher House every Friday, passed away after an illness. A memorial service to celebrate his life and his service to our patients, family and staff, was held this morning in the garden at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House.
Quincy’s owner, RoseAnn Skrovan, adopted Quincy and his twin sister at the same time. It didn’t take her long, however, to recognize his special gift. She had him trained through Therapy Pet Pals of Texas.
Quincy volunteered very week at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House for four years. RoseAnn said he thought he owned the place. He would even get a little jealous if there was another dog on the premises.
If Quincy loved Hospice Austin’s Christopher House, the feeling was mutual. He helped the staff and volunteers as well as patients and families. RN Leona Brauer said that sometimes, when she was sad about a patient dying, Quincy would give her the energy to keep going. In fact, he was so popular with the staff that RoseAnn had to make a rule that no one could give him a treat until after he finished his rounds.
Once, there was a five-year-old crying in the parking lot, refusing to come in and see her grandfather, with whom she was very close. Quincy made friends with her; she clung to his back as they came inside. When they reached her grandfather’s room, she sat on the floor, still crying, and wouldn’t approach the bed. Quincy laid down behind her and encircled her with his paws. She leaned against him for 20 minutes. When he eventually stood up and walked to the bed, she came with him. Then she climbed up onto the bed and kissed her grandpa.
“Quincy opened the door when none of the rest of us could,” said social worker Dede Sparks. “He knew when that little girl was ready.”
He opened the door for a lot of people. He would sometimes go to bereavement counseling sessions; he even went to Camp Brave Heart. With his gentle spirit, Quincy wasn’t just a welcome distraction; he was an outlet for pain and fear and grief.
One time Quincy entered a room where a patient had just died. The patient’s son hugged him for a long time and cried into his fur. He finally raised his head and said, “You’re making it easier for me to breathe right now.”
Thank you, RoseAnn, for sharing Quincy with us. And thank you, Quincy, for making it easier for everyone to breathe.