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RIP Laci the therapy dog

Posted: August 20, 2009 9:10 p.m.
Updated: August 21, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Laci the therapy dog passed away June 12. Laci the therapy dog passed away June 12.
Laci the therapy dog passed away June 12.

Golden Retriever and celebrated D.E.L.T.A. Society therapy dog Laci, owned by Linda Provenzano of Valencia, died on June 12, 2009.

The pretty, light-blonde female was a welcome fixture at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital and Summerhill Retirement Villa, as well as a frequent visitor to severely disabled students and hospice patients. Laci, who was born on Feb. 27, 1997, was certified through D.E.L.T.A. in 1998 and acted as a mentor to other therapy dogs, including her Border Collie "sister," Jess, also owned by Provenzano. "Laci was a stubborn puppy and didn't pass certification the first time, because she wanted to play," Provenzano said.

"When she was around three, she really settled down."

Getting petted and visiting with patients was Laci's favorite activity, followed by almost daily games of catch in the park or the family's backyard.

According to Provenzano, Laci was not only a calming influence during her therapy visits, she was also instrumental in helping physical therapy patients learn to walk again by waiting at the end of their gym bars for a pet.

"One of our D.E.L.T.A. Society members, who knew Laci well, summed it up when he said that if you open up a dictionary to the words ‘therapy dog,' you would see Laci's picture," Provenzano said.


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