Beau - The Foundation Paws 'n' Tales Dog
I first saw 5 year old Beau, a sweet Staffy with a lovely smile who lived with a carer from Animal Welfare. On entering the house, he walked up to me with a scruffy scrap of lambswool in his mouth and dropped it at my feet. A gift! He then proceeded to sit right at my feet. Well, talk about melting hearts. Paying $50 for him, he jumped joyfully in the car.
We were a close pair from then on. He proved to be super intelligent and super ball obsessive, he actually played soccer. As I got to really know him I could see he could do some good in the community. Hearing an interview on Radio for PAWS Pet Therapy, I contacted Sharon and after training, off we went on our hospital/nursing home adventures.
I sensed he could do more. Googling Children reading to dogs and finding the READ program, I contacted Sharon with the idea and thanks to her research and dedication, and Lisa’s continuing dedicated work, PAWS n Tales has been a big success. The inaugural event occurred at the Nowra Library in the Shoalhaven, and after a few months the library won an Australia wide Innovation Award for accommodating PAWS n Tales.
Beau was absolutely perfect for the job. He loved the kids so much and fell absolutely in love with one little girl called Isabella. There were so many kisses and cuddles during her reading session, I’m sure he would have gone home with her. (see photo). He became well known in an around the shopping centre and was permitted in all the shops, banks, chemists etc. most having treats for him at the ready along with the odd unsolicited offers of monetary contributions. Occasionally, walking along the street, an unrecognised passer-by would say ‘hello Beau’, such was his popularity.
Beau had health problems from the start, a heart murmur along with developing arthritis. Despite these problems getting worse over the years which affected other organs, he cheerfully did his job which had advanced from the library to include the North Nowra and Cambewarra Primary Schools, exceptional vet care keeping him comfortable. At the age of 14 his body quite suddenly gave up. With an aching heart I was privileged to hold him in my arms while he peacefully passed away. His beautiful life was spent joyfully loving, giving and receiving, could one ask for more. Thank you PAWS for giving Beau the opportunity to live and experience the best life had to offer and close the circle by giving his love so freely.
I could narrate many stories of all the children whose lives have changed for the better because of Beau, the shy, the anxious, those on the autism/aspergers spectrum, the dyslexic and all those with confidence problems, now facing life so much happier, but will leave it with Isabella to speak on their behalf:
It was great doing Paws ‘n Tales with Beau, he was my best friend and was always happy to see me. I will really miss him.
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
3rd May 2018