A shining star has left us.
Because many of you in the Missouri and Arkansas Red Cross Region had the chance to meet and interact with her, we wanted to share that Miss Tchoupitoulas Rose (“Miss Choppy”), the Divine Diva of All Dogs, crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Friday, February 24, after a rapid onset of the final stages of hemangiosarcoma. To say we were caught off guard is an understatement. Her symptoms came on suddenly and without other clues which is common with the cancer. In a week, she was gone. Mercifully, she felt no pain during her final days as she made preparations to cross over the Rainbow Bridge.
Miss Choppy is the last of the original three Golden Horde Therapy Dogs. She served a total of seven years as a Red Cross volunteer, four years in Missouri and Arkansas, and three years while she lived in Minnesota.
A prankster, she relished the attention when the vest came on to go to work. It was one of the few times she agreed to show off what few tricks she knew. Miss Choppy gave the Red Cross tremendous service in multiple states, particularly with our Service to the Armed Forces initiatives. She made goodwill visits to veterans’ homes, stand downs, resource events, resilience education, blood drives, and was lead dog in helping to regenerate the Missouri-Arkansas Region’s Animal Visitation Program. Patients and staff loved her hospital work, too, especially in the cancer treatment center and emergency room. She was one of the inaugural dogs in the establishment of the therapy dog program at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Miss Choppy had a special bond with kids, the younger the better. Trips to schools, pediatric dentists, and the Ronald McDonald House were her favorites. To say she interacted with thousands of people is not an exaggeration.
Miss Choppy never met a stranger. She never growled or barked in anger. She never had a fight with another dog, not even when they tried to get her to do so. She was pure love. Pure. Love. We miss her greatly but find solace in the knowledge that she is now back with rescued Golden brothers Murphy the Magnificent and Prairie Dog, chasing squirrels and each other through the clouds. We are fortunate to have her Golden rescued sisters, Minnie the Bear and Molly the Mischievous, here with us to help ease the loss, but they, too, understand the meaning of Miss Choppy’s empty vest and collar hanging in its place by the steps.
We want to thank all of you who had the opportunity to meet and share your love with Miss Choppy over her nearly ten years in Minnesota and Missouri. Miss Molly now steps up to carry her legacy forward in service to the Red Cross.
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