Helping Paws Healing Hearts dog Daryl dies

ALLEN MINCEY Banner Staff Writer
Posted 7/13/16

The second of the original dogs who served with Helping Paws Healing Hearts passed away a few days ago.

Daryl, age 13, follows the death of his brother, Larry, and as owner and Helping Paws …

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Helping Paws Healing Hearts dog Daryl dies

THE SECOND of the original dogs in the Helping Paws Healing Hearts therapy program passed away on Friday. Daryl and his brother, Larry (who died in April), helped their owner, Amy Hicks, in the program that included not only therapy but also grief counseling for children and others following tragedies.
THE SECOND of the original dogs in the Helping Paws Healing Hearts therapy program passed away on Friday. Daryl and his brother, Larry (who died in April), helped their owner, Amy Hicks, in the program that included not only therapy but also grief counseling for children and others following tragedies.
Contributed photo
Posted

The second of the original dogs who served with Helping Paws Healing Hearts passed away a few days ago.

Daryl, age 13, follows the death of his brother, Larry, and as owner and Helping Paws Healing Hearts originator Amy Hicks said, he “crossed the rainbow bridge.”

“Losing Daryl left us with a hole in our hearts,” Hicks said. “Daryl had a quickly growing tumor that over the past few weeks had left him in pain and losing the ability to walk.”

Hicks said that Daryl was Helping Paws Healing Hearts original therapy dog, becoming the first of the organization’s three dogs to begin working to touch the lives of others. He “co-authored” three books, had numerous TV appearances and had many media articles written about him.

“The morning he was to leave us, we were blessed to be able read to our daughter the book Daryl helped us ‘write,’ about when your pet dies,” Hicks said.

She said the family is truly sad to lose both Daryl and Larry so close together.

“To my knowledge, he was one of the first therapy dogs in the state of Tennessee working in a school system, in 2004,” she said. “He even traveled to the Tennessee School Board Convention, where we presented how we were using pet therapy in the school system.

“Daryl was our first therapy dog and began working at Clare Bridge, then Wellington Gardens on a weekly basis visiting patients and families in 2004,” Hicks remembered. “Daryl truly was a ‘big teddy bear’ with an amazing heart of compassion.

Hicks said that Daryl “worked” at 12 Helping Paws grief camps and met with literally thousands of students in local school systems over the past 12 years.

When they learned of Daryl’s passing, many who are familiar with the program and with Daryl had touching words.

“We are sad beyond words to hear of precious Daryl's passing over the rainbow bridge. Yes, he was sent to love others and his love and spirit have made countless lives happier and richer beyond measure. I know your hearts are broken but do know that we are all thinking of you and so thankful for all you and your family, two-legged and four-legged, who have meant and will always mean so much to all who are fortunate to know you,” said one contributor.

Other remarks included:

— “Oh Amy, I am so sad to hear about Daryl. What a great life and lucky dog to have the Hicks family love and care for him! His contributions to Cleveland will leave a legacy so that he is never forgotten.”

—“Amy I'm so sorry for your loss. We loved and will miss Daryl so much. I was fortunate to get to see both boys "in action" at Blythe Bower, and how they served those children with so much patience and love. Their presence made an impact on so many.”

— “He was extraordinary.”

— “We are so sorry to learn of Daryl's passing. Daryl like Larry was amazing and touched many young and old.”

— “I so looked forward to seeing Daryl each day I knew you would be visiting Prospect. I will be praying for you all in this sad time and time of transition within the family and foundation. Thank you for sharing your gifts in counseling with animals with all of us over the years! You are always a blessing!”

— “Daryl was able to make people feel accepted and his goodness showed in those kind eyes of his. He has left the world a better place wherever he walked.“

Hicks said she, her husband Wes, and daughter Mary Elizabeth will miss Daryl, but Addie, their other therapy dog, may miss Daryl the most.

To find out more about the program, go to www.helpingpawshealinghearts.com, where you can also send Amy a note telling her about the impression Daryl made on you.

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