On August 7, 2019, SCARS had the honor of being invited to the memorial service for Olga Glowa. Olga loved animals and in the past several years SCARS volunteer, Liza Russell, had brightened her days by bringing SCARS’ pets to the long-term care facility in Athbasca where she lived. Liza goes to our intake facility north of Athabasca to borrow adorable puppies which she takes to visit with her dad and other residents.

Liza may not have realized how deeply meaningful this was, but it was enough to have Olga make the special request that SCARS puppies attend her memorial. The service was a beautiful celebration of a life well lived. The puppies, Ranger and Captain Crunch and Cocoa Puff, behaved like angels.

Liza says, “I really don’t do that much… other than borrow all Sylvia’s puppies when they get to the perfect age. Not a tough job.” However, she acknowledges that it is hard to measure the impact of her visits.

She has seen tough men in wheel chairs smile for the first time in a year. She recalls a time when a lady who was too sick to get out of bed said, “Oh, I will get out of bed for puppies. After all a puppy is better than 12 pills.” Liza has also taken kittens and chicks to visit with the residents.

Liza’s dad has advanced Parkinson’s and has been a lifelong dog lover so this is where it all started. When an Alzheimer’s patient was walking the halls and speaking of being confused and lonely. Her dad said, “Get her a dog!”

Olga made a donation to SCARS each year in the amount of her age. She died at 99.5 years young so HCA (health care aid) Shay Strome made that next donation of 100 in Olga’s honour, knowing how important animals were in Olga’s life.

You never know the difference an act of kindness makes in another’s life.