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The Final Goodbyes of a Full Life; a Celebration of Mindy’s Service

    “We said our final goodbyes to Mindy this week. 

    Mindy was 12 years old and developed hemangiosarcoma in her spleen that spread rapidly to other organs and was untreatable. Her last few days she played with her toys, went for walks, cuddled with us and was spoiled with venison treats. The night before she passed she was in a good mood and made the rounds in the house, checking in on everyone and sharing her affection with each of us.

    She was the most incredible service dog and was quite literally attached to Evan at the hip for years as his four legged partner and confidant. 

    She was mostly retired but was still quite active. She loved running, chasing a ball, playing in the snow, snuggling with Evan, scratches behind the ears, going to school, riding in the car, escorting Evan in public and surveying the yard and neighborhood from the bay window.  

    When Mindy looked at you, her eyes were so communicative and she spoke volumes with a look. People who met her connected with Mindy. Always gentle, always affectionate, always present.

    Mindy came into our lives because of the kindness and generosity of hundreds of people who helped us raise the money to get a service dog. They made donations to 4 Paws for Ability and purchased My Seizure Dog, the book Evan wrote and published in first grade and used as a fundraising tool. The community came out in force to support Evan, Mindy and our family and we are eternally grateful.

    Mindy was the second service dog to attend Fairfax County Public Schools and her entrance included media coverage and a warm welcome from staff and students. She quickly became part of the community and each year those bonds grew stronger. 

    She received awards, participated in a school play and was even given a staff badge! She also joined Evan in media coverage appearances, a TedX Talk, advocating for TSC on Rare Disease Day, lobbying Congress for funding for TSC Research, fundraising events, conferences, too many hospital stays to count and so much more! 

    We are honored to be one of the many 4 Paws for Abilities families and are so appreciative for this incredible organization and the many ways you changed our lives.

    The heartbreak of saying goodbye is immense and heavy and we count ourselves lucky for the time we had with Mindy.

    Thank you for all you do.”

    -Evan, Lisa, and all of Mindy’s family