Customer Services Officer Suzanne greets many of our clients upon their arrival, or is the person on the other end of the line when you call us. Most of you would be unaware that her seven-year-old Samoyed Shania is sitting nearby as she serves you.
“Shania always helps the staff by making them smile and gives them a pep-up if they are having a bad day. You can’t eat an apple, banana or yoghurt without sharing it with her. If you don’t give her the attention she wants she will nudge you until you do!” says Suzanne.
Shania is a particularly special dog… When Suzanne’s father was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer in 2013, Suzanne and her husband gave her Dad the Samoyed puppy.
“Dad always had such a love and passion for Samoyeds. He would spend every day with his older girls, Crystal and Nikita, walking them, grooming them and enjoying their company.
We got Shania for my Dad because we thought it would help him through the battle he had to face, and also help take his mind off what was ahead and the treatments he would have to endure.
He did say to me the day he got her ‘what happens if I can’t take care of her down the track,’ I said don’t you worry about that just enjoy her!” recalls Suzanne.
Sadly, Suzanne’s Dad only had 11 months with Shania before passing away. She then went to live with Suzanne and her husband.
“Six years on, she continues to provide me with comfort, love and affection. We have a special bond that will never be broken. We are inseparable. I believe an animal picks someone for a reason. I believe they know when you need just that little bit of extra love and support. I would be absolutely lost without her. She has helped me through a lot of hard times.
Shania could always make Dad smile, even when he was at his lowest. He always called Shania ‘mine and his girl’. She means the world to me as she is all I have left of my Dad. With her, I feel like I have a piece of him with me,” says Suzanne.
The human-animal bond is difficult to describe but easy to feel. During the toughest of times, it will be your beloved pets’ unwavering love and loyalty that will pull you through.
Next time you visit Lort Smith or get Suzanne on the phone, ask her how Shania is going – it is guaranteed to make her day.
Thank you Suzanne for sharing your beautiful story and demonstrating the power of the human-animal bond.