College of Veterinary Medicine Home Pet Loss Hotline

Brogan came to us in March of 1995 as a seeing eye dog for Doug who had lost his sight 1-1/2 years earlier. Brogan was unlike any other dog we had ever had. He became a member of our church parish, going to the communion rail each Sunday with Doug. He attended a 4 year class, once a week for nine months each year that prepared Doug eventually for ordination as a Priest. Brogan went to two prisons in our area every week for 8 years. He was loved by every inmate he came in contact with. An interesting story happened on a visit to Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla on a weekend Christian walk there. Doug and Brogan were walking the tiers in the death row section, stopping at each cell and allowing the inmates to reach out and pet Brogan. As they approached the cell of one inmate, the guard told Doug to just pass on by "this guy hasn't talked to anyone in five years". Brogan had other ideas - he walked to the cell and stuck his nose through the bars. The inmate looked at him and asked Doug for permission to pet his dog. He then got down on his knees and did so. Brogan touched many more lives than just our families.

  We knew that guide dogs can go anyplace except a zoo and the intensive care unit in a hospital. Doug was in the hospital twice for very serious surgeries and both times he was in ICU, the surgeon told me that I was to bring Brogan in to be with Doug, because they both needed each other. He said "If anyone in this hospital objects to it, you just have them speak to me.”

Doug and Phyllis J.

Revised Feb. 6, 2007     |     Printer Friendly Version