Mandy Kay Quit's resumé includes fulfilling therapeutical needs at Brownwood Regional Medical Center, Brownwood Nursing and Rehab and Cedar Ridge Children's Home in Lometa.

    Mandy, a Miniature Dachshund, who was the focal point for pet therapy sessions from 1998-2001, died recently, said owner and Early resident Linda Arnold.

    “I felt as if people should know that Mandy had passed,” Arnold said. “She spent a lot of time with a lot of different people here and made a difference in their lives.”

    Arnold, who has worked as a social worker, made the decision to enroll Mandy in obedience school at a young age. “I wanted her to be able to work with me,” Arnold explained. “She needed the skills that obedience school could provide.”

    The three-day-per-week, two-month obedience school prepared Mandy for dealing with clients who were facing physical, mental and emotional challenges, Arnold said. “She was able to follow every command I gave her and I knew she would be able to work with the patients.”

    Pet therapy sessions in the now-closed Behavioral Medicine Unit at BRMC is where Mandy began her “career.” “Every morning, she would open the patients' doors, bark a couple of times and then spend the rest of the time loving on them,” Arnold said.

    The attention the patients would receive from Mandy made a “world of difference,” Arnold said. “If there were patients that were hostile or would not take part in group activities – Mandy would spend time with them. She could sense when people were sick. It was very rare that a patient didn't respond to her. Everybody loved Mandy.”

    Mandy also spent time at Brownwood Nursing and Rehab. “She entertained the patients and often was found in a patient's lap or playing with all who loved her,” Arnold said.

    A “natural” love for children made Mandy a good fit at Cedar Ridge, Arnold said. “She loved children with a passion,” Arnold said. “She was very protective over kids and whether it was with the neighborhood kids at home or at Cedar Ridge, she loved children and was always happy to be around them.”

    Due to an injury Arnold sustained, she was unable to work, which sent Mandy into retirement. “Even though I was hurt, she still stayed the same loving dog and would play and love anyone and everyone.”

    Yearning to once again offer pet therapy services, Arnold plans to find another “mini-dachshund” to carry out that plan.