Although every single one of Newtown Vet’s patients is special to us, occasionally, we’re lucky enough to care for a pet that’s making an impact in the world beyond his immediate family. Harry Minsky, a lifelong patient at Newtown Vet, was one of those pets. In September of this year, Harry ended his battle with cancer and crossed over the rainbow bridge. Although Harry may no longer be with us, the memory of a life well lived and his lengthy trail of accomplishments endures, and Harry will always be remembered by the hundreds of people whose lives he touched.
Harry was a therapy dog and a valued member of both the Roxy Reading Therapy Dogs team and The Nor’Wester Readers Canine Assisted Learning Program. Both programs use therapy dogs to help children improve their reading and learning skills. Each year, Harry and his owner, Christina Minsky, were assigned to a grade-school class within the Council Rock and Central Bucks school districts. Harry visited frequently to offer companionship and encouragement to the students as they worked through their lessons. A dog like Harry is exactly what some children need to improve their learning: an attentive, non-judgmental listener whose mere presence in soothing and supportive.
In addition to his work in schools, Harry also visited assisted living and nursing homes, and he worked in the court system with the Roxy Readers as well. Through a branch of their program that assists with child court appearances, Harry would occasionally spend an hour of his day sitting with kids prior to their meetings with the judge. If necessary, therapy dogs like Harry are even asked to accompany a child to the stand so their presence can continue to soothe and calm the children even in a moment of intense pressure and stress. Throughout it all, Harry remained his sweet, sensitive self, and he only recently retired from courthouse work when old age made the walking too difficult for him. When Harry passed away this fall, he left behind his human family and a younger canine brother named Arthur, all whom miss him dearly. In addition to his family, he left behind hundreds of people who have benefited from his influence, his love, and his support over the years. Harry’s passing marked a great loss for everyone who knew him, but the positive impact he made on so many lives remains as a permanent memorial of just how special Harry truly was.