By all accounts, a 5-month-old puppy should never have survived being thrown from a moving car — but then, that puppy turned out to be the resilient Tinsley.
Her new owner, Stephanie Bostaph of New Rochelle, knew there was something special about this little dog, an American White Eskimo mix. Even though she had to have one of her rear legs amputated, nothing stopped the precocious pooch. Everywhere they went, people were awed and charmed by Tinsley’s “dogged” determination and friendly disposition.
Stephanie was eager to share her special pet with those around her. She had a history of volunteering with seniors and instinctively knew that Tinsley would make a great companion for them.
The two of them enrolled in a specialty training and certification program to become a Good Dog Foundation pet therapy team. Good Dog’s mission is to ease suffering and promote recovery using animal-assisted services. Its program is recognized as among the most innovative in the nation.
Each month, Stephanie and Tinsley visit the elderly residents at United Hebrew in New Rochelle as part of their therapeutic work. The sessions are designed to bring comfort, ease anxiety and lift the spirits of the residents.
Stephanie says that during their visits, she notices the residents, (some nonverbal and physically limited) relax, smile and brighten. “Their eyes just light up for Tinsley.”
Tinsley communicates with the seniors via her own special brand of canine caring — resulting in a wordless connection.
She seems to know the important job she has — showering love, attention and affection on her senior friends. It’s hard to tell who loves the visits more.
Tinsley’s beautiful spirit inspires us. It’s not what we have lost, but rather, what we do with what is left that truly matters.