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Happy Tail: An older Schnauzer helps heal a heart


Janet Hlavaty-LaPosa lost her mom in July, and in addition to her own grieving, she knew her dad, Len, was suffering. Not only was he recovering from heart surgery with lung complications, he was also dealing with a different kind of broken heart. Janet, who had come to assist her dad in Chicago, was 2,000 miles away from her own home in Woodinville, WA.

Daisy the Schnauzer

Read Daisy’s story in Janet’s words.

“Let’s just say that things were pretty depressing around the house,” she says. She decided that a dog might brighten things up a bit. “I wanted an older, calm dog that wouldn’t be too rough for Dad.”

She began looking on Petfinder and found an adult Schnauzer mix named Jiggs, listed by Cache Creek Animal Rescue in Anna, IL. Janet contacted the rescue group by email and had to wait until the dog had a heartworm test, and then the group brought her to an adoption day in Naperville, IL, where Janet got to meet her. “I had already fallen [for her] from her picture and really fell for her the minute I saw her,” she says.After Janet did the necessary adoption procedures, she took Jiggs to her dad’s. He took one look at the pooch and said she looked like their old dog, Daisy, from the 70s. At that moment, Jiggs had a name change and became Daisy.

Daisy fit into her new home right away. “She came into our family pre-trained,” Janet says. “By adopting a senior, we avoided house training, basic training and teething! Not to mention getting a dog who still likes to play but is calm and loves to snuggle.”

Since the adoption, Len has officially been removed from hospice care. “I do think Daisy had some part in that by helping Dad through the depression of his illness and losing Mom,” Janet says.

This adoption shows that often a pet can be the best medicine.

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