Strong showing in support of loyal companion - Republic-Times | News

Strong showing in support of loyal companion

By on August 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Violette Nast of Valmeyer, accompanied by her black Labrador service dog Petey, was happy with an impressive turnout for Saturday’s trivia night at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Columbia.

Violette Nast | Trivia Night 2012

Violette Nast with her special friend Petey during the benefit. (Alan Dooley photo)

The event, held to help cover veterinary costs in connection with Petey’s ailments over recent months, netted more than $3,100 from at least 110 participants in the trivia contest, silent auction and several raffles.

More than 40 Monroe County merchants contributed items and services for the silent auction.

Nast has been wheelchair bound for several years, and Petey has been her constant companion for seven years.  He is credited with saving her life on no fewer than three occasions during that time. He is trained to detect her asthma attacks even before Nast is aware of their onset, warning her before they strike.

On one occasion, Petey retrieved her asthma inhaler from the refrigerator and brought it to her as she struggled for air.

When Petey is not saving Nast’s life, he is her constant companion, guarding her, helping with household chores such as putting wash in the clothes washer, moving it to the dryer and then putting it in the laundry basket and moving it to the bedroom for her.

He even showed off several of his skills to trivia game participants Saturday night, including retrieving a pencil and even a quarter from the floor and presenting them to Nast.

Petey accompanies her everywhere, and is a popular “parishioner” on Sundays at St. Paul UCC, both in the sanctuary and in Sunday School where Nast teaches.

Petey was recently thought to be suffering from liver cancer, but that was ruled out by a series of costly visits to a veterinary specialty hospital in St. Louis.  He is still on an expensive special diet, and may require additional intervention for a still-to-be-determined ailment.

(This article appeared in the Aug. 29 edition of the Republic-Times newspaper)

Alan Dooley

Alan is a photojournalist -- he both shoots pictures and writes for the R-T. A 31-year Navy vet, he has lived worldwide, but with his wife Sherry, calls a rambling house south of Waterloo home. Alan counts astronomy as a hobby and is fascinated by just about everything scientific.