Mocha Marinelli 2009-2014
Mocha started her life at the Humane Society and she jumped at the chance to become Manitoba’s first trained PTSD Service Dog. Mocha and I were continually blessed to train with many of our Canadian heroes dealing with PTSD.
Mocha had a very successful career working at both Westdale and Bairdmore Schools as I attempted returns to work. She worked with great skill in four hospital facilities and together we fought for change in the WRHA and RHAs in regards to lawful service dog policy and procedures for all Manitobans with service dogs. Mocha was featured on Breakfast Television, the W5 program, Canine Comrades, and The Charles Adler Show on CJOB in a feature called Shelter Dog to Service Dogs. She loved coming to Margaret’s Choir where she felt the acceptance, joy and unity.
No, I am not kidding, you bet she felt the emotions…. that is one of the skills PTSD dogs have.
Prior to Halloween, Mocha seemed fatigued and within three days her life was in danger. An auto immune deficiency was making her body attack her red blood cells at an alarming rate. Although we tried and wanted to be optimistic, we were unable through medication, special diet and acupuncture to put it into remission. It was Mocha’s time….
Mocha’s legacy is the education she provided for service dog rights with the Department of Education and the Department of Health plus service dog education with students at several schools. Her legacy for me is that she was the being I have trusted most since I was eight years old. She taught me that all I have to do is put one foot in front of the other, breathe the air, and stay in the moment. I soon realized that the more I became a student of Mocha, the better I did. I have come to realize we do not own dogs, they are in our lives as gifts.
Manitoba Search and Rescue is taking great care of me. For the next three months I have Charlie, a beautiful black lab, (one of the trainers dogs), while we try to find another service dog for me as I still require one. I have grieved the loss of family dogs many times before, but missing a dog you spent 24/7 with, who helped you with your health, as Mocha would say, is ruff.