New DH calendar
Article updated: 11/5/2012 4:03 PM

Des Plaines woman who owned hero dog succumbs to illness

Patti Kennedy of Des Plaines died last week after succumbing to a rare brain stem disorder. Her constant companion and helper, Zurich, was a finalist in the service dog category of the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards in 2011.

Patti Kennedy of Des Plaines died last week after succumbing to a rare brain stem disorder. Her constant companion and helper, Zurich, was a finalist in the service dog category of the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards in 2011.

 

JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 1 of 1 
 
text size: AAA

Des Plaines resident Patricia "Patti" Kennedy, whose loyal companion, a yellow Labrador retriever named Zurich, won the American Humane Association's Hero Dog Award for service dogs in October 2011, has died. She was 66.

Kennedy is survived by her husband of 16 years, Dion Luper, and her two children, Christopher Kennedy and Brendan Kennedy.

Visitation is today until 8 p.m. at G.L. Hills Funeral Home, 745 Graceland Ave., Des Plaines. A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home with a private interment.

The story of Kennedy and Zurich was part of a 90-minute special broadcast on the Hallmark Channel that highlighted hero dogs across the nation. The Hero Dog awards ceremony tribute video of Patti & Zurich can be viewed at hallmarkchannel.com/herodogawards/video/WinningDogs/Zurich.

Kennedy suffered from a rare degenerative brain stem disorder known as multiple system atrophy, or Shy-Drager syndrome. She applied for a service dog from Canine Companions for Independence in 2001 and three years later was matched with Zurich.

The dogs are trained to be helpers and companions for people suffering from debilitating disabilities and disabled veterans, and they are often used in nursing homes and rehabilitative care centers for their therapeutic value.

Memorial contributions may be made to Canine Companions for Independence at caninecompanions.org or mailed to Canine Companions for Independence, North Central Regional Center, 4989 State Rt. 37 East, Delaware, Ohio 43015-9682. (740) 833-3700.

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Latest Video

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    MarketsReport

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity

    BusinessDirectory

    Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

    Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.