Sign In

Nurse Took Care Of Guide Dog

May 20, 2020

In mid-March, Joe Tasby, who is blind, walked into the emergency room of Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas with his guide dog Cupid. He thought he had torn a shoulder tendon lifting weights. “I thought I’d be able to just walk out in three days, but it ended up being 20,” the Vietnam veteran told CNN.

But when doctors examined the 70-year-old, they discovered lung disease and heart arrhythmia. He was admitted immediately with Cupid by his side.

Tasby began losing his vision five years ago, the result of glaucoma and diabetes. Guide Dogs For the Blind set him up with Cupid last year.

During the first few days in the hospital, Tasby’s daughter Tiffini came to feed and walk Cupid. But while he was there, the coronavirus pandemic hit. Southern Hills Hospital locked down, banned visitors and Tasby’s first worry was how to care for his yellow Labrador retriever.

That’s when Barbara Borbeck, a nurse at the hospital, came into the picture. “Barbara stepped up and said, ‘You don’t worry about that. I will take care of that for you,’” Tasby recalled.

For nearly three weeks, Borbeck walked, fed and cared for Cupid. She even enlisted other hospital staff to help out on her days off. “With the kind of work Cupid does, it’s important that he’s not getting ill and that we maintain his normality,” said Borbeck.

When the yellow Lab ran out of his specialized dog food, the animal lover went on a mission to find it. Not an easy task due to barren shelves from panic buying. The nurse took a 40-minute drive to a specialty store to find the right stuff.

That certainly was good news for Cupid, because he was on double-duty. With the hospital on lockdown, therapy dogs had not been allowed to make their rounds. On some of her daily walks, Borbeck visited other hospital departments with Cupid, which she says brought lots of smiles during the pandemic.

Tasby and his Lab finally headed home April 1. “It was emotional,” said Borbeck. “Joe is such an amazing man and Cupid — he’s my buddy. We are happy they are going home, but I’m so looking forward to visiting Joe and Cupid again when things open back up.”

Tasby says it isn’t just the physical healing he is grateful for — it’s the compassion of the heroes among us. “If you find somebody at the right time doing the right thing, that’s Barbara,” Tasby made clear.

“Being a Vietnam veteran, I recognize heroes when I see them,” he said. “We have so many frontline heroes. When a frontline individual goes above and beyond like that, you feel it deep inside your heart. What do you say to a person who goes above and beyond like that?” Tasby wondered.

“I spent a lot of time volunteering and helping veterans, and when I see something like this turn back towards me, it leaves me speechless.”

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Big Dogs Need Owners

    When the shutdown orders took full effect, it became nearly impossible to find a small dog available for adoption as Southlanders sought furry companions. In many Southland shelters, only larger breeds remained available for adoption. Now Los Angeles Animal Service is touting the joys of big dogs while offering discounted adoption fees for larger breeds […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Walkathon

    On Saturday, October 3, hundreds of walkers from across 15 states joined the path to bettering the world for children with autism and their families as part of BluePath Service Dogs’ fourth annual walkathon. The family-friendly fundraiser – this year held virtually – raised more than $120,000 to further BluePath’s mission of providing autism service […]

    Read more

    Service Dog In The Marching Band

    In a year that is anything but normal, the Jones College Maroon Typhoon Marching Band has welcomed its first known service dog member this fall. Laurie, a 3-year-old golden retriever, is baritone saxophone player Sara-Beth McKellar’s service dog. The Vicksburg native was diagnosed with epilepsy as a sophomore in high school after her first seizure. […]

    Read more

    Church Blesses Animals

    St. Mary’s Church of the Immaculate Conception in Port Jervis hosted a special outdoor service last Sunday afternoon to bless the community’s pets, animals and other living creatures. In keeping with current pandemic rules, pet owners wore masks, remained distant, and took part in praying for dogs, cats, turtles, and other pets and animals around […]

    Read more

    Police Welcome New Canine

    After the unexpected passing of longtime Police Service Dog Zeus earlier this week, Kingston Police are welcoming a new member to the Canine Unit. Police Service Dog Bask, also known as K9-8, is a Dutch Shepherd and Belgium Malinois mix, and will be patrolling the streets of Kingston with his handler Constable Jeff Dickson. Bask […]

    Read more

    Dog Park For Travelers

    St. Petersburg is widely recognized as a dog-friendly city, and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is making sure its four-legged visitors and their humans feel welcome by rolling out the artificial turf carpet. With the completion of the airport’s parking and roadway project – part of a series of multi-million dollar improvements at the airport over the […]

    Read more