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Veteran’s Service Dog

May 13, 2020

Right before the coronavirus lockdown was in place, Joe Tasby was admitted to Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas. He suffered from lung disease and from a heart arrhythmia. During his stay, his daughter came in every day to care for his guide dog, Cupid. Tasby is a blind veteran, so Cupid is extremely important to him.

But then the lockdown started. Visitors were no longer allowed, and Tasby had no idea how long he’d be in the hospital. With no one to care for Cupid, he began to panic. Luckily, a kind nurse stepped in to save the day. Barbara Borbeck, a nurse who was caring for Tasby, saw that he needed help. The veteran needed Cupid in the hospital with him and Cupid needed basic needs just like everyone else. So, Borbeck stepped in to care for the dog too. Whatever the yellow Lab needed, she was there to help. “She came in first thing every morning and took him for a walk all around the hospital as she did her rounds, made sure he got outside to get some fresh air and exercise. She made sure he had food and treats. Everything he needed, she took care of,” said Tasby.

Cupid grew attached to Borbeck almost right away. Every morning when she arrived, he would wait for her and greet her with a wagging tail. He could sense that she was an incredible person that deserved lots of love.

Borbeck’s kind actions weren’t just limited to the hospital though. When Cupid ran out of his special food, she went to go get more without even being asked. Many pet stores were running low on supplies, so she visited 9 different places before finding the right food. She even drove 40 minutes out of her way to pick it up before work. Tasby could not believe her dedication to him and his dog.

Tasby stayed at the hospital for about 3 weeks before he was able to go home. Throughout his entire stay, Borbeck was there to care for Cupid as if he were her own dog. Tasby had no idea how he could possibly thank her enough. “I left there thinking, ‘I have to find some kind of way to show this lady how much I appreciate what she has done for us through a difficult time,” said Tasby. “It’s fortunate when you meet somebody who is in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. And that is Barbara.” Even though Borbeck helped Tasby and Cupid immensely, Cupid actually helped the hospital too. During the lockdown, therapy dogs can no longer come in for the patients and staff. So, the hard-working employees at the hospital loved petting Cupid to help relieve some of their stress. He was able to help a lot of the staff during these tough times. Borbeck is just one of the many heroes that should be recognized during the COVID-19 pandemic. She went above and beyond for her patient and his dog. She helped make his experience at the hospital more wonderful than he ever could have imagined. Thank you to Borbeck for all her hard work and dedication during these uncertain times.

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