Meet active duty, Tech Sergeant “Dasha”, mother of at least 40 offspring, and volunteer at St. Anthony’s since she was “just a kid”! Dasha was born in 2005, and moved in with her human companion, Steve Twomey when she was 8 weeks old. Steve is also a long-term volunteer at St. Anthony’s and a Religious Studies teacher at Bishop O’Dowd High School. Steve and Dasha have led countless high school students to St. Anthony’s every Fall and Spring for years now.
Dasha’s very humble about her resume! Steve has to fill in the details. She came to Steve from San Rafael’s Guide Dogs for the Blind, where Steve has been actively involved as a puppy raiser (8 weeks to 18 months) for young guide dogs. Among all these exceptional dogs, Dasha is even more extraordinary: Steve says “her temperament is unique” and really allows her to be a comfort to so many in a wide variety of circumstances. After her “retirement” from motherhood (4 litters), Dasha came to live with Steve permanently and her new career skyrocketed! Steve has even started a non-profit for her. Dasha’s main work is with Steve at O’Dowd and coming to St. Anthony’s with Steve and the students, where they typically go with the students to local Senior Adult Day Health Centers for a service component of the group’s day with us. She also has an active duty rank with the US military, giving comfort to military personnel. Dasha’s ridden in a helicopter (she “liked it!” Steve says), and most recently, her healing presence has been requested by a funeral home to be there for grieving loved ones.
The impact of what she is doing has inspired Steve deeply. They are truly a caring team! Clearly one of Steve’s “favorite things” is his relationship with Dasha and being able to share her loving presence so generously. When asked about Dasha’s favorite things, Steve laughed: “Food! Her favorite thing is Food!”
We are honored and grateful to have both Steve and Dasha with us here at St. Anthony’s. I believe Dasha leads the pack of volunteer years of service: she’s been an active volunteer at St. Anthony’s since 2009, at least: that adds up to 42 (dog) years of service! Bravo, Dasha—you comfort and inspire us all! Thank you, Steve for sharing “Sarge Dasha” with us: we look forward to seeing both of you again and again!
If you’re an individual volunteer here at St. Anthony’s, I would love to feature you in one of our monthly newsletters! Please contact Marie at 415-592-2726 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!