Saying goodbye to Yogi

RB mourns loss of therapy dog

Saying goodbye to Yogi

Robby Filec, Features Editor

Yogi, RB’s therapy dog, passed away on January 23.  Eight days ago, Yogi was diagnosed with bone cancer that had no possible treatment.

“He was put down  after one last rolling around in the snow, which was basically heaven for him,” Social Worker Mari Mortensen said.

Until two years ago, RB was the only Illinois high school to have a dog therapy program.

“Yogi was a family pet. I brought  him here when he was 16 weeks old so that he would make an attachment  to RBHS.  I think  it worked too well as Yogi often didnt want leave,” Mortensen said.   Due to many health problems, he was not at RB this year.

Yogi the Newfoundland was not just a lovable 140 pounds of fur and friendliness. He was a regular at the British Home, and due to his large size, was able to be petted by patients in wheelchairs. He also helped with physical therapy at Westlake Hospital and was a certified READ dog at the Oak Park Library. This means he would want a cookie every time a story was read to him, which would have been very funny to see.  Yogi became the third therapy dog at RB, following in the paw prints of Snuggles and Bailey.  Mortensen looked after Yogi.

Yogi was once mistaken by an RB neighbor for a bear that had escaped from the Brookfield Zoo.  Even when he was a puppy, he had bear-like qualities.

“He was 40 pounds at 16 weeks and looked like a bear cub,” Mortensen said. Yogi was fond of running, whether chasing students or geese.

RB is definitely has a hole in its heart because of Yogi’s passing.