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Forever in our Hearts

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Dear Friends,

It is with deep sadness that I must share with you the loss of Nellie, one of our tiniest and most wonderful ambassadors in our Humane Education Classroom. Nellie, the little Chihuahua with the big personality, joined the team fifteen years ago as the beloved new addition to Paula Parisi’s home. As you know, Paula is the exceptional Manager of our Humane Education department and was about to share the exceptional gift of Nellie with thousands of children over the years.

As a puppy, she was so tiny you could hold her in the palm of your hand and she had the sweetest disposition. Being a puppy, she needed constant care and training so Nellie became a daily presence in the classroom. Children and parents came to expect that Nellie would be there to joyfully greet them as they attend classroom programs. She stole the heart of everyone who met her. She attended summer camp with the kids, and began to be a featured classroom pet. She could be seen sporting party dresses for birthdays and seasonal outfits for the holidays. Her many tricks were so popular that Paula had to make sure that she didn’t get too many treats in a day!

She was a puppy with a large wardrobe and larger heart than most and had lots of bling and party hats making her an anticipated guest and so much fun for the kids. With her tail wagging and eyes filled with joy and enthusiasm she even tried to welcome the dogs, rabbits and cat visitors that came for visits with the campers. Nellie had excellent manners and would share the classroom, teaching social skills to puppies and even older dogs who didn’t mind theirs.

In her puppy years she went to schools, recreation centers, libraries, the Children's Museum and was even a local television star. She represented all the surrendered and adopted animals with love and heart. She showed people that pure bred dogs are found in shelters along with all of her mixed breed friends.

Nellie was highly entertaining every chance she got. She knew how to high 5, roll over, go to sleep, wake up with a jump, paw the EZ button that said "That was easy!" and twirl around in her tutu dancing joyfully. Nellie had another job as a professional model; sporting booties to keep paws dry during rain showers and snowstorms. She truly was the most unique and adorable pup!

One summer, the campers taught her to ride a skateboard down the hallways. She seemed to light up as the kids cheered during their races. The kids loved to snuggle with her as she hopped up on their chairs and lounged in their laps. During Reading with Animals, Nellie was always the most popular choice for kids to read a story to.

Not only did Nellie grow up in our classroom, a generation of local children,campers and club members grew up with Nellie. She taught children who were fearful of pets to begin to trust. Most often the most fearful children fell in love with Nellie the most, she broadened their appreciation of animals in our lives and introduced the feeling of loving an animal.

Nellie was truly an ambassador for the NHSPCA, every day for 15 years, and meant even more than that to every child, staff member and volunteer who came to know her. She will forever hold a special place in all of our hearts.

Nellie, you will be missed. 

Lisa Dennison
Executive Director

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