Soria Kellogg dedicated almost all of her 13 years to serving others. Whether it was listening to a story read aloud by a young student, being by the side of a homeless child, or comforting a nursing home resident, her life meant service. Soria was a yellow Labrador retriever.
In January 2012, Soria was given one-six months to live due to bone cancer; she more than exceeded that time. She was 15 years, 2 months old to the date when she lost her battle with cancer on March 8, 2014.
"I miss her so very much, but I am so thankful for the nearly 15 years we had together," said Holly Niewinski, Soria's mother, friend and business partner.
Soria's last place of service was at Patriot Elementary School on Fort Carson Army Post, just south of Colorado Springs. The calm, yellow Lab accompanied guide dogs in training, helping wherever she could. But she found her perfect spot on a bean bag chair in the school library's Paws to Read program.
While reading a story, a student often will reach over to pet Soria and forget about their vocabulary struggles. This Paws to Read dog listened until the end of every story. At that point, the student received a paw bookmark and Soria often received a dog biscuit for a job well done.
"She was so much a part of my life, it will be difficult not to look for her to be beside me," Niewinski said.