Dogs protect through special abilities

Barbara Roy, left, adores Kelsey and her other grandchildren.


Clancy the Chocolate Labrador  Retriever lives on in five children’s books penned by Barbara Roy.

Roy, a 57-year-old resident of Indian Harbour Beach, has battled seizures since 2002. A year ago, she suffered a stroke. Clancy was on top of her when she regained consciousness and was able to call for help.

“He was my guardian angel,’’ Roy said. “I can’t feel it if my blood pressures goes to 210/108. Dogs can tell. They’re doing more research on how dogs can detect cancer. You know our dogs want us to get better.’’

Clancy recently passed away. His 8-year-old dog buddy Riley misses him. Riley now has a new buddy in Seamus, a 1-year old Labrador.

“Seamus already has been able to tell when my blood pressure has been a problem,’’ Roy said. “It’s amazing how they’re in tune with you.’’

Roy taught kindergarten and pre-kindergarten at St. Joseph’s Catholic School and at Temple Israel before her stroke.

“After a stroke, you know what you want to do,’’ Roy said. “But, your body can’t catch up. It takes time to get your coordination back. You know you can do it, but you can’t quite get there.’’

A stroke can quickly change the ap-proach to life.

“When I was first diagnosed, I wasn’t ready to sit in a rocking chair,’’ Roy said. “I was used to having 35, 5-year-old children every day. I then had a cheese-burger and ate it on the good china. All we have is today and we should give thanks for today. I know there’s a  purpose and I am going to figure it out.’’

Roy, who moved to Melbourne  Beach with her parents in 1979 after graduating from high school in  Washington, D.C., spends a lot of time with her grandchildren Kelsey, Oliver and Gabriella.

She also likes to read the stories about Clancy to her grandchildren. As a puppy, he chewed up a pipe that led to the house flooding. Another time, he inadvertently bumped a door closed to lock Roy out of the house.

Other Clancy adventures prompt smiles and laughter during cherished mo-ments of quiet time spent reading.

Roy also loves cooking, whether it be Holla bread, shrimp scampi pizza or something from her Dom DeLuise cookbook.