Blarney the sheepdog will make it, with lots of love
(originally enquirer.com/editions/1999/04/18/loc_blarney_sheepdog.html Found 2/23/2005)
BY TOM O'NEILL The Cincinnati Enquirer. April 18, 1999
BY TOM O'NEILL
The Cincinnati Enquirer
MONFORT HEIGHTS -
No one knew where Blarney belonged. Turns out it's with all of us.
A photograph of the 5-year-old Old English sheepdog appeared in the April 10 Enquirer. He was tied by a rope to an upside-down Chevy Blazer, lost and bewildered. His
owners, Lee and Jacque Cook, were killed in the April 9 tornado. The emotional dominoes started falling.
A neighbor, Linda Lacinak, took him to Madeira Veterinary Hospital, where Blarney was treated for a fractured pelvis and an abrasion above his left eye.
A close friend of the Cooks for 11 years, Linda Cioffi, saw the Enquirer photo and stopped cold.
"Seeing that photo of him, tied, he was traumatized, it was very hard," said Mrs. Cioffi, a grandmother of four with a fifth on the way.
She called the hospital, which by then had been inundated with 20 offers to take Blarney, veterinarian Lisa Beck estimated. Packages of dog biscuits and even cookies poured
On Wednesday, Mrs. Cioffi took Blarney home to her Monfort Heights house, with its expansive back yard and loving family. The Cooks' two grown children, Ryan and Shannyn,
were agreeable and will be frequent visitors.
Blarney goes on daily walks without a brace and is expected to recover fully, severe haircut notwithstanding. He's the same embraceable sheepdog he was before he became
something of a media darling, temporary orphan and symbol of perseverance.
"I hope that with all that Lee and Jacque did for their community and church, I truly believe you get that back tenfold," Mrs. Cioffi said. "And you're
seeing that out there."
Oh yeah, one more thing: Why the name Blarney?
"He's full of himself," Mrs. Cioffi said, laughing.
Yes, but not without good reason.