Dustin II

October 27, 1997 – May 19, 2004







When I think of Dustin I think of the song line, “We can fly higher than an eagle, For he was the wind beneath our wings.” He was a vital force just like the wind enabling the lame to walk, the mute to speak and the challenged to soar.

We were all heart broken when he developed lymphosarcoma. He was diagnosed in March and left us in May. The following tribute from  Chandler Tripp, Della Maggiore and McKinnon schools was made into a picture memorial hung at child eye level in each of the schools. Years after, the children would stop and tell anyone who would listen about “My Dog.”

“Our dear Dustin “passed gently into the Lord’s hands” on May 19, 2004. Although we feel the halls of our school will never be the same without his presence, Dustin’s legacy of hope, inspiration, and encouragement will live on.

During his life, Dustin warmed hearts, giving soul to reality. Like a steady gentle breeze, he became a trusted member of the teaching staff. He whirled and swirled, acting as bridge, bringing understanding and acceptance between the disabled community and the community at large. He rustled and whispered as an advocate and supporter. Students, staff, and parents sought after his warm, refreshing inspiration.

Dustin’s ability to impact lives was nothing short of miraculous. His gentle urging and unconditional love motivated some children to say their first words to him. Some took their first steps with him. Other conquered fears.

So you see, . . . Dustin’s spirit lives on in the hearts and souls of all the children he helped and loved. He lives in their smiles and their enthusiasm for life, and will forever live in the laughter and joy that echoes in the halls of this school.”

He is the namesake of our non-profit organization dedicated to turning challenges into miracles, Dustin’s Paw of Idaho.