Shoshana (pictured on the right) and Diana (on the left) have been friends for many, many years. In fact, for both of them pretty much all they have is each other. Shoshana is 78 years old and as we learned from Avshalom Beni, founder of HAMA Israel… "This remarkable little lady embodies the trials and tribulations that many Holocaust Survivors must undergo in Israel today." Diana, though blind and aging herself, lived as Shoshana’s companion until one year ago when age-related difficulties forced Shoshana into an Israeli old-age home where the rules were clear and the sign even clearer-NO PETS ALLOWED!
When Avshalom (see Diary entry June 17, 2008) learned of Shoshana’s situation he knew that something needed to be done to reunite these two special friends. Just exactly what could be done remained the problem. As Avshalom wrote to us:
"For the last year we have taken care of her dog and have visited with Shoshana regularly, so that she knows her only remaining "family companion" is still alive. Most rest homes in this country remain unmoved by substantial research attesting to the importance of animal companionship for the elderly. Shoshana’s separation from her dog, Diana, has been very stressful for her, since this dog has been her only companion for the last eleven years. This stress has all the more been compounded by placing her in a room with patients suffering from dementia without any signs of communication and socialization. The effect is clearly demoralizing and debilitating. Shoshana has no surviving family. She is a wonderful loving human being but she is basically alone."
There was one solution that would bring these two friends together to hopefully live out the rest of their years in love and companionship. If $17,500 could be raised, the old-age home would give Shoshana her own room and Diana could return to her loving friend.
With the help of friends and others who heard this beautiful love story, the funds were slowly raised. When we heard that Avshalom was close to his goal but not yet there, the Good People Fund offered a challenge – find a donor who will cover half of the final amount needed and we will come up with the remaining tzedakah needed.
We are happy to report that Avshalom did find that one donor and within the week Shoshana and Diana will be together once again.
We all know what they say about dogs being a man’s best friend…indeed they are!(but sometimes mere mortals have to step in to help)