Joyce passed away last month surrounded by the beautiful family she built for herself in those she chose to share her life with, many of them also being members of the Regional family.
Joyce lived in Amsterdam in a farmhouse that had as much character as she did, which she shared with her dear friend Ann until she predeceased Joyce, and a pack of golden retrievers they shared as well, most recently Sam, Arthur, and Pete.
She was a retired teacher and NYS civil servant and also worked for a period of time after her formal retirement at Head to Tail, a pet boutique in Schenectady where she got to share her knowledge of and love for dogs with that community. She and Ann both loved the therapy dog work they did together with the Schenectady chapter of Therapy Dogs International, sharing their dogs with those who needed them most.
We learned lots of things about Joyce as we met others who knew and loved her in her final days, the most unexpected of which being that she once owned and always enjoyed Corvettes. We can only imagine her behind the wheel of a sports car like that.
Joyce came to Regional as a volunteer in 2017 though she was active in the dog and rescue community for the majority of her adult life. She was often introduced to new people as “This is Joyce, she’s been in dog rescue longer than I’ve been alive”. She was always willing to handle whatever needed to be handled, with a can-do attitude and a fierce toughness. She could comfort and cuddle those who needed to be consoled and she could be firm with those who needed to learn a thing or two about boundaries. Never before has the quote “Though she be but little she is fierce” ever been more applicable than to Joyce, she was a force and a presence wherever she went.
We’d all like to think that Joyce truly found her people when she came to Regional. Having been involved in other organizations she knew what it was that she wanted and didn’t want in an organization she would lend her time and talents too. She was an integral member of the team and often was responsible for vet runs, adopter interviews, providing day to day care to our dogs as well as participating in adoption and fundraising events. Her loss is felt profoundly.
While we’ll never know what her favorite Regional memory is we’d like to invite others to share their shelter memories of Joyce with all of those who are missing her in the comment section on our facebook page.
People and dogs alike, we are all better for having had Joyce in our lives and we will miss her terribly.