One corner of Sequim is in mourning following the loss of a familiar face.
Stolli, a 12 1/2 year-old-dog, was a fixture on Hendrickson Road along the Olympic Discovery Trail.
She was known as Sequim’s Sweetheart, the Trail Dog, and even The Dead Dog on Hendrickson, her owners, Kevin and Teresa Cassidy said.
However, her owners saw she had stopped eating and was in pain so they asked their veterinarian to put her to sleep on Aug. 31.
But Stolli defied the odds in recent years.
The Cassidys said they got Stolli in May 2004 when both she and their son Kaleb were 8-weeks-old.
She was an active dog, went camping with the family, always played with the Cassidys’ four children and went on walks with family and friends.
Teresa said Stolli was diagnosed with arthritis and the beginnings of kidney failure about six years ago.
“The vet said it could be anytime. She could live six months to two years, so we decided to let her do what she wanted,” Teresa said.
For Stolli, that meant lying in the sun in front of the Cassidys’ home and business A2Z Fencing and awaiting her friends. She didn’t budge much either.
She enjoyed bacon, steak, dog food and most treats people would bring.
“We never said anything to people when they’d give her treats,” Kevin said.
“I never thought she would live six more years after that trip to the vet,” Teresa said. “I think it was all the love she received that kept her going.”
Stolli hadn’t eaten her regular dog food for five days, so the Cassidys felt she needed to see the veterinarian.
That Wednesday morning, Teresa said she was petting Stolli telling her she was a good girl and everyone was going to miss her. She saw a tear come from the dog’s eye and Teresa said she knew it was time for Stolli to move on. Teresa took a picture of that moment to remember Stolli.
Later that morning the Cassidys buried their family dog in their backyard.
Since the community found out about Stolli’s death, an outpouring of support has come in the form of cards, notes, dog treats, flowers and more by where she used to sit.
Kevin said he put out a pallet to honor Stolli and the community has surrounded it with their items.
People online have reminisced about Stolli, too. They’ve shared their condolences, shared about their special bonds with their pets and how she was part of their trip to the grocery store routine.
Laura Rundle of Sequim said Stolli was her first friend in Sequim when she moved here 10 years ago.
“She gave me comfort knowing she was there everyday for my treats and pets,” Rundle said. “She comforted me after we lost our girl Hope and helped me train the meet and greet with our new pup Jollie.”
Megan Kellas, a family friend of the Cassidys, said her mom Tracey, the animal control deputy for the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, would receive at least a call a day from concerned citizens about Stolli laying by the road motionless.
Teresa said a worker at Walmart would honk and throw out a biscuit for Stolli on her way to work, too.
“There were at least six regulars who would come by and she knew what time they would come by,” Teresa said. “If they missed a day, you could tell she wasn’t happy about it.”
To honor Stolli, the Cassidys plan to place a small statue and bench outside their home to remember Stolli and plant donated flowers nearby.
They aren’t accepting donations for the memorial and encourage residents to donate to organizations like the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society and Peninsula Friends of Animals in her name.
“It’s a cool thing she had such an impact,” Kevin said.
“She had quite a few friends but I didn’t know it was as much as it was,” Teresa said. “We’re so glad people loved her so much. We want to thank them for all their support.”
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.