Family mourns loss of therapy dogs known to volunteer in Sioux Falls

Dickens, a six-year-old Golden Retriever, loved to go to the Callie Library in Sioux Falls on Thursday afternoons. While children read out loud from books, he would sit in the middle, falling asleep while receiving pets from tiny hands. 

“He knew when he was in the library, we lay down, we listened and we were very quiet,” his owner and handler Carol Everetts said.

Dickens, was a certified therapy dog through Therapy Dogs International, a volunteer organization that helps register and test therapy dogs. Dickens, along with Everetts’s other certified therapy dog, Derby, were killed the afternoon of Dec. 13 when a car hit them near the Everetts’s house along 273 Street, a mile west of I-29. 

Everetts, 69, had put the two golden retrievers out to play around in her front yard when they took off running in the snow drifts, possibly after a rabbit, she said.