With the heaviest hearts, we are sad to share the news that one of our founding volunteers has passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Ali Abuhata, the father to DC SIR's President, as well as to his beloved Shiba girl Sachi, passed away last week, surrounded by his family. Sachi was even allowed to visit Ali at the hospital to say goodbye.
Sachi and Ali's backstory from his daughter: My dad, my inspiration, I was blessed to have the most incredible father. Just over 13 years ago, we were told my dad had 2 weeks to live and to plan his funeral. I read a study that dogs can extend heart patient's lives and against his wishes, I bought him a Shiba Inu puppy we called Sachi.
He fell in love with her and she with him. Each time he would go to the hospital over the years, we would tell my dad, "Sachi needs you - you have to come home" and every time he did. They were a team. She made sure he exercised by doing walks. Everyone in the neighborhood knew my dad and Sachi from their slow strolls.
Two weeks prior to my dad going into the hospital, Sachi began acting so odd that I scheduled a full vet appointment to see if she was sick. Panting, pacing, crying and following me around. The Wednesday my dad went to the hospital, all of her symptoms disappeared. By that Friday morning, she no longer had symptoms and her vet suggested she was trying to tell us my father was sick (he had been in the hospital 2 days. All her blood values and tests came back fine. The vet suggested Sachi had known of my father's failing health before he did or any of our family or doctors did. At times, she still waits for him by the door with a toy in her mouth, anxious to greet him but we are grateful they were able to spend a few hours together in CCU the day before he passed.
Ali's bond with Sachi not only inspired DC SIR's founding, but his contributions to rescue are beyond measure. As a resident of Shiba HQ, Ali welcomed hundreds of rescues into their new lives, greeting them with a kind smile, gently spoken reassurances, and tender pets to let them know they were safe and loved.
Ali often set the positive tone for new rescues before they went to their permanent foster homes. Even more impressive were the bonds he formed with long-term fosters at Shiba HQ, from allergy dogs to puppy mill survivors to reactive dogs.
Ali's work was often in the background. He never asked for recognition, preferring to keep the focus on the dogs, but had his hands in many aspects of the rescue. Literally, you will see his hands cuddling or petting rescue dogs in many of the pictures posted on our social media over the years.
Thank you, Ali for all you gave. We as volunteers cannot thank you enough. Your absence will be monumental. You set an example of quiet grace for all of us, and we hope we can measure up to the standard you set.
To support Ali's family in covering unexpected memorial and medical costs visit: https://www.gofundme.com/AlisFund
DC Shiba Inu Rescue provides continued support to all its adopters, fosters, and volunteers in evidence-based humane dog training, optimal nutrition, and wellness, and low toxic and low-stress environments so that humans and their dogs may thrive.
Learn more about DC SIR below
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