by Cathy McFarlane

Prince, the Girl's Cottage dog at St. Joseph's Village. The Village was home to not only to dependent children but dogs who were dependent on the love of children. Here Prince sits contented outside his cottage. Prince was adopted into the Senior Girls Cottage  after Princess died.
One morning some girls and I found a small puppy on the playground. We begged Sister Marie Jose to let us keep her. I volunteered to feed and clean up after her, if only we could just keep her. Of course, Sister said yes, and we then had our first dog, Princess. I loved "my" dog. I thought she was mine, but I bet everyone thought she was "their" dog. She went everywhere with us.

One day some girls came running inside yelling that Princess had been run over by a car. I went running outside to Piermont Road and scooped Princess up out of the road into my arms. I had already made friends with the veterinarian that was about a mile down the street. So I started running as fast as I could to the vet's office. I gave her to the vet and begged him to save my dog. However, she was dead. Before I knew it, Sister Marie Jose was right behind me. She ran all the way down the road after me and was right there to comfort me as I cried over the death of my dog.

One day, I was eating my lunch and Sister Marie Jose tells me to come with her. I thought, "what did I do?," assuming I was in trouble for something. Oh boy — now what?

She took me down the cafeteria hall to the main corridor. You may remember the small room just outside the cafeteria hallway off the main corridor. Not the beauty parlor, but the room on the other side of the hall. (The Guild room used for administrating fund raising) As we entered the room, she said she had a job I needed to do. I was to look in the box toward the back of the room and make a decision. It was a box of puppies. I was given the opportunity to pick out our next cottage puppy. I named him "Prince". How original of me.

Sister Marie Jose had a way of making me feel very special. I always wondered if she did this for a lot of the girls. I really needed a dog to love, but more importantly, I needed an adult to love me. This special occasion made me her special little girl, and I thank her for that.

Thank you Sister Marie Jose!

In a post on the Village Memories discussion board, Cathy wrote this conclusion:

Prince grew to be about 10 pounds and was black and tan. I thought that was so nice of Sister Marie Jose. There was kindness at SJV. To me that demonstrated that she loved "me" very much to do such a nice thing.

As a child I did not feel love much from adults. I was extremly aware of hostility and agression and always kept my guard up — looking over my shoulder all the time. I was such a lonely kid. I remember feeling so isolated inside myself. I would cry for hours at night, thinking when would this terrible life be over with. I used to say... just hold your breath till you grow up and all these crazy adults will no longer be in control of you. That statement lasted in side of me for many years. So when a nun showed affection, I would just melt inside and want more. The dog was unconditional love, and I needed it real bad from the dog and the nuns.

Just to finish the dog story, now that I am all grown up (I think), I am a dog lover. I had five yorkies, but three died this year. They still provide unconditional love.