Thank You Rick. We Will Always Remember You
Imagine that overnight you became a lifelong quadriplegic because of an accident and spend painful years in therapy. Slow down and read that again.
Despite life lived in a wheelchair, you persevered. You went on to earn an advanced degree. You developed a meaningful career while employed by a university and beyond all of that, you used your voice to improve the lives of disabled people. Your days mattered and you made a difference. This is a life that redefines the meaning of success. Helen Keller said it best.
“Although the world is full of suffering,
it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
– Helen Keller
This is a true story of such a man. Richard Earl Goy of Ontario, Canada, known affectionately as Rick, was involved in a tragic car accident in his mid-twenties that left him unable to use his arms or legs. This was overwhelmingly difficult and sad for Rick, who had always enjoyed an active outdoor life while growing up, complete with many pets and a family Beagle named Skippy. He had to start over like a baby would. Nothing would ever be the same. He endured years of physical and occupational therapy. In this period, the quality of his character began to shine. He decided to overcome his disabilities and plan for a better life.
Rick eventually returned to school, graduating from the University of Guelph with an Honours Degree in Economics, and then a Masters Degree in Economics. He began working at the university, supporting professors in their research and publications and mentoring students as a teaching assistant. He inspired hundreds of students and others whose lives he touched.
During his career, he offered his story to become a regional advocate and leader in organizations involved with rights of the disabled, including the Canadian Paraplegic Association board of directors, the Ontario Automobile Insurance Task Force and related special Minister’s Committee, and the Wellington-Dufferin District Health Council’s Long Term Planning Committee. His deep compassion for overlooked and undervalued disabled persons was legendary. He was a point of light.
“I am not what happened to me;
I am what I choose to become.”
– Carl Gustav Jung
With his career and home established, Rick decided it was time to enjoy the companionship of a pet again, so he purchased a Beagle puppy and named her Dori. Rick and Dori had a special relationship; they were inseparable. Dori helped Rick overcome some of his physical frustrations and enjoy many moments of pure happiness. With typical zeal, he took Dori for regular walks along Guelph’s Speed River pathways near his home and in the park system in his electric wheelchair, Dori trotting alongside. Dori would often jump up and sit on Rick’s lap in the wheelchair, or on his bed at home, relates Barbara, caregiver to Rick for many years. Dori passed away in 2015 of liver cancer, at age 12, held gently on his lap.
Rick’s profound love for Dori and Skippy and homeless hounds led him to bequeath a generous sum to Gentle Jake’s Coonhound Rescue, toward their care and expenses. Rick died peacefully in his Guelph home on August 5, 2018. He was 70 years old.
May we all live so well.
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls;
the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
— Kahlil Gibran
And the rest of the story....
Here are some Gentle Jake’s Coonhound Rescue hounds that Rick has helped with his amazing gift. How could the rescue have coped with these additional expenses, if not for his generosity?
Lowell initially suffered from various allergies and intestinal issues which required diagnostic tests and were in excess of $2,000 to help him become healthier. Imagine how difficult it is to find a forever home for a senior coonhound with ongoing medical issues and expenses.
Taylor is a sweet foxhound who suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and parasites, resulting in almost $700 in unanticipated expenses. Any rescue will tell stories about their beloved dogs who needed extra help to become healthy.
Sadie, a lovely mature coonhound, is suffering from multiple expensive health issues and her expenses are currently over $2,000. She required ACL surgery and has painful arthritis. She also suffers from irritable bowel syndrome and anxiety. She is doing better now and is ready for her new family to discover her, but her medical needs are ongoing. Special needs dogs like Sadie need more exposure and attention from potential adopters.
Sally Ann, a sweet younger hound became very ill with various intestinal problems, resulting in whopping vet expenses of $3,500. She is now adopted into an amazing family that is dedicated to meeting her special needs.
Bourbon is a handsome older coonhound who suffers from anemia and Lyme disease and had a difficult case of hookworms as well. His extra expenses have totalled $1,500 and are ongoing. He is doing well in his foster home and deserves a family of his own.