Baby Christina, Part II

Last summer 2 ½ year old, Christina Norris, tragically drowned in the Ohio River.  Nearing the one year anniversary, Christina’s mother, Paige Cooper, contacted me to thank KYK9 for searching for Christina.  What courage that must have taken.  I asked Paige if she and her daughters, Olivia (2 ½), and Alix (1 month), would like to meet Remy and Scout.  She bravely said yes.  We met at a park where other mothers were sitting in the shade, watching their children play.   Scout and Remy happily greeted Olivia and Paige with wags and licks, reaping pats and laughter. 

But when Scout and Remy noticed Alix, who was sleeping in the shade a few feet away, both dogs pulled to see Alix.  Nobody else mattered. Paige asked why Remy and Scout were so interested in Alix.  Not sure, I took one dog at a time to meet Alix.  Scout approached the baby carrier cautiously, getting more and more excited.  As she sniffed Alix’s blanket, Scout touched the carrier with her paw, lay down and barked.   Stunned, I could not believe what I saw.  Scout was indicating on the baby. 

Paige asked why Scout was so intently focused on baby Alix.  I paused before asking if Alix was sitting in Christina’s carrier.  No, it was not Christina’s.  But, Alix was wrapped in Christiania’s’ blanket.  Watching Scout, Paige looked up at me and asked if Scout remembered Christina’s smell.  Paige said what I was afraid to – that Scout recognized Christina’s scent.  Eleven months had passed, but Scout had found her person.  

Witnessing Scout recognize Christina’s scent 11 months after she drowned was overwhelmingly amazing.  Moved to tears, I was afraid to look at Paige until she said, “This may sound weird, but I feel comforted that the dogs have not forgotten Christina.”  No, it was not weird.  Paige and I had just witnessed the life affirming miracle of memory.  Just as Paige will not forget Christina’s smile, Scout and Remy had not forgotten her scent.  Remy and Scout’s scent memories brought Paige back for one happy moment.  And for that I am grateful and utterly awe struck.

Below is a note from Paige, Christina's mother:

As part of my grieving and healing, awhile back I reached out on Facebook to this person, Jennifer, part of a K9 Unit who has 2 very sweet dogs, Remy and Scout.  They were the dogs that tried to rescue Christina.  I wanted to thank her for trying so hard to save my baby.  I was so happy when Jennifer offered for me and my girls to meet the dogs again.  We met at a park and immediately both dogs went after Alix who was in her car seat wrapped in an old blanket of Christina’s. The dogs remembered Christina’s scent!  Almost a year ago! They were trying to rescue Christina!  My God, it was heartwarming.  I guess you just don’t realize stuff.   I never even took the time to think that I wasn't the only person affected by the loss of my sweet baby girl! Not only me and my family but the people who tried to help find her and even the dogs! There are so many good people out there that just want to help and that truly do care it just amazes me. I am so grateful that I got to sit down and talk face to face with Jennifer Jordan Hall and the dogs to say thank you!   I wish I could meet face to face with everyone that day and tell them all how grateful I am that they tried the best they could to save my baby! And I know Christina is safe now and that she is happy where she is. If she could be here today she would tell every one of you, "thank you so much for taking care of my mommy!"