Dog Lover dies from Type 1 Diabetes
Retired care worker Richard Black, 68, had been fighting Type 1 diabetes for over 20 years but sadly succumbed to the disease in February this year. His close friend Lucy Simmons spoke to us about his passion for dogs and his charity work with Help Pozega Dogs
A Caring Man
Lucy met Richard six years ago and they’d been friends ever since.
“He was a customer at the little cafe where I work. It’s a small and friendly place so we got to know Richard by chatting every time he came in for tea. The cafe owner and I knew he was diabetic and wanted to make sure he was looking after himself, so we always made sure he had something to eat and drink.
“Some days we could see that he wasn’t feeling well and we would sit with him until he felt better. A day or two after he would bring us a little gift each and tell us that we always looked after him so he wanted to say thank you.
“He was so thoughtful, always worrying about everyone else and never himself. He was constantly having to deal with infections in his legs caused by small cuts or scratches – when his sugar levels were too high he collapsed, often hurting himself. He was receiving treatment at the clinic but he never once complained. I wish he’d talked to us more about what he was going through but I think he didn’t want to worry us. Instead he used to make light of the situation by making jokes.”
Passionate about Dogs
Lucy does a lot of work for the charity Help Pozega Dogs and introduced Richard to it about two years ago.
“One day he was listening to me talk about the wonderful charity that I was helping, which is dedicated to rescuing dogs that are abandoned or sent to a cruel kill shelter in Serbia. Richard loved dogs and wanted to help in any way he could so began bringing me stunning items of jewellery so I could add them to our auction page. He helped to raise much needed funds and also became interested in adopting one of our rescued dogs. From looking at photos he fell in love with a little dog named Titi.
“Although he wasn’t technically allowed to have a dog, he was going to appeal to the council to let him keep one in his ground floor flat. The thought of having a furry little companion excited him and I was really hoping to help him to make it happen.”
Losing the Fight
Sadly, at the beginning of the year Richard collapsed and was rushed to hospital.
“He had a very bad infection in his leg. We knew that he was seeing a nurse every few days to have it checked and dressed, but knowing Richard, he didn’t want us to worry so hadn’t told us how bad it was.
“I remember going to visit him one night when he was sedated but the nurse told us he could hear us if we spoke to him. I told him how much we missed him at work and that all the ladies from ‘Help Pozega Dogs’ were sending their love and well wishes.
“Sadly Richard lost his leg to this cruel disease and spent months fighting for his life. He slowly began to recover and was released from hospital only to develop an infection in the other leg. Richard fought so hard but sadly passed away in February.
“He was such a strong person. He rarely complained about what he was going through and always seemed to put others first. He was so special, I miss him every day – a totally selfless gentleman who loved animals.
“He will be remembered by many of the wonderful ladies from our Help Pozega Dogs group and I’m so glad his family were able to hear about his kindness to animals.
“I hope that Richard’s courage and strength will inspire others as much as he has inspired me, and I hope that one day more can be done to help all the people battling with this cruel disease.”
The ID Band Company are creating special dog tags for the Help Pozega Dogs group in honour of Richard, with a donation from every sale going towards helping to rescue and care for dogs in Serbia. Get yours today to help abandoned dogs find a new home.