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Jan and Denny Glancy were heartbroken when their 13-year-old yellow Labrador died earlier this month.

The couple knew they wouldn’t be the only ones saddened by the loss of Nip. Their pet served as a therapy dog at Mark Twain Elementary School from 2006 to 2014 and was the Bettendorf School District’s first therapy dog.

"He made such a big impact for so many kids," said Jan Glancy, the dog’s handler/owner and former secretary at Mark Twain.

When she retired in 2014, after working at the school for 25 years, Nip retired, too.

After training with CARES, or Canine Assistance Rehabilitation Education and Services Inc., of Concordia, Kansas, Nip joined Mark Twain in October 2006. He also moved in with the Glancy's. 

Nip helped launch the Bettendorf School District’s therapy dog program that now has canines placed at all six elementary schools.

“It was very new for us at the time,” Jan Glancy said. “Because he was so good, we were able to have others.”

For eight years, Nip went to work each morning with Glancy -- he rode in the front seat of her car-- and spent the school days around teachers, staff and students.

“At home, he was a normal dog. When he went to work, he was a different dog,” Denny Glancy said. “When he put on his work vest, he was like, ‘I’m here. I’m ready to help. Let’s go.’”

He helped by making kids smile when they came to school in a bad mood. He helped by letting kids pet him or read to him. 

“A lot of kids wouldn’t want to talk to an adult, but they’d talk to Nip,” Glancy said.

He helped just by being there.

“He’d walk in the classrooms and lay by the kids who needed him,” she said. “He always seemed to know.”

Denny and Jan Glancy said they had considered running an obituary for Nip in the Quad-City Times to inform the school’s community about his passing.

“I still see kids all the time,” she said. “They always say, ‘How is Nip doing?’ Or they ask if they can stop by and say hi to him. So I knew they would all want to know.”

"They tell us how much he helped them when they were younger," her husband added. "They remember him." 

For reference, Denny Glancy shared the obituary he wrote for Nip with the Quad-City Times. He also shared one of Nip's many school photos.

At the end of the tribute, he wrote this: “Very few of us are able to touch the lives of so many kids as Nip did. He will be missed by all." 


Amanda Hancock is a reporter covering food, arts and entertainment in the Quad-Cities (and beyond).