BARBERTON, Ohio (WJW) — John Yarsa’s home in Barberton is awfully quiet these days.
His best friend Summer is no longer around. The golden retriever, who became the unofficial mascot of the Barberton football team, died in April, just days shy of her 16th birthday.
“Sometimes it’s pretty tough to come home, and nobody greets you at the door,” said Yarsa, Summer’s owner. “First and foremost, a best friend, unconditional love.”
Summer was well known in the Barberton community as a therapy dog and her biggest fan was FOX 8’s very own Dick Goddard. One of Summer’s last appearances was on Feb. 24 in Green, at the dedication of Dick Goddard Dog Park.
“Hopefully, she is an inspiration to others and hopefully someone else will see this and get the idea of how important therapy dogs are and how they make the world better,” Yarsa said.
That’s why Summer is being honored by the Barberton City Council for her many accomplishments and the role that she played in the community.
“Everybody knew her, everybody knew her from sports,” said Barberton City Councilman Shaun “Rocky” Jaber. “She would go to the football games, basketball games, soccer games, softball games, baseball games, she would also go to the schools.”
The resolution for Summer was introduced by Jaber and was passed unanimously.
“This will be the first dog that we have done a resolution for, and everyone was like, What’s the reason for it?’ And I explained everything that she has done, and they all fell in love with it and said let’s make it happen,” Jaber said.
Today, the dog that brought so much joy to others is feeling the love from the community she served, even if she is no longer here. There will be a “Celebrate Summer” event June 19 at Barberton High School where the community will pay tribute to Summer’s legacy.