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Around the South Bay

November 29, 1987|BARBARA BAIRD

Just five days after elderly patients at the Golden West Convalescent Hospital held a birthday party in honor of their adopted mascot, Duchess, the 5-year-old German shepherd was struck and killed by a passing car.

Spokeswoman Mary Jackson said the dog apparently slipped through an open door Monday afternoon and was hit by a car just outside the Inglewood Avenue hospital in Hawthorne.

The driver stopped and called the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but Duchess apparently was killed instantly, officials said. The driver was not cited.

The society provided Duchess for adoption by Golden West in October, 1982, when she was just a puppy. For the last five years she has been a source of delight and comfort to the elderly patients, Jackson said.

When the patients have recovered from their loss, the society will help them find a new dog, said Jane Evans, a society staff member. "There is no replacing Duchess, but when they are ready to have a new companion we will work with them to find the right dog," she said.

Grieving patients at Golden West will place an urn with Duchess' ashes in a place of honor at the hospital, along with pictures of the dog taken at the party on Nov. 18, Jackson said.

Also, they have ordered a plaque to read "In memory of Duchess, our German shepherd nurse: for the companionship and joy she gave us, October 1982-November 1987."

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