Jane Haze Memorial Pet Therapy Fund

Born on June 8, 1940, Jane B. Haze was the youngest of five children. She grew up in New Britain, Connecticut, her lifelong residence.

Ever since Jane was a little girl, she had a true love of animals, especially dogs. When she was 8 years old, her family had a dog named Buruzch, whom she loved dearly. Her brother John remembers how she would enjoy spending time with Buruzch; running and playing fetch with the apples from their trees in the back yard. Besides dogs, her family also owned parakeets and cats. As Jane grew older, her love of animals continued to grow. Throughout her life, she owned five of her own dogs.

As an avid dog lover, Jane would often show her affection for them. "Every time we would travel to another country and see dogs on our walks, Jane wouldn't miss the opportunity to stop and pet them," said her close friend and former colleague, Henrietta Bernal. Jane also made donations to many animal organizations and was looking forward to volunteering for pet therapy programs and in an animal rescue center.

Besides her passion for animals, Jane was also passionate about her career in nursing. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in the St. Francis School of Nursing in Hartford, Connecticut and become a registered nurse. Jane also held a B.S. degree from Central Connecticut State University and an M.P.H. (Masters in Public Health) from the University of Connecticut. Her professional career spanned almost fifty years. Her experience included work in the Intensive Care Unit of The Hospital of Central Connecticut.

The later part of her career was spend at the VNA of Central Connecticut, Inc. where she worked for over 15 years as a visiting nurse. "She was the type of person who was always thinking of creative ways to assist her patients and their families," recalls Kathy Pacinda, Jane's former supervisor and friend at the VNA. "She took up a collection for one of her daily visiting patients who suffered a house fire and asked if, instead of giving each other gifts at the office, if we could donate to help them out." Jane could also speak Polish and Spanish, which allowed her to establish a close relationship with many of her clients.

Upon retiring from the VNA, Jane decided the time was right to find her next companion, a golden retriever puppy. She named him Finnley, and brought him into her home with her brother where he was a beloved pet and member of their family. She walked him every day, taking him to different parks, especially Tunxis Mead Park, where he would love to jump in the water and swim.

On a cold overcast December day, Jane and Finnley enjoyed what was to be their last walk together. The chain of events that followed may never be known, but it is believed that Jane drowned in the stretch of the Farmington River that runs through Tunxis Mead Park while trying to chase her beloved Finnley from the dangers of the thin ice. She was a youthful 67.

Jane Haze was a very compassionate and giving individual. She loved spending time with her family and friends, enjoyed the outdoors, gardening, traveling, reading and taking walks to the park with her dog. In remembrance of Jane's warm-heartedness, and love of animals, The Jane Haze Memorial Pet Therapy Fund has been established with proceeds to benefit pet therapy programs offered and sponsored by members of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services and affiliates of The Hospital of Central Connecticut. Representatives involved in this collaborative include Southington Care Center, Mulberry Gardens of Southington, The Orchards at Southington, VNA of Central Connecticut, Inc., Jerome Home and family and friends of Jane Haze.

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