By Shelby R. King
It took four good Twitter friends, each driving one of four legs, to get Bend’s newest four-legged resident from Great Bend, Kan., to Bend earlier this week.
Daffy, an 8-year-old terrier, traveled more than 1,500 miles across six states in three days to get from her former home in Great Bend to her new home here with Dana and Jim Moody.
Daffy’s original owner, Ingrid Trinka, 67, died Feb. 18 after battling lung cancer for about the last year. Trinka was an active Twitter user, tweeting as @NoCrybabyDoGs as if Daffy was the one tweeting.
“She was very funny,” Dana Moody said. “In 140 characters, she could really have us cracking up.”
Dana and Trinka had discussed what would happen to Daffy if Trinka died even before she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
“She had been unwell for a long time,” Dana said. “She knew she was sick, so we had already set it up.”
Trinka had asked Dana whether she would adopt Daffy following her death and she agreed.
“We were going to drive all the way there to pick up Daffy,” Jim Moody said. “But the anipals community really stepped up.”
Trinka and Moody were both part of the “anipals” (#anipals), an online group who post on Twitter as their pets — most commonly a dog or a cat, though not always, Dana said.
“We even do anipals weddings. I help organize them,” Dana said. “They’re all online, of course. The last wedding we had was between a walrus and a cat.”
Dana said she found out about the anipals community around 2009 when she first started a Twitter account. She stumbled upon tweets from a user named @sockington, a Massachusetts man named Jason Scott who tweets as his cat and has 1.36 million followers.
“After a while, I realized those I followed were more often four-legged than two-legged,” she said. “I came upon Ingrid that way.”
Dana and Trinka never met in real life, but they formed a close online bond. In addition to communicating through Twitter, the two women also texted and sent emails back and forth. Dana held fundraising events to benefit Trinka, who didn’t have much money. The last fundraiser Dana put on for Trinka through the YouCaring.com website netted $7,000.
Other members of the anipals community volunteered to help the Moodys get Daffy from Great Bend to Bend, and the three-day journey began.
Paige Szajnuk, who lives in Denver, volunteered to drive from her home to Kansas to pick up Daffy. She left Monday morning, attended Trinka’s funeral and brought Daffy back to Denver. A few months earlier in November, Szajnuk went to be with Trinka during a medical procedure. She stayed with her friend for four days.
Trinka didn’t have a lot of friends in her hometown, Szajnuk said. Her husband and a son preceded her in death, and her health issues kept her isolated.
“That’s what troubled all of us and made us so sad, is that she didn’t seem to have anyone,” Szajnuk said. “I loved Ingrid a lot and I wish I could have done more for her.”
After Szajnuk (@BlessedBeagle) brought Daffy to Denver, another anipal, @3PhiBotticelli, volunteered to drive her as far as Salt Lake City. Once in Salt Lake City, a third anipal, @BaileyTheDane, drove Daffy to Twin Falls, Idaho. The Moodys picked Daffy up in Twin Falls and brought her home. They arrived Wednesday.
“She was a great little traveler,” Jim said. “There were no accidents or anything. She was calm and slept most of the time.”
The Moodys have a cat, named TSK, short for Time Share Kitty, who seems curious and tolerant about the new addition to the family.
“The cat, when she comes out of the back room, looks at Daffy kind of like, ‘She’s still here, huh?’” Jim Moody said.
The Moodys moved here in 2012 from Truckee, Calif., and say they feel like real Bend residents now that they have a dog.
“I think the takeaway from this, and what a lot of people on Twitter are saying, is that you’ve got to plan for what will happen to your pets if you die,” Jim Moody said. “We’ve heard a lot of people say they’ve made arrangements after reading about this.”
Both Jim and Dana said they thought Trinka was relieved her cherished dog would be taken care of after she died.
“I think when you’ve got a diagnosis of death, being able to be in control of something is important,” Jim said.
Daffy came with a lot of belongings, Dana said, including Trinka’s robe.
“It smells like mom and she sleeps on it,” Dana said. “We’ll make sure never to wash it.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0376,