SOMERS, N.Y. – The Somers Dog Park, scheduled to open this spring, received a generous and poignant donation recently from Raquel and Richard MacGregor in memory of their daughter, Dominique Silvestry.
Silvestry, 26, was killed last summer in a fall from a ledge overlooking the Delaware River near Port Jervis, N.Y. “Her biggest love in life was her dog,” said Richard MacGregor. The dog, an 8-year-old Shiba Inu named Kitsuhi, now lives with the MacGregors. “He means more to us now than ever. We saw his loss as well as our own.”
Silvestry had chosen a Shiba Inu because she studied linguistics at Binghamton University, was fluent in Japanese and had visited Japan several times.
“We wanted to leave something concrete behind,” said Raquel MacGregor. “We don’t want her memory to fade away in the wind. Dominique made a great contribution while she was alive. She was a very caring and giving person. The dog park is something you can go to. It’s a contribution to everyone she touched.”
At their daughter’s funeral, the MacGregors asked that donations be made to the Somers Dog Park in lieu of flowers. “And we had some money we’d been saving for her,” explained Raquel MacGregor. “She was our only daughter, so we were saving for a wedding and things like that.” That money, too, was donated to the dog park.
Although the MacGregors are Yorktown residents, they chose to benefit the Somers Dog Park because “Somers really embraced us,” said Raquel MacGregor, who is director of the Learning Garden Day Care Center in Granite Springs. “Most of our clients are from Somers. It was through the kindness of the parents who attend the day care center that we received the donations. It was an outburst of love and caring.”