A Tale of Two Dogs

We love sharing the heartfelt stories of the people who’ve dedicated a park bench to family members—including the four-legged ones. This month we are sharing the story of Tania and Michael Cahill and the special connection they share with their two dogs and the Holy City.

Tania and Michael Cahill have been driving cross-country from California to Charleston for the past five years. They spend a good part of each spring in the Holy City enjoying its many cultural, botanical, architectural, historical, and culinary treasures. Michael enjoys teaching business school undergraduates at the College of Charleston and cherishes the many people from the College who have been so welcoming and hospitable. Tania volunteers her gardening skills as a Park Angel volunteer at the Charleston Parks Conservancy. Over the years the Cahills have made many friends in Charleston and have come to know the city as a second home.

Among their favorite times were walks around Colonial Lake with their two dogs Tessa and Nicco. Tessa and Nicco have been intrepid and dedicated cross-country road trippers and are a big part of their Charleston memories. Colonial Lake’s tranquility and gardens and overall beauty make it a pleasurable space to spend time and watch other visitors on two and four legs do the same. When Tessa passed away and they learned of an opportunity to support Charleston Parks, they were enthusiastic to give back to Charleston parks and commemorate their beloved dog by dedicating a bench in her honor. They chose a shaded bench in a serene part of the park where they can sit and enjoy the view of the lake and the beautiful homes surrounding it, on their future returns. Their plaque reads, “ TESSA and NICCO — Our Cross-Country Companions”.

To the Cahill’s surprise, one day out of the blue they received a call from some friends from California who were visiting Charleston unbeknownst to them and who found themselves standing at Tessa and Nicco’s bench. No one had told them about the bench or what park it was located in. It was a serendipitous moment that could only take place in a city like Charleston.

Since the Park Bench Dedication Program began in 2015, more than 75 benches have been dedicated to honor a special occasion, or in memory of a loved one. In addition to raising more than $250,000 in support of your Charleston parks, these dedications weave the stories and memories of park users into these beautiful spaces. If you would like to learn more about the Park Bench Dedication program, please visit [https://www.charlestonparksconservancy.org/parkbench](https://www.charlestonparksconservancy.org/parkbench)

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