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Home » Remembering Brewer: Waterville mourns loss of pioneering therapy dog

Remembering Brewer: Waterville mourns loss of pioneering therapy dog


A happy dog with light fur and a bow tie with cartoon cars on it looks into the distance with an open mouth and tongue out.

It is with profound sadness we inform you that Brewer Nicotera, the Waterville Central School District’s pioneering and much beloved therapy dog, passed away Dec. 5 after battling cancer. His family, Debbie, Steve and Andrew Nicotera, were by his side.

Brewer served as a member of the Waterville staff for six years and was the district’s first therapy dog. Brewer was awarded the “Canine Good Citizen” level of achievement award by the American Kennel Club and was also a certified therapy dog. He enjoyed his work helping others and took his role seriously. He could always sense another’s need for extra love and support.

Brewer regularly visited classrooms and offices to say hello and grab a treat. Every morning he visited English 11 and U.S. History. He especially enjoyed listening to Mrs. Picolla read in English class, where he was the recipient of his share of Beggin’ Strips treats. He also spent numerous class periods learning Spanish with Mrs. Owens’ class. 

Brewer would often stop by the gymnasium to see if the Physical Education class was going outside. He loved walking at the track and playing fetch.

Brewer left us with several lessons to celebrate. He would want us to be kind to one another, especially to those who need it most. Brewer would want us to “seize the day” and take every opportunity to love others unconditionally. 

Brewer’s family thanks everyone at the Waterville Central School District for their kindness, especially the Class of 2023 for their generosity.

Counselors and social workers will be available in the school library Dec. 6 to provide support.

The therapy dog program will continue at Waterville, thanks to Brewer’s inspiration. His mentee, Ginger, along with Wilson and Sir Arthur will carry on his legacy. We thank the students, staff, and board of education for being so supportive of therapy dogs in our schools. Brewer was loved by all. He enriched all of our lives. We will truly miss him.

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