Those of us who are pet lovers understand that pets provide companionship, unconditional love, affection and acceptance. These are things we all need and crave as human beings. But imagine what it would be like to find out tomorrow that you had a terminal illness? What would happen to your pets? What if you got so ill that you couldn't take care of them anymore? What about the cost of caring for yourself and for your pets? I, for one, couldn't imagine facing the end of my life without the comforting presence of my pets. They have been with me through so many changes in my life, both good and bad. Through it all, they never criticized me or judged me for my decisions. They were just there for me. I find that many of our patients feel the same way. Their pets have been faithful and accepting when others couldn't be there, couldn't take watching them go through a long illness or the many surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Like Mickey Rourke said in his Golden Globes' acceptance speech just last week, "Sometimes, when a man's down, that's all you've got is your dog." He knows what I'm talking about.
The Pet Peace of Mind program is about helping hospice patients give back to their faithful pet companions by providing them with the care they deserve, the care that their owners want them to have. For those of us who understand the many gifts that pets give us every day, it's a way to say thank you to our own pets by helping someone else's.