Wednesday, August 19, 2009
We have a new patient with an iguana named Iggy. I called Mr. Anderson yesterday to ask if we could assist him with food for her. Iguanas thrive on fresh vegetables, something that can be hard to maintain for a hospice patient. Since I owned an iguana myself for several years, we had the chance to share a common interest. Mr. Anderson talked about an elaborate indoor pond that he had designed and built for Iggy. His voice became more animated as he talked about how the harness he had for her to take her on walks. He delighted in the reaction of children to Iggy as they strolled together down the block in better days. He talked about her likes and dislikes, how she slept close to him for warmth at times, how she recognized him and shared his food.
Sometimes we assume that people should only bond to creatures we can all relate to. But the truth is, as human beings, we have the ability to care for all kinds of living things. Who are we to judge another person's choice of a pet? Mr. Anderson was reluctant to accept our help at first, until he realized that we respected and affirmed his bond with his pet. We want to keep him and Iggy together during his time on hospice. I hope to get a picture of the two of them soon. In the meantime, kale and collard greens are on our shopping list this week!