We are down to the last 8 days of voting for the month of April in the Pepsi Challenge Contest! I wanted to share a story with you from a hospice that is in the funding process. The grant money will help us bring Pet Peace of Mind to 28 more hospices this year, so it really matters. Why? Because over 2,000 hospice patients will die today in our country--how many of them died grieving the loss of their pets needlessly? Time is of the essence!!
This story comes from a hospice RN at a hospice in Iowa:
"I recall vividly a nursing home patient that I cared for named Floyd who wanted to go home to die. He wanted to be with his wife Mary, and his two dogs, Scout and Foxy. Scout, a German Shepherd, was very aggressive toward strangers and protective of the 80 year old couple. Floyd was declining rapidly and only had a matter of hours to live when the doctor gave us permission to move him home. When I arrived at the home with the patient and knocked on the door, Mary told me she did not know if it would be safe to come in because of Scout. The dog had started to bark and growl loudly, pacing back and forth. My heart was beating very fast, but I quietly said the dog's name and told him that I was bringing Floyd home. To my amazement, Scout came over and licked my hand and began to whimper. Both dogs watched as we brought Floyd in and made him comfortable, settling him into the hospital bed. I will never forget what happened next. Floyd looked at his dear wife Mary and said, "Mama, I'm home." Then both dogs jumped up on the bed and snuggled close to him with Floyd gently stroking them and the dogs crying softly. I realized they understood what was going on. I was able to care for Bill with the dogs quietly watching me, never once showing aggression. Bill died peacefully an hour later, surrounded by his loving wife and "children." After Bill died, both dogs whimpered and cried, nudging my hand toward Bill as if to say, "Do Something!" To this day I am still amazed at the power of pets in assisting us through tough times in their lives, including taking that final journey home."
This story is only one of many that can be told about the importance of pets to the terminally ill. Thank you for taking the time to read it---and thank you for supporting our project. Here is the link to vote--please pass it on.