Monday, February 21, 2011
Until I see the dogs.
Both are friendly, sweet dogs, but I was told one would be small and the other "medium." I have crates for small and medium pets, but the Lab mix is several inches taller than the door of the larger pet carrier.
I prod and push and attempt to bribe the oversized dog into the undersized carrier with a dog treat. No luck. The dog's owner, from her wheelchair in the kitchen, tries too, but the dog digs her haunches into the linoleum floor. Rule #1 of the Pet Peace of Mind training program specifies that pets must be transported in carriers, for safety reasons. This means I can't just throw the dog in the back of the car and speed away.
And, a few hours later, I bring home two clean and happy dogs to a grateful owner.
I can't think of any better description of what it means to be a hospice volunteer than the words Valerie uses to tell this story. It's funny how those of us who volunteer or work in hospice think we are there to teach others, to help them out, to make their lives easier. The truth is, patients and families and yes, even their pets, have so much more to teach us---about how to live, how to love and how to make today count. Please consider becoming a hospice volunteer--even if your local hospice doesn't have a Pet Peace of Mind program yet, you might be the person who helps make it happen!