|Joker and Shawna's daughter|
As is the case with some hospice patients, Leon had no close family members or friends. Joker was his only companion and closest friend. When Shawna visited the home as Leon's social worker, she recognized the special bond between them. Joker was a big dog with an ever bigger heart. Shawna also realized that Joker would become homeless when Leon died. She contacted Susan to ask how the Pet Peace of Mind program could help find Joker a home. Susan began to work on it right away, realizing this was no ordinary situation. Unfortunately, Susan ran into some problems--no one she contacted had room for such a large dog. Shawna and Susan began to brainstorm about potential placement for Joker. Shawna suggested putting Joker at her father's home temporarily--a safe place with a large backyard, other dogs and a family. Her skeptical father agreed to give it a try, but after a few days, it was apparent that Joker's new temporary home would become a permanent one.
In the meantime, Leon's condition had declined to the point where he was admitted to a hospice home for his final days. He was lethargic and barely responsive when Shawna brought Joker to Leon's bedside for one last visit. Almost immediately, both patient and beloved pet were aware of the other's presence. As Joker walked up to Leon's bedside, the patient's hand moved to his dog. Even without opening his eyes, he knew his friend was by his side to say goodbye. Leon took a deep breath and Shawna told him that his friend had a new forever home. Joker would be well cared for and loved. Although no words were spoken, she could feel the happiness and reassurance in the room.
Thanks to Shawna and Susan's dedicated care to both patient and pet, Leon had the comfort of knowing his beloved dog would be cared for at the end of his life. Joker is living a carefree life and is happy in his new home. This is the heart of Pet Peace of Mind.