Some stories we get from our hospice partners just tug at my heart in ways I can't explain. This month's story comes from Home Hospice of Grayson, Cooke and Fannin Counties in north Texas. Our Pet Peace of Mind Coordinator, Barb Samuelson, tells the story:
"When we first began providing daily care to an elderly patient's little Dachshund, Lily, the pet was already familiar with one of the volunteers because of frequent transportation to the groomer and the veterinarian. When a second volunteer began alternating with the first one to share the responsibilities for in home pet care, the little dog became anxious. As they left the home to begin their first walk together, Lily kept trying to turn and go back home. After they had walked a little way, the volunteer decided to return home with the dog to relieve her anxiety. When she opened the door, Lily ran up to the patient and sat down at her feet. The volunteer told the patient that she thought that maybe Lily didn't want to walk that day. The patient looked down at her canine friend staring adoringly up at her and said, "I'm fine. It's okay for you to go walk." The little dog turned immediately and went outside with the volunteer. They spent the next 45 minutes playing together in the yard. The volunteer said later, 'Lily just had to go back and make sure that "Mama" was okay!'"
Having owned a few Dachshunds in my younger years, I can just picture this story as it unfolds. Dogs are so intuitive, and this story really illustrates that point. Imagine what it would be like for this patient if those volunteers weren't willing to come and care for Lily in her home--what a difficult thing it would be for this elderly woman to give up her devoted little dog. These are the stories remind me that we are making a difference---one patient, one pet, one hospice at a time.