Nursing the End of a Leash - page 2

"Would you like a visit?" You appear doubtful, hesitant and wounded on a level much deeper than physical as you, with quivering hands which flit like nervous birds, gather your blankets tighter around you and momentarily over... Read More

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    I was owner and handler of a licensed therapy dog for 12 years. He was a big, brindled, boxer/hound mix. He passed away in 2009 after many years of service to SNF residents & kids with cancer. He was SO calm and SO quiet, one of my friends nicknamed him "Coma." He often fell asleep in patient's beds or on top of their feet. Nothing fazed him - seizures, call lights, code alarms, children trying to ride him or pull his tail, demented residents yelling, med carts rolling. He was absolutely calm and affectionate, always, and happy to lick away tears or put a paw on a shaky leg. Losing him soured me on owning another dog for a long time. Thank you for writing this. It's raining on my face.
    chorkle, Esme12, and CheesePotato like this.

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  2. 1
    So sweet!
    CheesePotato likes this.
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    Absolutely, the staff and handler benefit greatly. Before Kid worked to heal others, she first healed me. P.S. To those who asked, yes you may, of course, share any of my ramblings in any way you choose. It is always an honor and a pleasure.
    Last edit by CheesePotato on Nov 26, '12 : Reason: waffles.
    VivaLasViejas and Esme12 like this.
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    Thank you CP well written and just so beautiful.xo
    CheesePotato likes this.
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    LOVED THIS!!! Yes, yes, animals are wonderful therapy!! My beloved border collie, is a wonderful therapy dog of sorts, as my paralyzed sister is in an ECF, which allows pets to visit.

    so Buddy always comes with me, and he is most marvelous, allowing absolutely everyone to pet him and fawn over him, as we wind through the halls to my sister's room. We stop and visit all the people in their wheelchairs lining the hallway, and i always bring small treats that they can feed to Buddy.
    Buddy even does tricks for them, which they all love and marvel over. (he has a pretty extensive repertoire of doggie tricks, hee hee)

    and when we get to my sister's room, she LOVES seeing my Buddy. She lights up and becomes much more animated, alive. She can still move her hands a bit,
    but usually gives up. BUT, when it comes to feeding Buddy treats, oh, she stays at it, and succeeds at picking up the treat, and handing it over to Buddy,
    who somehow seems to sense, he must be very very patient for my sister to get him the treat, and takes it ever so gently from her.

    Eventually, others who'd been in the hallway, meander in, to see the dog, which makes my sister feel popular, and increases her chances to socialize more.

    great therapy, in many ways. THANKS FOR POSTING THIS, CHEESEPOTATO!!!


    EDIT-----MANY ECFs ALLOW DOGS TO VISIT,
    so if you have a loved one in an ECF, and if you have a very calm natured dog who TRULY loves and enjoys strangers of all types fawning over him, and can happily tolerate odd noises, odd gaits, odd smells, and being touched all over and loud talking humans,
    (NOT all dogs do enjoy this)
    then you might consider bringing along your dog to your next visit to your loved ones ECF. (if that facility does allow it and IF you know for a fact, that your dog DOES actually love all types of strangers touching him everywhere, etc)
    Last edit by somenurse on Nov 26, '12
    GrnTea, Esme12, and CheesePotato like this.
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    Quote from Esme12
    I have worked at one facility that have specific pet visitation for the general population. I had an order once that stated...."Dog to visit stat!".....

    When I could walk......I did pet visitation with my beautiful weimy. She was a huge hit at Childrens...... I do miss it.


    Love it. Pet therapy is an awesome thing; but you have to "vet" (no pun intended) the dogs and the owners. There's a good deal of investment of time and energy into getting the required certification. (The Childrens Hospitals I know have very serious requirements.) I image any kind of facility would--lawsuits you know.

    But it's a great idea. We just brought one of our dogs to see a dying relative, and he was so comforted and couldn't stop talking about her.

    Dog to vist stat is GREAT.
    somenurse, CheesePotato, and Esme12 like this.
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    Quote from mclennan
    I was owner and handler of a licensed therapy dog for 12 years. He was a big, brindled, boxer/hound mix. He passed away in 2009 after many years of service to SNF residents & kids with cancer. He was SO calm and SO quiet, one of my friends nicknamed him "Coma." He often fell asleep in patient's beds or on top of their feet. Nothing fazed him - seizures, call lights, code alarms, children trying to ride him or pull his tail, demented residents yelling, med carts rolling. He was absolutely calm and affectionate, always, and happy to lick away tears or put a paw on a shaky leg. Losing him soured me on owning another dog for a long time. Thank you for writing this. It's raining on my face.
    I am so sorry for you loss. When my other dog died.....I was heartbroken....devastated. I did search and rescue, all over the country, with her......she was my best, my only, true friend.

    It took me about 5 years to get another dog.......

    Then came my "high energy breed dog" that everybody warned me about, my Weimaraner (pictured), who is referred to as Velcro dog and couch potato who mended my broken heart. She was the biggest hit for the children as the "Sesame Street dog".......I now have an auto-immune muscle disease......now she is my right hand girl and happily helps me around the house.

    Someday you will love again.....it will be good for you. ((BIG HUGS))
    Last edit by Esme12 on Nov 27, '12
    teeniebert, somenurse, VivaLasViejas, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from samadams8
    Love it. Pet therapy is an awesome thing; but you have to "vet" (no pun intended) the dogs and the owners. There's a good deal of investment of time and energy into getting the required certification. (The Childrens Hospitals I know have very serious requirements.) I image any kind of facility would--lawsuits you know.

    But it's a great idea. We just brought one of our dogs to see a dying relative, and he was so comforted and couldn't stop talking about her.

    Dog to visit stat is GREAT.
    we actually had pet visitation hours. 10am til 2 PM and 4pm to 6pm.....on the weekends and 4-6pm during the weekdays. We had stricter rules about Peds and of course they weren't allowed in certain areas like the OR, PACU, NICU and special places were provided for those unusual pets like birds and reptiles. Plus the usual door closed on a leash.....I had to see them if it was the first visit (thank goodness I love animals) They had to have proof of vaccinations, be clean, be approved by the sup (me) ....blah, blah, blah.....get a "pass" ........extra work but worth it. I loved rounding on all the pets. I really miss that place....sigh.

    The stat order was because it "wasn't pet visiting hours" and the patient wanted to see the pet (no one called and asked me of course) the Doc called raising Cain when I said....I never said the dog couldn't come........so the pet visited stat. I loved working

    My best story however was having a Fallabella Pony (miniature horse) come see a patient....but that was another facility.
    somenurse and CheesePotato like this.
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    The loving bond with a pet is one that is irreplaceable, without argument. The bond formed with a service animal is nearly indescribable as it involves such a close working bond and hours upon hours of training and working together to learn and grow as a team. Every success and failure is shared. To lose that bond is devastating. To those that have felt such a connection and suffered its loss, my deepest sympathies.
    AnonRNC, Esme12, and somenurse like this.
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    The local hospice has a big yellow cat that owns the place. He visits everyone and keeps them all company prn. Yes, he seems to know when someone is about to die, and spends special time with them then. Gotta love it.
    chorkle, somenurse, and CheesePotato like this.


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