Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Dog-Mas and a Hospital Visit on Tuesday
I wanted to share a Dog-Ma from a book a received from a friend of mine named Sharon for Christmas. It's called "Dog-Mas: Simple Truths from a Wise Pet" as reveled to Bill Zimmerman.
"Greet each day with hope and expectation.
Wipe from your memory an hurt or slight from the day before.
By doing so, you set a good example for your humans."
Isn't that a great quote? I just love that. ;-)
(mean people suck and they can hurt you pretty deep. But it is good to remember that each day is a new day, don't you think so!)
Okay now, well, back to my Tuesday Hospital visit on January 26th. We visited the Telemetry Floor. We like to start on the highest floor of the hospital beginning of the week and work our way down, so by the end of the week, we have usually covered the whole hospital. We really are only supposed to do one hour of Volunteer hour a month. But I can't help but do more. Once you get in there and you see people straining to see the dog walking the hallway, you just gotta stop in each room and ask if they want a visit. Also I told you I would post some pictures of me in my vest. Sorry about the quality, but it's hard to do hospitals visits carrying around a nice huge camera, so we had to settle using our little Olympus that we slipped in my mommy's pocket.
So when we go to the Telemetry Floor, first we visited the Nurses and there was one Surgeon there too. He was quite smitten with Josie. That was fun. After asking permission from the Charge Nurse to visit the rooms, we were on our way down the hall way. Our first room was eager for us to enter. We were met with two sets of smiles. One from the patient, Fran and one from her daughter, Caroline who was visiting her mom. I laid Josie's blanket down on the bed and Josie jumped right up and laid down next to Frances. We visited and talked and you could tell Frances completely forgot where she was. Her face lit up and she just pet Josie the whole time smiling as she did so. Again, Josie did her customary "good-bye" wave and we went on to visit more patients.
The whole night was like that. We met one patient after another who was so happy for a visit from Josie. They always say "Thank you for doing this." And I always answer "It's our pleasure."
One man, Ron and his daughter Nancy, were pretty funny. Ron was eating some vanilla ice cream. He as actually sitting on the side of the bed. So I brought Josie into the room and after asking the usually questions and placing her blanket, she was up on the bed next to Ron, just staring at him eating his ice cream. Not moving a muscle. Just staring. His daughter Nancy thought that was so funny. She commented that their dog would never survive such a trial. Josie just laid there and watched him eat his ice cream, never making a move for the ice cream, and SHE LOVES vanilla ice cream. I was very proud of her. I just told her to "leave it!"
One of the things you train for in Pet Therapy Classes is leaving food or pills alone on command. And Josie was one of the worst in her class, in the beginning, that is. But as I worked with her, she got much better. And as time has gone by, she gotten MUCH better. There have been many times we have visited patients, and they deliver lunch for dinner, and she will just lie there and sleep and snuggle with the patient.
When we were done in Telemetry, I was going to leave, so we got in the elevator and I pushed "G" for the Ground Floor, and as fate had it, it opened on the First Floor, so I figured let me go to Oncology (which is on the First Floor). Well, I'm so happy we did. First, I went to go visit the Nurses and say hello.
If you read my earlier Posts (Re: Back to Our Hospital Visits), I mentioned about a whole family who was visiting a young man that we stopped in to visit a couple of times, well he was still there. Unfortunately, his white blood cell counts were low and I couldn't visit with Josie, but I did pop my head into his room to say we were thinking of him and wish him "Love and Good Wishes" and to "Get Well Soon!" Josie needs to make a Get Well Card for him. We do that for "special patients" from time to time. His fiance was in the room with him. They all smiled when they saw Josie at the door. But with low white blood cell counts, I cannot let her in the room.
So I went back to the Nurses station to see if any other patients would benefit from a Josie visit. So one of the Nurses went to check on a patient Taylor and she actually came back to the station with him. He had his I.V. and everything. I told him I could come to his room and have Josie visit with him there. And he explained that if I did that, that Josie would be going home with him. That's how much he loves dogs. I laughed. I understand. I gave him some doggie treats and he fed them to Josie. He smiled huge smile and I had Josie do some tricks for him. I told him I would stop by tomorrow and have him come out again to visit with Josie and he said that would be fantastic.
And the night ended on a very good note. Then one of the Nurses said, "I have one more patient for you to visit" and she led Josie and myself down the hall and she opened the door to a room and there was a patient who I knew, Steve. Steve was the patient (also mentioned in the earlier Post: Back To Our Hospital Visits) whose wife intercepted me and asked me to visit him when he was Respiratory. Josie had visited him back in late Nov/early Dec, I believe. Anyway, I was SOOO happy to see Steve. I said, "I've been looking for you! But I was hoping you were released and went home." And he said, "No, not me" Turns out he's fighting a few things, but I believe he's going to get better soon. He looks good and boy, did he perk up when he saw Josie. Just like our last visit, he started patting the bed and said " Come 'on Josie! Up! Up!" and up on the bed she went, after I laid her blanket down, of course. Took her a few minutes to get used to the breathing bag he had on his face for oxygen. Josie's funny that way. Anything new, she has to check out. Then once she does, she settles in. By a few minutes into the visit, she had her head resting on Steve's lap all comfy and cute, sleeping. Steve was petting her, all cute too. Then his wife, Joyce arrived, and as she walked through the door she says, "Ahhh!!! We have Josie and the Pussycats visiting us! You found us!!!" She was so happy to see Josie there. It was so apparent. I ended up staying for about 45 minutes talking with them. What a nice couple they are. I promised them I would definitely visit them again tomorrow.
It's really hard not to get attached to certain people. Especially the ones you see night after night. If you see someone one night and you come back and they've gone home. Well, at least you know you did your job and cheered them up and they are feeling better and got to go home. But, for a patient like Steve, who is there for more than a week or two. Well, you just want to help them. You want to fix them somehow. And the only way I know how to do that is to visit them with Josie and lift their spirits, cheer them up, take their mind off their sickness or the disease they are fighting. Give them hope. Make them laugh and smile. Share a story or two. Be their friend. And I don't take it lightly. I give all of that whole heartedly and so does Josie. She gives 200% of her doggie heart. And it's all volunteer work.
Now for all of you who are are asking for photos of the Pussycats...come back tomorrow as I will have pictures and a story posted of all the Pussycats for you to see and read about. Meow..
But for now....Much Love and Woof Woof!!!