Josie smiling

Josie smiling
One ear up and one ear trademark look

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Praying and crossing our paws for our friends John and Gert

Never in my life did I imagine that doing volunteer work with Josie would be THE most rewarding experience of my life. But at the same time challenging and heartbreaking. Last night, Gert had John moved into a Hospice Care Center, after learning that the doctor's refused to allow her to take John home to care for him. They said she couldn't handle it, that he would need too much care. The Center which John is going to is a small center, only 6 beds, so he will be getting care 24/7 and the facility is quiet and about as nice as a place can be for that purpose. I held her hand the night before, the last night in the hospital as she was distraught and cried and said to me, "I feel as if I am just bringing my husband somewhere to die..". I didn't know what to say. I am not trained in hospice work. I am only a volunteer. But I am now her friend. So I spoke from my heart. I looked into the Center and it turns out that this particular center is quite well known in our area and there is usually a waiting list to get in. I looked it up on the internet and asked staff members about it and then came back and told Gert that if she has to go through this, and she does, to go through this with the best care available in the best place possible.

So last night was a very emotional night for all of us. Once we got John settled into the Hospice, I sent Gertrud home so she could take a shower (she spent the last 2 nights in the hospital) and get some extra clean clothes. John's sister and her husband ran out to get something to eat and Josie and I stayed with John. Josie slept with him and I held his hand and sang him Beatle songs until they all arrived back. Gert's sister-in-law brought food back for Gert and I set up a tray with all the food on it for her so she would eat.

I kissed Gert and John good-bye before I left and told John (who I call "Handsome") that I would see him tomorrow.

All I can ask of all my blog friends is to keep John and Gertrud and her family in your prayers. These next couple of days will be very up and down and emotional. I will keep you posted when I can.

I will be checking your blogs as soon as I can, so keep them light and funny for me and Josie because we will need that. ;-)

Oh, I made a card for Gert and this is what I wrote inside:

"I'll cry with you,
until we run out of tears.
Even if it's forever.
We'll do it together."
There it was a simple
promise of connection.
The loving alliance of grief
and hope that blesses both
our breaking apart
and coming together again.

When I get a chance, I will post a copy.

Please post any support messages for Gert and John that you would like to post. I will print them out and share them with them. Love you all!!!! Woof!

Much Love to all of you. Woof!


  1. Thanks so much fur sharing this with us -

    It sounds like all of woo are making the time that is left furry special -

    I know woo will add the furry special khanine touch!

    Please share some H&K from ME!

    PeeEssWoo: AND make sure woo give your special mom some too!

  2. Hospice is a wonderful organization. John and Gert will be in loving hands. How kind of you to stay by their side through this difficult time. It is times like these when we have to lean on each other.

    Josie, Keep that tail wagging, nudge those who look sad, and warm everyone's heart. They need you. You'll receive lots of lovin' in return.

    Thinking of you all,

  3. Josie you are beautiful and very talented to sit and cross your paws. great picture of you. keep up the good work you and your mommy are doing. May God bless all of you and give you strength. share lots of hugs and kisses while you are doing your furry love therapy.

  4. We wish them much peace and comfort in this difficult time. Hospice is a wonderful organization and he will be in good hands!

  5. Josie, We have been missing you but we know that you have been really busy, Keep being close to John and hospice will take car of him. You keep cheering up the family and we will keep you, your mom, and johns family in our prayers
    You look so cute with your paws crossed, our are crossed too!!!

  6. I think what you and Josie do is wonderful and I'm sure that John and Gert really appreciate it. You're an amazing volunteer and Josie is a great therapy dog. She really warms people's hearts with the little tricks she does. I love the paw crossing. It's very sweet.

  7. It's wonderful that John and Gert can count on you and Josie at a time like this. To have people and pets bring love and comfort when it's most needed is so important. My crew will be crossing their paws and keeping John and Gert in their thoughts and prayers. Make sure you take care of you and Josie as well. Woofs and love to you!

  8. I will have my paws crossed for John and Gert.
    I am sure everything will be ok!
    Please give them kisses and hugs from me!
    Take care

  9. Thanks for know how to help out!

  10. Hospice is a wonderful organization. We lost an aunt almost exactly a year ago today, and she was in a facility that sounds a lot like the one John is in. It was the best decision, they are wonderful people that know exactly how to help. That way Gertrude can spend her time just being with John, rather than trying to do all the medical care as well.

    Our best thoughts to all of you.


    (PS. Katie (the sheltie girl) and I came over here from Sara's blog)

  11. You will be in our thoughts and we'll keep our paws crossed too.


  12. Hi Josie - thanks for stopping by my blog. It is very nice to meet you. One of my kitties is named Josie!
    Your pal, Morgan

  13. Dear Josie, Josie's mom, Gert and John
    This time you have together is time of 'Grace' - it is a gift for you all - to grow and experience the love which you share.(I know this because we lost our Mom-in-law to Cancer and she was sent to a Hospice. Those nurses there are truly angels on this earth to help with the transition!)
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May you be surrounded by love.

  14. Hello Josie,
    Tell John and Gert they have been in our thoughts and prayers since you first told us about them.
    We have had experience with a Hospice, my husband's mother, and know that it is a place filled with caring angels.
    Wishing all of you strength during this difficult time. As Max said, may you be surrounded by love.

  15. Even though you didn't know what to say, you just being there is more than anyone could ask for. I lost my Grandpa in May and it was the hardest thing I have ever been through in my life. He was my second father and raised me. To watch him take his final breath was beyond anything I have ever been through in my life. I am very thankful for the people at hospice. They were so warm and caring and explained anything we wanted to know to us.

    My thoughts are with you and John and his family during this difficult time.

  16. Dear Josie, thank you so much for posting a tribute to Hana in your blog. It's so sweet of you and we really appreciate it. We all understand you're very busy with John and Gert at the moment and our thoughts are with them all the time. You're an angel to everyone and we're so blessed to know you too. Thanks again, Josie.

  17. You are so much more than "only a volunteer," and Josie is so much more than just a therapy dog. You are both true friends to John and Gert, and the comfort and company you are providing to them are wonderful blessings. We are purring and praying for John and Gert, and for you and Josie, too. Love and Purrs.

  18. John and Gert (and you and Josie) are in my prayers. Hugs to all of you!

  19. We can only imagine how difficult this is for you and Josie...God Bless you for your devotion and we send prayers for Gert and John. this transition is hard for them but you eased their pain....
    Madi and Mom

  20. Woof!

    Hello, we chanced upon your blog and found your blog to be quite interesting!

    Amber: Josie have the same up and down ears like me!

    Btw, we're inspired by you(Josie) having to help others and we'll learn from you!

    Oh, and do linked us up! we have linked you!


    Amber, Dawn and Snowy from Singapore

  21. What great work you are doing, but how heart breaking it must be sometimes. We are sending John and Gert all our prayers, our thoughts will be with them.

  22. Josie, it takes a very special person to do what your mom does. I'm sure she is an angel to John and Gert. Give her a kiss from me.


    PS. Mom says thank you for the kind words about her paintings. The medium is acrylic, and she would love to paint Josie. You can email her any time if you ever want to talk about it. xoxox

  23. I know this is a very difficult time but I wanted to drop by and let you know that John and Gert are still in my thoughts. And with them you and Josie, you are so very special.


  24. Good shots!!! Fantastic!!


  25. Just wanted to say you are in our thoughts, hoping everything is going okay with John and his family...we are thinking of everyone. <3

  26. i feel so sad right now. this post really touched me. be strong and hang in there! you're an inspiration to us all.

  27. Wow ...

    MBK & Josie,
    This really touched me deeply. It's something else to know you have a sister who is so empathetic and who can be there for someone during such a tough and delicate time. Not everyone can do that -- it takes a very special person. My thoughts are with John and Gert. Peace and Love. Gary

  28. We just wanted to say hi and say we miss YOU -

    We hope things are okay in your world -

    Khyra & Khousin Merdie

  29. All the best to John and Gert from me and my sis Ruby - You do an invaluable job - keep up the good work! x


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