It's ten o'clock on a beautiful spring morning
and everyone here is dying. Breakfasts and baths are over and a long,
tedious day stretches ahead. Even in a place as beautiful, and comfortable
and well staffed as this, boredom is a problem. There is not much
to do except lie in bed and contemplate your situation.
In the fall of 1999 three DreamWorkers took the twelve week hospice volunteers' course at Cobb General's Tranquility Hospice to prepare for the first therapy animal visits there. We were to have a different role than the usual volunteer. The animals, rather than the people would be doing the work.
Each Wednesday morning we walk down the halls knocking on doors to see who wants a visit and almost everyone does. Many have had to give up their pets to come here. Some remember childhood pets and have stories to tell. Others just enjoy stroking and touching the animals quietly, with no conversation. Some can no longer speak, but are obviously delighted.
For some, dying is a lengthy process and attachments are formed. You must remind yourself that one day you will come and find their rooms empty. Still, I can't think of a finer way to spend a beautiful spring morning.
Oliver the Siamese
Oliver bringing a touch of home.
Boomer shares a smile.
Purring cats help with inner peace...
* Members also do home hospice visits in the community.
to our dogs at work