Comforting Paws at the Hospital
After visiting a few patients on 3rd floor at the hospital, we noticed several children in the ICU waiting room, order so we went in and Bert sat patiently while the children cuddled with him. When we left the waiting room, there was a large group of people clearly saddened by some news they had just gotten. Not wanting to bother them, we headed toward the ICU for visits.
Just outside the ICU door two women were sitting on the floor – one comforting the other who was clearly upset. The woman who was providing comfort looked our way and I mouthed, “Do you think she would like to visit with Bert?” She nodded, and Bert and I went over to her.
Bert lay down next to the woman and laid his head on her lap. Then for the next ten minutes I stood to the side (with leash in hand) while Bert lay contentedly at her side as she sobbed into his coat.
Finally she asked if we would mind taking Bert to the front of the hospital where all the children and relatives of the patient who had just passed away were and sit with them while they dealt with the news.
Once we got there, Bert visited with many of the family for about 15 minutes while family members hugged him and told us the story of their mother, sister, and grandmother. It was a very touching time for us as well.
We were about to leave when the woman (who was the daughter of the patient) came out to join her family. When she saw Bert, she came right over and knelt down beside him. Bert was in a sitting position and she and he just held hands and paws for another 10 minutes. After that, the family started leaving and it was time for our visit to end.
“Bert melted my heart today. He was so compassionate to this woman; it was truly a beautiful thing to watch as he gave her the comfort she needed, never once showing boredom or impatience even though he must have been tired. I am so proud of Bert.” – By Bert’s handler, Vickie