Basset Hounds Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,558 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I met Catherine on my very first day at the nursing home. I was waiting to fill out my volunteer paperwork while the recreation director finished up some other business. A frail, elfish woman in a tiny wheelchair came up beside me and said in a very low, gruff voice: “Do you know her?” Looking at the director, I said “No, this is the first time I've been here.” The tiny lady replied “I hate her. She's a G-d d--d b..ch..”

That was my introduction to Catherine. On a ward where almost everyone else is confined to bed, Catherine is mobile. She propels herself slowly along the hallways with her feet as she sits in her tiny chair. She loves costume jewelry, and every finger on both hands is adorned with brightly colored rings. Sometimes she has 5 or 6 bracelets on her wrists, and when the aides have time, she has colorful net bows in her snow white hair. She must be over 90.

And, she is "difficult". In her low gruff voice, she talks like a trucker. She has been known to throw food, and last week she scratched a nurse. On my first visit to the ward, I knelt down to talk with her, and asked if she would like to pet the dog. She said “I hate dogs. They're dirty.” Murray and I moved along down the hall.

Around the end of August, I noticed that she seemed to be waiting for us when we got off the elevator. Murray would lie down at her feet and she would reach down and pet his head. “I don't like dogs, but he's OK”, she would say. And Murray and I would move on down the hall.

Last night, Catherine was at the far end of the hallway when Murray and I got off the elevator.I waved and said “Hi Catherine!” and she came slowly down to meet us. She had a little dog biscuit for Murray, and we sat on the floor and talked for a long time. When we got up to leave, Catherine smiled and said “ I don't like dogs, but I love this one.” And Murray and I moved on down the hall.

It was a good night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,525 Posts
What a great story! Catherine sounds like quite a character... but she is no match for Murray's charms! A Basset can soften the toughest heart! :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
It was a good night, indeed. Murray is clearly making inroads as an ambassador for his breed.

This is a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,271 Posts
That's beautiful. I worked at a nursing home in college, and whenever someone would bring in a dog, the most unbelievable changes would occur in the residents. One man who never laughed or spoke broke out into the biggest grin and said "dog" over and over again. My grandmother is now in a very bleak nursing home, and the only good things I can say about that home are that they let one woman keep her little dog with her, and there's a neighborhood dog that they let in to visit from time to time. No person comes with him. But he just finds a nice spot to rest and lets people come to him. It is absolutely amazing what having a pet around does for people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,244 Posts
What a wonderful story. I would love to do something like that with Gibbs. He's such a calm boy. How would I go about doing something like that?

~Heather
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,558 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Hi 2hounds- its great that you're interested in getting involved with pet therapy.There are not enough dog/handler teams to fill all the requests from nursing homes, school reading programs, trauma units, crises intervention, prisons, hospice- the list goes on and on.

My local therapy organization is really active in the community: we work in conjunction with the Humane League to do educationall programs on pet care,and we attend community events to educate the public about pet therapy. Many people in our organization have regular commitments: I visit a nursing home twice monthly, and in June will start an additional twice monthly commitment with hospice. Some people go through the pet therapy training and are unable to make a commitment due to other responsibilities- they make occasional visits and help out with community events when they have the time.Once you're certified, you can pretty much choose what you want to do and how much time you want to give.

The best way to get started is to see who is active in your area. Call a local hospital or nursing home and see which organization is involved there.You can then contact the evaluator in your area and start training with them. Delta Society and Pet Therapy International are 2 national organizations -you can google these to see what their requirements are: in general,your dog should have basic obedience skills and a friendly, out-going personality. You will go on a few supervised visits, and attend training in professional conduct and legal issues. It's not hard, it doesn't take long, and you'll be working with people who share your interests.

Some institutions allow visits by anyone with a dog, but in this age of litigation it's wise to be covered by the insurance that a pet therapy organization provides.

Good luck, and please let me know how it goes- please feel free to PM me if you have any other questions-
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top