Snapshots of the Program's Impact on Patients

The best information about the impact of Pet Peace of Mind on patients and pets comes from our local PPOM Coordinators. Our PPOM Coordinator in Eureka, California sends out a PPOM Story of the Month to hospice staff and volunteers to share how their program is making a difference in the lives of their patients. Kathleen Kistler from Hospice of Humboldt shares two important stories with us---both happened on a single Friday!

"Friday morning, a patient's caregiver suddenly took ill and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. As a result, the patient had to be moved to another place that could provide full-time care immediately. A PPOM volunteer returned to the home in the midst of the crisis after walking the family dog, only to find that the poor dog had been forgotten! After conferring with the PPOM coordinator and the caregiver, the PPOM volunteer offered to provide a temporary foster home for the family dog until the caregiver felt well enough to resume care.

Later that day, one of our patients, hospitalized and in the dying process, desperately wanted to have his 20 year old cat with him--his closest companion that he called his 'son.' The patient's doctor wrote a physician's order for the cat and the hospice social worker and PPOM coordinator made arrangements with the hospital, hospital staff and the patient's caregiver so the patient and his "son" could be together in the hospital room. When everything came together and the caregiver was told that he could take the cat to the hospital, his words were, "I'm so relieved, I could just cry." The patient died later that day, in peace, with his greatest wish fulfilled."

So, what do you think would have happened in either situation if Pet Peace of Mind hadn't been in place at this hospice? Would the dog have ended up in a shelter or left to fend for itself at home? Would anyone have considered the patient's wish or interceded for the situation with the doctor and hospital? Pet Peace of Mind validates the relationship between patient and pet by putting people in place who can intervene in situations just like these.