Betty and I had a great visit at UW Hospital last week. The kind every handler has had, where you literally can’t leave because you keep running into admirers. This particular visit we spent quite a bit of time in the Neuro ICU.
Usually we focus on staff and family member visits in Neuro ICU because of the severity of patient injuries and corresponding sedation. This visit though, we were asked to visit eight (yes eight!) patients. Each patient was aware and grateful for the therapy dog visit, and many were able to tell me about their pets. This may be one of the most important results of Dogs on Call hospital visits, patients and their families smiling, pulling out pictures, and talking about their own beloved pets. Our last patient had been hospitalized for quite some time. Exiting the unit, her nurse thanked us profusely and said it was the first time she had seen the non-verbal young lady smile.
Visits to hospital Behavioral Health units are always very rewarding, usually relaxed and a favorite for Betty. Visiting SSM today, Betty had lively and happy interactions with probably ten patients.
In the midst of these visits, a staff member came over to tell me that Betty’s card had initiated a staff “pet board.” She told me someone had posted Betty’s card on a bulletin board in the office, and someone soon brought a picture of their pet, placing it next to Betty’s. The next thing she knew, staff had posted over 50 pictures of their own pets. They moved the “pet board” to a much larger partition smack dab in the middle of the office.
You can’t miss it if you visit the desk, and that’s just the way they like it.
– Sheila & Betty