Our teams visit hospitals and they always have stories to share.
The teams reported on their special visit requests during the regular scheduled Thursday evening visit at UW Hospital & Clinics. One was a repeat visit for Rooster to a Spanish-speaking woman with a terminal illness; her daughter acted as translator. The patient found it so funny that this big dog was named Rooster and, according to staff, was “already in love with Rooster” after the first visit.
Later that evening, both teams visited longer than usual in Neuro ICU with a woman who has brain cancer. The teams also visited with families and staff in that unit. “I feel like that’s a really great place to visit,” said Amy. Courtney added, “Meaningful and emotionally hard visits tonight. Worth it!”
At the end of the evening, Rooster and Amy hung out with a family in the surgical waiting area. “Lots of love shared tonight,” Amy said. “Worth the frigid temps.”
From Jeff & Bella:
I was sitting on the floor in 1E (the psych unit) and several people had gathered around to pet Bella and talk about pets. A man came over and said, “Whoa, a dog, I don’t like dogs because they bite.” They had also chased him when he was younger. He just want-ed to watch. A few minutes had passed and he kept saying, “Man, she is a cool dog,” then he sat down and petted her back while he made sure she was looking away from him. But Bella turned around and saw him sitting, so she just backed up and sat in his lap. He laughed and kept saying, “Man this dog is so cool!!”
It was now getting close to dinnertime and some of the people began to migrate towards the kitchen area to get ready to eat. He leaned over to me and whispered, “The dinner will wait. I am going to just sit here with Bella and eat later.” He then gave her a few hugs and kept saying how good this was. He was having a great time. He finally decided he would go eat, after we sat there for 10-15 minutes longer. He thanked me and told me that she was a cool dog again.
A few days later, I was shopping at a store in Madison. I saw a man pushing a cart towards me and thought that I recognized him but couldn’t place him. As we got closer, he says, “Hey man, do you remember me from the other night at the hospital?” I then immediately remembered that he was the man in1E a few days prior. He then said, “Hey, they let me out!” Then he thanked me again for bringing my “cool dog,” said how much he loved seeing her, and how much that meant to him that I would take time to go to the hospital with my dog. We said goodbye and went opposite directions. He caught up with the person he was shopping with and, from all the way down the aisle, I hear, “Hey Grandpa, that is the guy with the cool dog at the hospital that I was talking to you about yesterday.”
It is always a great feeling to sit down and visit with people at any visit, but to know that they thought so much about the visit that they were telling their family and friends, that is when I really realized that what all of us do is way more meaningful than the few minutes that we actually spend with them. They created memories that were important enough to share with others!
From Karen & Pete (& Raider):
That shows how much staying power these visits can have! You may not remember the visit, but the patient sure does!
From Ja’nel & Baron:
I knew what he meant (Labradoodle) and didn’t want to embarrass him, so I said, no, that he is a Standard-Size Poodle. But now, once in a while, when Baron is acting goofy, we call him a Snickerdoodle.