Jun 1st 2008

Barb, and quiet time

Posted in Barb, Izzy, Lenore

June 1, 2008 – Our visits are shorter, now and quieter. Barb is tired, but asks to see the “puppies.” She loves to have Izzy on her lap, and laughs at Lenore, who she calls the “slurpy one.” We stayed away for a week because Barb seemed so tired, but she asked for the dogs, and we are resuming more frequent visits.
I’ve noticed a curious thing about Hospice work and the dogs. Almost always, the patients say they think the dog doesn’t really want to be there, or would like to get off, or is uncomfortable. This happened with Glen and Helen and others, and it speaks, I think, to a sense among the critically ill and dying that nobody really wants to be with them, given a choice.
This is, I think, part of the isolation of the dying process, a sense of being shunned, avoided, because something horrible is happening. In truth, visits with Barb are always fun, always pleasant. I want to be there, and the dogs are attached to her.
She is sharp, courteous and has great stories to tell – we are planning a poem for later this week – and the dogs are happy to be with her, not at all restless. She keeps her own schedule in her head, and knows when family, nurses or social workers are coming. Monday she was getting a bath, she said, so Tuesday morning would be a good time to visit.
Izzy didn’t have to stay on her lap, she said, he was probably getting warm or restless. No, I said, he seemed quite content to me.

Barb and the Hound of Love
Barb and the Hound of Love