Apr 23rd 2008

Izzy and Philip

Posted in Izzy, Philip

April 23, 2008 – Yesterday, Izzy and I visited Philip, a retired stockbroker who loved to hunt, and built a wooden kennel for his hunting dogs. Being outdoors was a major part of Philip’s life, and even now he gets outside at least once a day, one way or the other. As a hunter, he particularly appreciated Izzy as a working dog, and wanted to know all about him. The Hospice nurse told me today he was talking about Izzy all day today and is eager to see him again. Philip was sitting up in a recliner, and Izzy put his head under his right arm and held it there.
One thing about Hospice is that the patient usually can’t get to the dog, so the dog has to figure out how to get to the patient. Nothing surprises me with Izzy more than his instinct for where to go, how long to stay, and when to back off.
Izzy and Lenore and I are also joining Hospice staffers going to nursing homes to explain Hospice work to nursing home staffers.
I told them about the particular demands of Hospice work on dogs, how important agility and sensitivity is, as well as temperament. The Hound of Love spread her good will.

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For the record, Hospice is a non-profit string of organizations that exists to provide support and care for people with advanced illnesses, and whose physicians believe have a prognosis of living six months or less (this is by no means always so, and patients can remain inĀ  Hospice care for longer periods, unless the prognosis changes).
Hospice care is administered by a team of trained professionals – doctors, nurses, health aides, social workers, volunteers – who deal with the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and the family during the process of dying, and beyond. People do not generally go to a Hospice facility, although some exist.
Hospice comes to them, in homes or nursing homes generally.