I visited my other regular hospital this weekend — the one with the mostly bedridden patients. This time we were the only team. There were a lot of patients that we couldn’t see today — they had cards on their rooms that said they had to be isolated. But even with all of them, we had lots of patients who needed to see us.
The most important visits today, I think, were the ones who needed what I call “fur therapy.” That’s different from my usual purr therapy, where I cuddle and purr my healing energy. The power of the fur is when the patient is specifically missing a pet. The two I had today weren’t even missing cats — they were missing dogs.
The first patient I saw was an older man, whose wife was visiting him. My human came in really handy on this one, because she chatted up the wife while I tended to her husband. That way, the husband had my full attention. Meanwhile my human got to hear about the little chihuahua dachshund mix the husband loved. We all had a very nice visit.
My human and I saw some other patients, and then close to our finish time, we stopped in on a woman. Like a lot of patients, she did not speak much English, but my human understood enough to know that she had a dog she loved very much that had passed away. Sometimes when patients are stuck in a hospital, their minds turn to those they have lost, and it makes them sad. I was very happy to pay a visit to this woman. I relaxed on her chest and she talked to me in Spanish (which I always love). My human didn’t have much to do during our visit but let us be.
When you are doing therapy work, timing is everything. You have to decide whether to visit more patients but spend less time with them, or fewer patients and more time. Often, it varies from patient to patient. This time, my human felt this woman needed more time with me. At the end of our visit, the woman showed my human of the little dog she had lost. It was so clear how loved, and how missed she was. I was very happy to offer my fur therapy to her.
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