Working for Cornerstone Hospice, I meet some of the most caring people each day and especially through our participation in the national Pet Peace of Mind program. Used when needed for patient’s pets, it is so comforting to help provide support for their furry family members. It was helpful to me personally when I lost my precious dog Faith in August of 2020. She wasn’t just my pet for 17 years - she was the love of my life. Supporting patients with their own pets’ needs continued to be so rewarding to me, even in my grief.
Visiting one of our patients, I gasped out loud when I was greeted by his dog. The little pup looked just like my baby girl Faith. My startled reaction was noticed by Scrat’s dad, Ronnie, and he shared how his little dog was the most important thing in his life. He had taken Scrat in after he had been found on the side of the road nearly 10 years ago. As we chatted, he shared how terribly distressed he was by the possibility of Scrat being left without someone to care for him.
Ronnie, Scrat and I enjoyed a few weeks of visits even as Ronnie was hospitalized several times. He soon made the transition to a nursing home. Our friendship and mutual adoration of Scrat led to Ronnie encouraging me to take Scrat home. In hopes of easing his turmoil, I brought Scrat back and forth for weekly visits with Ronnie and we took turns snuggling with him.
Every time I would pull into the nursing home parking lot, Scrat would get so excited. As soon as he saw his dad coming down the hall it was almost impossible to hold onto him. Once released, he ran that hallway as fast as his short little legs could take him. The joy on Ronnie’s face when he scooped Scrat onto his lap was priceless and heartwarming.
After a couple of months of treasured visits, it was time for our last one. Scrat lay next to his dad for quite a while. I assured Ronnie that Scrat loved him and promised him I would continue caring for Scrat. Ronnie knew Scrat and I were there and a few moments after we left, he peacefully passed.
It was an incredible honor to be entrusted with the most important treasure of another’s life. Knowing you have taken part in a divine plan is a humbling experience and because of this journey, Scrat and I have developed a very close bond.
Even though I still miss Faith, Scrat brings me so much joy! He is a snuggling enthusiast, and his silly antics make me laugh! The playful way he greets me when I get home is a great stress reliever. I will be eternally grateful to Ronnie for his friendship and for my new bouncing baby boy Scrat.