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Keeping Families Together

This story of compassion and teamwork demonstrates how Columbus Hospice of Georgia and Alabama's Volunteer Services, along with their Pet Peace of Mind program, provides care not only for their patients and their families, but also for the animals they love.

Recently, Columbus Hospice received a call from a patient's neighbor who was looking after the patient's dog, Pooch, while the patient was in the inpatient hospice house. The patient's wife/primary caregiver was going through a health crisis of her own and would be hospitalized for an indefinite period of time. The neighbor was no longer able to care for Pooch, and a staff member retrieved the dog. Pooch was elderly and blind but also gentle, friendly, and curious! Through their Pet Peace of Mind program, they were able to have Pooch updated on vaccines, bathed, and had some teeth extracted so he could be more comfortable.

When Pooch's dad passed away, the staff remained in contact with the patient's wife to assure her that Pooch was safe and cared for. A volunteer offered to foster Pooch in her home. Pet Peace of Mind provided her with food and a new kennel. During this time, Pooch's mom had been taken to a local nursing facility where she could receive rehabilitation. The staff maintained contact with her, and once she adjusted to her new location, the volunteer began to take Pooch to visit his mom. She cried, saying over and over, "God bless you. God bless you. Pooch is all I have left."

Pet Peace of Mind helped Pooch's owner pass in peace knowing that his dog was safe. And while Pooch's mom is going through the most difficult season of her life, she is still able to have her loyal companion of 14 years in her life, thanks to a selfless volunteer who simply said, "I just want to be a blessing."


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