The Healing Power of Canine Love.

Posted: January 31, 2008 at 11:45 am

Chris has been in Ridge Meadows Hospital since Sunday. She has a serious illness that resulted in symptoms so severe and agonizing that Super Dyke couldn’t ignore then any longer.

The hospital is a small one, totally understaffed and overworked. Maybe because of this, the staff is very open to making the patients as comfortable as possible however that might look to an individual patient. Chris can’t (literally) eat the food provided by food services, so I bring her meals from home (with the permission of the doctor, the dietitian, and the Pope. Things that she needs to be comfortable (like bed baths and hair washes) are left for me to do because we want it that way. Best of all, though, is that each evening, I have been permitted to bring one of the dogs in for a visit. First Piper, then Sienna, and last night, Kiefer. Fortunately Chris is in a semi-private room, and her lovely roommate is a dog nut. She was thrilled when Sienna jumped up on her bed and snuggled with her. Her Aussie Shepherd is with her dog walker, and she is missing  the dog terribly, so  our dogs, love sponges  all, are giving her a dose of  much needed unconditional adoration, too. The nurses and nursing assistants, the cleaning staff, other patients and visitors are charmed by seeing a dog on the unit. There are a lot of smiles when a dog breezes in….especially Kiefer, who was a big hit, and such a good boy.

Chris is recovering from her flare-up, slowly and surely. She’s a fighter, and she will not give in to hopelessness. Fortunately she has had some awesome nurses, very caring and professional people who make her feel safe and help her manage her still-significant pain. She’ll be at Ridge Meadows for a while longer….sadly no quick fix for this disease.

15 Comments on "The Healing Power of Canine Love."

  • Jean says

    How great that the hospital permits the dogs to visit! I know when I spent a couple of months in a hospital, the visits from the therapy dogs were the highlight of my week – but how much nicer it would have been if my own dogs had been allowed to visit.

    Hugs to Chris – I hope she is feeling better soon.

  • Faith says

    Get well soon Chris! Can’t go wrong with “Fur Therapy!”

    Chilliwack General Hospital allows visits from family dogs too… it’s awesome!

  • bridget says

    it’s true!

    when i was at St. Paul’s, being treated and recovering from an obstruction, i was in a room on my own, next to a fella who was a longterm resident. his mom came in almost everyday, and brought their dog Margot with her.

    THAT was the highlight of any day i was there, to see her, and the other dog “therapy” dogs.

  • Erika says

    Get well soon Chris!
    How nice that the dogs are allowed to visit!

    Erika

  • Susan from Chicago says

    Postive thoughts and energy sent your way Chris for a speedy recovery.

  • Rae says

    Deb, Please tell Chris I’m sending positive thoughts her way. I hope she recovers quickly and is on her way home to all of you

  • sheila says

    Sorry to hear about Chris’ health being poor. Being sick or unhealthy just sucks and you never really appreciate being healthy until it is taken away from you. Please tell her Leila and I are both thinking of her.

  • Nicole says

    take care Chris. hopefully you won’t be in for too much longer, but atleast you have Deb’s super cooking to comfort you.

  • Carol says

    geez, i actually talked to chris before i read this, i am so glad the dogs are visiting…she sounded bummed out (the hospital will do that to you!) and i am sure the dogs will make her feel better. i am sorry that nurse was late with her pain meds…pain meds need to be given on time for chrissakes!

  • Julie says

    Deb, I hope Chris is back with you and your family soon. Take care all of you.

  • Deb says

    Chris had a really bad night, which really, really sucks. She tries so hard to be stoic, but sometimes the combination of pain, fear, Prednisone, emotions and the absolute lack of independence and dignity just gang up to create havoc. Plus, another nurse called me Chris’ daughter, which makes my day, but pisses her off (she’s a year younger than me).

    Chris had a great nurse tonight, which is a Godsend, because things could have been, and would have been much worse had she still been under the care of her day nurse, who was really the first unpleasant nurse she’s had so far.

    Kirby came with me tonight, and he was as happy to see his “Gamma” as she was to see him. He also warmed up to Chris’ roommate relatively quickly. Kirbs is a sensitive boy, though, and seeing his Gamma is tears was hard for him. Wasn’t much fun for Chris or me either.

    I’m telling Chris when people send her well wishes. Thank you for all the support you’ve shown both of us. Watching the person you love most in the world is awful, I just want her well.

  • Mo says

    Oh Deb

    I’m justing reading this now & please tell Chris she will be mentioned in my prayes each night… right after Dexter . If there is anything I can do to help let me know , I’m only a few minutes from you guys & the hospital.

  • hornblower says

    Chris, I hope you’re feeling better every day. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  • Carol says

    i told chris to send you to the health food store to pick her up some rescue remedy….some of our hospice patients use it to deal with the stuff that happen when you suddenly find yourself totally dependent and vulnerable in the medical system. it works.

    both of you keep your chins up this will soon just be a bad dream and she will be home bitching at mabel for demanding her organic hopscott chicken toot sweet!.

  • Deb says

    Chris doesn’t bitch at Mabel. Mabel bitches at Chris, and Chris loves it. 🙂 Mabel is one of those dogs who just doesn’t care about the shoulda, coulda , woulda’s. She is true to herself and only herself, which one has to admire in a 16 (or so) year old 15 (or so) lb. dog.
    Mabes is a little fighter, an independent cuss….typical SAINT.

    Carol, Rescue Remedy doesn’t come in gallon containers, which is about what I’d need to calm Chris during that evil time between needing pain meds and getting said pain meds. That said, tonight was a much calmer, more relaxed and comfortable night for Chris, and she was in bed, sliding into sleep when I left at 8:30 or so. Her nurse tonight was a lovely lady who made things so much easier for both Chris and her room mate.

    Speaking of her room mate, she is due to go home tomorrow. She has been a joy, and we can only hope the next one is as wonderful. MacKenzie came with me tonight, and now they are the best of friends. Mac was so good! Not as relaxed as Kirby and Kiefer, but she’s an intense girl, so I expected her to be a little more active. We’re five for five! I’m so proud of our Goonies!

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