Fudge and I have been a registered pet therapy team for almost a year. He’s a 6 year old Yorkie rescue that enjoys snuggles, playing with all his friends, and meeting new people and dogs! We visit residents at two local nursing homes. The very first visit we met a lady that immediately took to Fudge. She saw us walking into her room and her face lit up. She told her daughter (on the phone) “I have to go, there’s a dog here to see me!” She was so genuinely excited to visit with us and pet Fudge, hear all about him and his life, and tell us about her family and all the dogs she had loved through the years.
We would always make sure we stopped by her room to visit with her and every time we would see her mood visibly shift when she realized Fudge was coming to see her. She would hang up her phone to pet him, or wheel away from the nurses' station anxious to see her friend and tell us about her week.
One weekend we visited, and she was sitting in the hallway with her phone and as soon as we saw her, she told me her mother had passed away. She was in the middle of taking phone calls and relaying the news to her family
members, but she put all of it on pause to visit with Fudge. Even on her darkest days, she would light up when she saw his stubby tail wagging as we came down the hallway to visit with everyone.
Not long after, her health began to deteriorate. She was unable to receive pet therapy visits for a few weeks, and we weren’t sure when we would get to visit with her again.
Fudge and I had stopped in for a quick visit one weekend and chatted with some of our regulars, filled up on snuggles and treats, and continued our way around the facility. When we reached our friend, we walked into her room and noticed she was crying.
She told us to come in and told me to sit down with her. So, we did. In the following moments, she let us know she had just talked to her doctor and he had told her she did not have much time left.
It was heartbreaking and almost immediately Fudge cuddled right next to her and just melted into her while she cried. We talked and stayed with her and I realized that we were right where we were supposed to be.
A stranger just a few months before, she became one of our favorite residents to visit with. Pet therapy serves so many different people in different situations but at the end of every session, I know that Fudge has brought happiness, comfort, and peace to the residents we visit with. We never know what situations we may encounter, but together we strive to make everyone’s day better.