Precious Moments While Visiting as a Therapy Dog Team



June 17, 2014
Wendy the Puggle
As Told By Anne Campbell of Boulder Community Health:

My mother passed away last Friday, as mothers do. In keeping with the tradition of mothers, the process brought me new insight and understanding through a little Puggle (Pug/Beagle), Wendy.  My white Brittany, Tuppence, and I have been in the BCH Canine Corps for over two years. We know the power of love and connection between people and animals. We have experienced the genuine happiness dogs touch in patients, family and staff. We have even basked in gratitude and smiles during our visits.  So, as my mother received hospice care, I was sure I knew the benefits of doggie visits, and sought them out.Do you know how you can see a situation for years, never wavering and unchanging? Then suddenly your lens shifts, and the picture changes.  It’s like those optical illusions of a vase that somehow becomes two faces, or a rabbit’s head that can be seen as a duck’s head facing the other direction.My mother’s last days changed my perspective profoundly. Wendy, the Puggle, came to visit. Though not beautiful by show dog standards, the smile she elicited from my mother was, by any standards in the universe.  After a lifetime of caring for dogs, horses, cats, fish, and miscellaneous other critters, she expertly stroked Wendy’s soft ears, sat taller and beamed.I cannot express the gratitude I felt and still feel.  This was my own mother smiling and reaching out as she always had.I ran down the hall after Wendy and her owner, repeating “thank you, thank you so much”, and I realized what a tremendous gift our pets are.I have been looking at the Canine Corps as light through stained glass:  beautiful and constant. Now I see it through a crystal prism, still beautiful, but ever- changing and full of surprises.

Anne Campbell & Tuppence


June 10, 2012
A Smile Awakened!

As Told by Kim Pontine of Good Samaritan Medical Center:

Tess and I were going through our normal routine of peeking in and asking if the patient would like a visit.  This one room was filled with family members and the patient appeared fairly comatose.  The family told me their mom was mostly unresponsive, but that she loved dogs.  Tess and I approached the bed and they took their mother’s hand and put it on Tess and helped her with petting Tess.  The woman got a smile on her face and the whole family gasped in awe and told me they had not had any reactions from her for over 3 days.  I keep the thought of that day with me all the time when I’m visiting.  It tells me how much the simple petting of a loving dog can do for someone.

Kim Pontine & Tess


May 30, 2012
Kinzie & the Sad Lady
As Told by Wendy Dickie of Boulder Community Health:
Have to share this story….

Recently while visiting the patients at BCH a visitor came out of a room and asked if I could visit her mother as she was crying and in a lot of pain – and was it OK for the dog to see this.  I said, ” lets try”.
As we entered, the patient was sitting up in a chair with a blanket wrapped around her. She was crying but when we stepped into her sight a smile came across her face. Kinzie first went towards the daughter as she was the one calling her.  She then put her head on the patient’s lap.  The patient began to talk about how much she loved dogs.  We were there for a few minutes, but it appeared that we had eased some of her suffering as she had stopped crying.  As we left the daughter came out to thank us as it really seemed to have helped.  Obviously that made my day!
Wendy Dickie & Kinzie


January 21, 2011
Fritz Is An Angel!
As Told by Carol Brock of Boulder Community Health:

I have a wonderful story from a visit today  (Jan. 20, 2011) with my dog Fritz.  Fritz and I visited the Cancer Center, where we saw a man we have become quite fond of.  He is very sweet and gracious and funny. He has terminal with lung cancer and his wife told me on the visit last that he has about two to three weeks to live and is receiving palliative care. They both love Fritz, and last week, I think Fritz sensed something had changed in him because Fritz went right up to him and leaned his whole body against his legs (something he has never done before), and then slumped down and laid on top of his feet. I asked the patient if Fritz was bothering him, because obviously he couldn’t move his feet. He said, “No, he’s fine right where he is.” This week when we visited, he was there with his wife and two friends. The friends did a little ceremony and presented him with a key ring full of angels with sparkly wings. They said the angels were from his friends and co-workers, and that they represented hope, miracles, love, joy, blessings, happiness and the beauty and mystery of life. They added that the angels also represented all the people who loved him deeply, and that each time he looked at the ring he would realize how loved he was in this lifetime. He was obviously very touched and teared up while thanking them. Then he said, “Do I have to keep them all on the key ring?” They both said, “No, whatever you want to do with them is fine. They’re for you.” He replied, “Then I want to give one to Fritz. He’s certainly an angel.” And he took an angel off the ring and his wife clipped it to Fritz’s collar. Fritz wagged his tail and gave her a kiss. It’s days like this (and many, many others) that make you realize how many people truly appreciate the Canine Corps.

Carol Brock & Fritz