Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hospice tails

My friend, Emma, is a hospice worker, and continues to be a real support in my Donkey Dreams endeavors, emailed me with a heartbreaking, but sweet, story.

She was providing hospice care for a man who had an older dog. The dog had taken to crawling under the bed, and howling or letting out sad moans. The family memebers were too the point they wanted to remove the dog, but Emma fortunatly recognized this sensitive creature was simply vocalizing his human's pain, or sadness, or fear, or love.

The sister of the dying man brought a shirt to the old dog, so he had the scent and comfort of his human. About a week later, the old dog died, his head laying on the man's shirt.

WHo was comforting whom here? The dying dog, perhaps calling out to his friend, "I'm leaving, I'm sorry I must go and leave you dying"...or perhaps, "Hold me, I can't get up on the bed, I know you there, I smell you"...

There are so many senior dogs and animals that end up abandonned after the owner dies. Family members can't take them on, or won't, or try too...it is one of my biggest fears, my animals after I'm gone. But until then, we must hope people will continue to be like the Emma's of the world, and that hospice workers can work with animal rescue people too in some way in these situations....

Emma is the person who is really helping me and motivating me to do the 2009 Hospice Thank You Day at Apifera where donkeys will mingle and love all the wonderful caregivers who provide hospice for the dying....