Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Young Dog New Tricks

 I got up early and after walking the dogs, Roger and I drove to Llandudno. I had to take my DBS paperwork in to HR and needed to complete my online mandatory training, something I cannot access on nights or at weekends as I needed the aid of their help desk. 
Roger proved to be a wow with the secretarial and managerial staff and after some initial nerves 
Slowly got used to the adulation, closing his eyes to the mew mews of the ladies .

I took him to the bedside of one patient who I had discussed his progress with.
Much is said regrading disclosing your private life to patients , but in the hospice some idle banter about ordinary things can often be a great leveller to patients undergoing stress towards their end of life.
I shared stories of Roger’s small adventures after coming to the cottage and she had offered me some sage advice of how to deal with a dog not blessed with a huge brain.
Like most of my Welsh who visited patients, Roger was gentle and inquisitive with my patient. 
He lay next to her, with his paws either side of her elbow and he let her pat his head gently with a boney hand without playing with the tie on her nightdress sleeve  which dangled before him
She coo cooed at him quietly, telling him how smart he looked and she didn’t turn her head away when a single tear ran down the side of her face beside her ear. 
Roger sniffed her face gently as she called out “ My sweet, sweet boy “ 

…and it was me who turned away and pretended I hadn’t noticed.



59 comments:

  1. Barbara Anne1:40 pm

    How thoughtful and kind of you to share yur family (this time Roger) with some of your patients. Bless you!
    Isn't Roger looking like a sweet boy?

    Hugs!

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    1. It’s not hard to share him, I love people’s positive reactions to him. I can’t stress how undoglike welsh terriers can be, they do just sit and stare , just like a child’s teddy bear

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  2. Roger is such a dear chap, naughty I know , but lovable none the less.

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    1. His unpuppyish behaviour intrigues people who can’t quite believe he is still a puppy.

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  3. Replies
    1. We used to have therapy dogs albeit on an ad hoc basis . Roger would be an ideal therapy dog

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  4. I think we should share our lives with our patients. I got in trouble once by a dialysis instructor because I was sharing things with my patient. I'm slowly draining all of the blood out of this patient, the patient should know something about me I think.

    My patients know about my grandchildren, my husband, my children. It's a two way street. I know about my patient's families as well. It builds a bond and it builds trust.

    I'm glad your patient got to visit with Roger.

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    1. Disclosure can be appropriate I agree ( of course I do because I’ve disclosed) however you have to be careful that it’s something safe and almost non descript

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  5. Once again, John, you elevate the ordinary (?).

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  6. That was a lovely story about Roger and your patient. If my end of life occurs in a hospice, I hope I have a compassionate nurse like you who understands I might enjoy the comfort of petting a dog one last time.

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  7. Roger deserves all the adulation!

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  8. Oh! That face! x

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    1. He has a gentle melancholic look about him

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  9. Good boy Roger! 2 meet and greets in one day and he did beautifully well. The perfect gentle boy. I hope you can take Roger back to visit your patient. She loved her visit with Roger.

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    1. I think the reaction of certain staff underlines just how much he is therapy for anyone

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  10. Oh, darling Roger, knowing when gentleness and quiet is needed. I think I'd be the one shedding a tear at that scenario. I'd rather have a nurse who shares just a little of their life with me than a super-efficient, but emotionally cold one. xx

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    Replies
    1. Well put….having said that, if I was on intensive care I want the best technical nurse lol

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  11. You paint a lovely picture of the scene John.

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  12. Finding common ground makes everything easier, and pets are ideal for this. I wouldn't have considered this to be sharing personal information at all.

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  13. Yorkshire Liz3:42 pm

    When my husband was dying of cancer, the hospital allowed me to bring our two rescue shetland sheepdogs in to visit him. They lay on their own blanket brought from home in the crooks of his arms, and they were a dose of familiarity, comfort and the ordinary in a stressful and strange situation. Even when in a coma he seemed to know they were there, and was reassured. On their last visit they knew they would never see him again, and were quietly reluctant to leave. Dogs know so very much and have so much empathy in difficult situations. This is an assurance beyond that of PAT dogs; and I understand there is an end of life charity in the USA which uses only shelties as their visiting dogs which act more as companions than visitors. Well done, John. And well done, Roger. Yes indeed, you need to share with patients, if only so they assured there is still a real living world beyond their own.

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    1. Thank you for sharing this bittersweet memory Liz
      I agree they know when someone is very poorly .
      Mary when she was a bouncy youngster and Finlay my first welsh both visited one vulnerable and one dying patient and both did so with a stillness

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    2. Yorkhire Liz7:25 pm

      You have exactly the right word; that stillness that is a pure animal psychic connection that little mysterious step beyond simple empathy. Thank you for this story, a typical John tale of insight and a putity of soul.

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    3. The other word I would use is watchfulness

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  14. Replies
    1. All my welshmen , Finlay, Willian and Roger were and are lookers

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  15. Beautifully told, John. Thank you!

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  16. Anonymous4:12 pm

    Bittersweet. But, what a good lad that Roger is...
    E

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    1. He’s so la king in confidence and so there was a method in my madness of bringing him into work. He needs to be introduced to lots of people regularly .

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  17. Fuckin' 'ell mate, l am gone!. I could not walk 5 minutes in your ' work shoes ' and l thank you most profoundly from those of us who are far too feeble or just not emotionally strong enough to cope with your daily situations. Animals are always the great leveller and definately understand so much more that they are ever given credit for. Thank you for taking Roger to meet that patient today, l am sure it meant a lot to her, my dear friend never met, Tess x

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    1. And I’m sure I couldn’t walk 5 minutes in yours …
      Horses for courses dear tess x

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    2. You could try......Size 5, but sadly it's gone from Tarts Trotters to Flat Hotters and they don't do a little something in red with a bit of diamonte. T x

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    3. I’m still in crocs

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  18. Dear Roger is a gift from the universe John - a blessing xx💜💙💗

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    1. Not a gift he cost a fair bit lol

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    2. My thatch who looks very similar to your Roger was only £130 as I recall but is very very chatty x 💥

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  19. Roger may soon expect rewards from the hospice for the therapy his visits may provide. I am thinking sausages or maybe M&S scotch eggs.

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  20. Tearjerker of a post. All can be forgiven of such a sweet little dog.

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    1. Bit of an emotional romp but I’m not apologising x

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  21. Anonymous8:21 pm

    Here in the states I’m aware of some counselors who offer the option of a therapy animal (cat or dog) in their office to help ease the situation for their clients.

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  22. Blessing nursing.

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  23. Well after I blow my nose and wipe away he tears I can only say that Roger seems to have a calling. Bless him and you.

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    1. He’s turned a corner tonight. He spent the night in front of the fire and only a couple of minutes ago, came over for a cuddle then took himself to his crate in the kitchen to bed….finally he is home

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  24. Anonymous9:00 pm

    I think Roger has found his niche. Well done!

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  25. Well, now, that's made me cry. As the final moments of her life trickle through her fingers, Roger has given her a special moment. Bless him. And her. And you.

    Hell.

    Bless us all, each and every one.

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  26. Beautifully written. I feel quite teary now. Bless you for giving the lady a lovely moment with Roger. He does look rather like a teddy bear, a very gorgeous one
    Will he and Mary have puppies?

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  27. Can you get him officially registered as a PAT dog, he would be brilliant at it, and you would make a wonderful visitor for people when your hospice days are over.

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