Thursday, May 16, 2013

Gifts and Dogs!

It can be a little daunting going to a new, unknown (to you) doctor for the first time, especially for a serious condition like Mr. Keith's. We found the Bozeman Cancer Center building easily, checked in, and then to our surprise were given a large gift basket made up just for new patients. It contained a zippered lunch bag, a really nice cap, a plush scarf and headband, a mug with tea bags and small candies, a notebook with pen, a notepad, gum, and a couple of other things. What a treat! We were off to a good start in this new place! Then, we met the doctor. She was wonderful, kind, sweet, very knowledgeable about Keith's condition and his treatments up till now. She had done her research thoroughly, using the records the Olympia doctor had sent. We are so happy with her and with her nurses and assistants!

 We returned to the Center a couple of days later for follow up on Keith's low potassium numbers. (He's fine.) As we were sitting in the waiting room we were quietly approached by a woman with this beautiful dog! Her owner asked if we'd like to pet her, and I realized the dog, a Golden Doodle, was a therapy dog and was there to comfort patients. Of course we petted, her — a bunch! I've always read about therapy animals but never seen one in action much less been the beneficiary of attention from one.

 Her name is Chervil. She is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Standard Poodle. Her fur is incredibly soft and doesn't shed. In disposition she was calm, well-behaved and very affectionate. She knew her job!

 Here is what most impressed me. At first the other folks in the waiting room were just sitting, or reading, some looking a little nervous or depressed, and keeping to themselves. Once the dog was there they all brightened up, began chatting with each other, mostly about Chervil and their own pets. There were smiles and laughter! I especially noticed that when the dog's owner took her off to another waiting room the talk and the laughter continued on. The whole room was now a happy, friendly place. I've always believed in therapy animals and now I know firsthand what a wonderful program it is. This hospital and medical center in Bozeman knows how to comfort and delight their patients!

No comments: