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Heroes come in different shapes, sizes and breeds
Submitted by: CareDimensions

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Heroes come in different shapes, sizes and breeds

This is Patrick. He is the face of the Care Dimensions pet therapy program.

Patrick is a Golden Retriever who just turned 7 years old on the 4th of July. In the last two years, Patrick has been involved in approximately 300 pet therapy sessions. He visits patients in their homes, in long term care and assisted living, and patients at the Kaplan Family Hospice House.

According to Care Dimensions, pet therapy is beneficial as a pet visit provides unconditional love, tactile stimulation, helps patients relax, encourages life review and leaves the patient feeling happy even after the dog has gone. Pets make a big impact on family members spending time “waiting and watching” as their loved ones decline. A pet visit breaks up the day and encourages conversation.  It’s not hard to imagine the responses Patrick receives with his friendly smile and bright orange fur.  Care Dimensions shared some memorable moments when Patrick visited patients.

Patrick visited the Kaplan Family Hospice House and entered the room of a man who had not opened his eyes or spoken in three days. Patrick went to his bedside and licked the hand of the patient. The family was very surprised to see a huge smile spread across his face and the patient reached out to touch Patrick’s head. The family explained that the patient was a “dog person” and always had at least one Golden Retriever in the house at all times. Patrick’s visit made a very sad time a moment to remember and share.

Another time Patrick came to the rescue was when a family of a young patient at the Kaplan Family Hospice House learned they had a pet therapy dog and made a special request to see Patrick. Patrick spent two hours in the patient’s room. The family said that without Patrick in the wings, they weren’t sure they would have made it through the day.

Patrick in the news

First grade students at Horace Mann School in Salem, Mass had a project to write to a “secret hero.” None of the students knew who the hero was. When the day came to meet the hero they had been writing to, they were all shocked to learn it was a dog.  As Patrick makes his mark, we will be sure to follow where he goes next. This is a special dog with a special job!

Care Dimensions is one of the nation’s first hospice programs located in Eastern Massachusetts.

Follow Care Dimensions on Facebook Or visit their website.

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