We often discuss how animals can be integrated into traditional and non-traditional therapies. We can have the animals participate in as many ways as we can be creative. But sometimes it's enough for the animal to just be.
Just be quiet. Just be still. Just be calm. Just be within reach. Just be there.
Petey and I visit someone in home hospice weekly. We really don't "do" much.
But as soon as Petey enters the room, our client perks up. If her eyes are shut and she is resting, I say "Petey is here" and she slowly opens her eyes. Sometimes she is sleeping and doesn't respond to my voice, but when I put Petey on his little blanket on her lap, she knows he is there.
He likes to crawl between her legs or into the crook of her arm, depending on her position.
He never says anything, just settles in.
He never moves from this spot unless she calls to him. Then he picks up his head and looks right at her.
He never minds if she doesn't respond.
He knows why he is there.
To provide comfort and a soft spot to rest on.
Her hand usually wanders over to him.
How does she know he is there I often wonder?
But she always reaches out for him, even if it appears she is asleep.
Petey will move a bit closer if she can't reach him.
How does he know to do this?
Today they fell asleep together and it was one of our greatest visits.
One woman and one little dog, breathing silently and calmly ion tandem.
This is what Petey "does" on these types of visits.