Cam is a miniature poodle with a huge heart. He spent much of his life bonded closely with his owner, a dog lover who lived in a retirement facility in the late years of life. Cam and his person shared a strong bond, he was a companion, friend, confidant, and reason for getting out of bed in the morning.
Cam’s owner was a Hospice of the Northwest patient who passed away with a hospice nurse, Carrie Woodfield, RN, at the bedside. When his owner passed, Cam curled up at the head of the bed, whimpering and crying. Their strong bond, and his tremendous loss, was felt deeply by the patient’s circle of support. Nurse Carrie was particularly moved by the love Cam shared with his person.
“Seeing Cam’s devotion and his grief at his owner’s passing filled my heart with love,” said Carrie. “I knew then and there that Cam was going to be the next member of our family. My boys were excited and grateful to return the favor of caring for and loving Cam as much as Cam loved his owner.”
Hospice of the Northwest has been a partner organization of Pet Peace of Mind since 2018, a national organization focused on supporting the human-pet bond for patients with life-limiting or terminal illnesses. Through the Pet Peace of Mind program, Hospice of the Northwest volunteers assist patients with routine pet care such as feeding, daily exercise, and vet visits. When needed, volunteers also work with patients and their families to re-home the beloved companions after the patient passes.
“The Pet Peace of Mind program, and the volunteers who support it, are offering such an important service for patients who are bonded with a pet,” said Erin Long, Volunteer Services Manager with Hospice of the Northwest. “For many of the people we serve, these pets are part of their families. It is a relief for them to know their animals are taken care of when they are no longer able to do so.”
The Pet Peace of Mind program is offered in 43 states nationally, with Hospice of the Northwest as the only partner north of Seattle. If you would like to learn more about the Pet Peace of Mind program with Hospice of the Northwest, or you are interested in volunteering to support the program, please contact Erin Long at ELong@hospicenw.org or call 360-814-5588.