Last week Skyy and I visited our local nursing home. We had the honor of visting a patient who was in the loving care of hospice and on her last days. As we moved into the room, we were told that the patient was not doing well at all, but had loved animals their entire life. The patient was curled up in their bed laying on their side. I commanded Skyy “all four” and he promptly jumped up into bed with the patient and laid down allwoing the patient to spoon him. He wiggled up the bed a bit and every once in a while he licked the patient’s chin.
I stood there and was amazed how a high strung, ball chasing nut like Skyy could instantly become an instrument of peace. There is no doubt in my mind he understood the situation, and acted in the peacful and loving way that was not only appropriate, but beautiful and uplifting to all in the room. He was able to demonstrate the undying love associated with therapy animals to help bring peace in a time of suffering.
The prayer of St. Franics of Assisi, the patron Saint of animals, speaks volumes to this adventure:
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to eternal life