Bo the Therapy Dog’s ICU Encounter

Bo and I are also registered volunteers to go into a couple of the hospitals in our area. One evening, everything started out as usual: Bo proudly walked through the lobby of the hospital, ready to work, and we checked in on the computer at the welcome desk. We proceeded to the elevator, up to a patient floor and down the corridor to one of the patient towers. We went room to room visiting with patients and putting smiles on faces. A normal visit is approximately one hour long since that is what most dogs can handle on each visit. There was still time after making it around this patient tower and we headed back toward the elevators to find patients to visit on another floor.

Well, that was the initial plan, but Bo had other ideas. Somehow, she knew there was one more person that needed her.

It’s amazing what our dogs can sense. There is a small waiting area near the elevators for the ICU unit.  Bo insisted that she needed to go into this area where there was a group of people hanging out. They were obviously upset about their loved one in the hospital. Bo turned on her natural charm as we approached the family. They were thrilled to pet and give Bo some attention and asked if we were allowed to go into the ICU rooms. I explained to them that yes, we have permission to go into most areas of the hospital, including the ICU. They asked us to go to the room where their family member was.

Bo walked into the room and right up next to the hospital bed. I have no idea what was wrong with the gentleman in the bed or even how old he was. There was a towel across his eyes and forehead, so he wasn’t able to see us either. Bo was the perfect height for the gentleman to just put his hand over the side of the bed and pet her. There are only certain people that Bo will choose to stay next to for quite a length of time, but Bo stood there for as long as the man wanted to run his fingers through her hair. Several of the family members in the room were in tears and couldn’t thank us enough for taking the time to come in to give him the opportunity to have the contact with one of his favorite animals.

I have no idea how dogs can sense when people need a bit of love and kindness from them.They do notice when you’re upset and try to do what they can to comfort you in their own special way. Somehow Bo knew that this family needed a bit of her therapy magic that evening. We left the hospital knowing that Bo had done a great job and made a real difference in the lives of the people she touched that evening.

Does your dog know when you need extra love and care? Share in the comments.

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