Classic Sends a Warm, Fuzzy Hug

By Britney Didier-Shaw

Classic LifeCare was honored to sponsor two therapy dogs through Pals Calgary to visit the Agape Hospice on Thursday, June 13.

Wagging their tails, the dogs lovingly wandered from room to room with their owners, who volunteered their time to share their pets with people. I saw many faces light up in a way that reminded me of a child, when the furry friends came into their room.

Pals’ mission is to enhance, through pet visitation therapy, the quality of life of individuals in need who can benefit from the known value of the human-companion animal bond.

Button was a smaller lap dog with enormous brown eyes, who took great joy in sitting on the beds of many of the patients while enjoying a scratch behind the ears.  Apparently she can tell where not to sit, depending on a person’s pain or weak spots.

Roley the Labradoodle, although too big for the bed, happily stood at the bedside, his size ideal for equal amounts of ear scratches and ‘good boy’ pats on the head.

There were quiet smiles and bits of laughter which came from the patients as they fed the dogs a treat or watched them do a trick or two. Stories were shared about the dogs they once had, from farm dogs to childhood pets.

Button and Roley created a small shift in the Hospice that afternoon, greeted by families and staff with a smile. The relaxed, joyful response from the patients was heartwarming and even emotional.