It is difficult to explain to someone who has never had a dog, or cat, or any pet, what it feels like for them. How misses you are when we must be separated. And why sometimes assert themselves things like carry them on public transport or to the beach. But There are stories that transcend these claims because they can be health issue. We all know of the importance of a good emotional state when fighting a disease. And, for many people, it is difficult to keep it if you have to stay hospitalized away from your pets.
When the dogs do not understand why he is missing his best friend
From time to time, you jump to the media the news that a dog stays in a hospital door waiting that the owner be given high. The last case that moved us all was the dog Maya, documented by the staff of the hospital of Elda (Alicante).
But it is not the only case. Hachiko, the Japanese dog that I hope the return of the deceased owner, for years we have testimony in the film, but other time we learned through social networks or media. As Masha, the Russian dog who has spent two years waiting for his master to leave a hospital that already will not be.
Initiatives so that patients and their dog reunite
We have already seen the reactions of dogs when they are forced to separate from their owners for health reasons. But, What about humans? Considering all necessary visits of loved ones to maintain the patient’s psychic health, would it not be positive that also dogs were able to access them?
The pioneers in pet hospital visits are Canadians. In particular, the Juravinski hospital, Ontario, which has implemented the Zachary completo Paws program for Healing. Zachary Noble was a 23-year-old girl diagnosed with a very aggressive Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He spent many weeks in the hospital and his obsession was to see their dogs. With the complicity of some workers in the hospital, his family managed to introduce one of them and Zachary’s mood has improved significantly. Unfortunately, Zachary died shortly after, but not before making his family promised him that fight by dog could get to hospitals to visit their owners. And thus was born Zachary completo Paws for Healing.
United States has followed in the footsteps of their neighbors to the North and approximately 100 centers such as the University of Maryland Medical Center, have specific programmes for pet visits. The explanation of why they do it is clear in this video:
In Spain, these initiatives are still scarce. A few months ago was an initiative at Change.org to request that the animals could visit to their owners in the hospital, that accumulates more than 8,000 signatures. The origin of the campaign is a heartwarming story that its impeller has shared on Facebook:
There is little information official on other programs, although these days has circulated on Facebook a picture which shows that in the Hospital of Guadarrama, in Madrid, there is a plan of pet visits as part of the humanization Plan:
An emotional reunion
«I served as therapy, I have loaded the batteries.» Rodolfo Castillo.
This summer we had a good example of how a dog and his master can miss it for a long period of hospitalization. Rodolfo Castillo is a patient, quadriplegic for 18 years, he had to spend a few days admitted to hospital de Valdecilla (Cantabria). Those days became two months and Rodolfo missed Wolf, the dog which had become, in the past six years, in their hands and their feet. And, judging by the pictures of the reunion, it seems that Wolf also had missed it enough to it also:
The Association Zachary completo Paws for Healing stresses that when patients see their pets, his vital signs improved, as well as the sense of isolation and depression. It is also an additional motivation to make patients want to return home. It gives them normalcy and makes them forget for a while that they are in the hospital. Also pets benefit, since it disappears the feeling that their masters have left them.
Assisted with pet therapies are a reality for years and are proven benefits. In Spain are pioneers Association blue dogs and the hospital Sant Joan de Déu (in Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona). If a trained dog can improve the health of patients, it is presumably that of each dog will do so to a greater extent.
The b-side of the visits
Obviously, the possibility of dogs by visiting their owners in hospitals do not like everyone. There are complicated logistics problems, like what happens with other patients with possible allergies or phobias or the possible health problem that dogs do their needs where they should not be (even caused by the excitement of the reunion).
There are initiatives that exist in Canada and United States, strict rules about the preparation that must follow the dog (cats are not allowed in all centres) that is authorized by your visit. Health card in force, external and internal deworming and a bath prior to the trip to the hospital. In addition, during the visit, a social worker accompanies the dog and the family member or friend of the patient who takes it. And dogs may not come into contact with other patients.
Perhaps it is just a matter of good will. The family of the patient who wants to see your dog to meet standards, the hospital to enable some areas… Where we have implemented the experience seems to have been a success. And the benefits can make a difference in the lives of patients.