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Pet Peace of Mind is a Gift for My Dog – and for Me (Copy)

Pet Peace of Mind is a Gift for My Dog – and for Me (Copy)
Elizabeth Pawlak and Coal

When I began home hospice with JourneyCare a year ago, I did not expect I had much time left due to my end-stage COPD. One of my top concerns was my pitbull, Coal. I rescued her from a shelter as a six-month-old puppy, and she has been my constant companion for the last eight years. I hated the idea of having to give her up due to my illness, so I hired a dog walker. (Luckily the dog walker fell in love with Coal and agreed to adopt her when I am no longer here.)

When our dog walker went on vacation, I was worried about Coal being stuck in the house. She's a large breed and is used to being walked three times a day for exercise. She is also perceptive and affected by my illness; Coal is going through this with me and it’s hard on her, too. That’s when I told the JourneyCare volunteers about my concerns. They had already done so much for me, helping with shopping, hair care or anything that I could not do alone. So I was sure they could help me in the interim with Coal. In a bit of lucky timing, JourneyCare had just launched its new Pet Peace of Mind Program. Immediately, JourneyCare sent volunteers to help walk Coal several times a week.

Since then, the program has revealed so many other benefits, too. Pet Peace of Mind was a huge relief, as a reliable dog walker is hard to find. The program took that search off my plate, so I can focus on my health. Dog walkers are also very, very expensive. It can cost up to $20 per walk, so the program also reduces my expenses. In addition, one of our volunteers, Pauline, has been wonderful. She, Coal and I have formed a close friendship and she has become like part of the family—that part of it, the human part — has been a wonderful surprise.

The Pet Peace of Mind Program has benefited my well-being and Coal’s. She is so much more relaxed and less anxious after a walk, which is important because Coal is a comfort to me. I like having her with me so I am not all alone at night, and I love her company during the day. By caring for Coal, Pet Peace of Mind is also taking care of me. It has been such a gift.

Learn more about our Pet Peace of Mind program.

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