Pet Therapy - Love on a Leash

Pet Therapy - Love on a Leash
Colleen, JourneyCare Pet Therapy Dog volunteer

Patches Pat Pet Therapy JourneyCareMy name is Colleen and this is my buddy Patches. We have the privilege of visiting JourneyCare’s Marshak Family Hospice CareCenter in Glenview as pet therapy dogs. We try to provide some comfort, companionship, physical contact and stress relief for hospice and palliative care patients, their families and visitors. Did you know that by giving patients and families something to look forward to, our visits can help improve their quality of life?

To do our job, our pet mom, Pat Lawlor, has taken us for certification through Pet Partners and Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy. We are trained to sense the important symptoms of hospice and palliative care patients, such as changes in breathing, restlessness or possible disorientation, and respond to comfort them. We have had some wonderful moments during our visits and most often are happily welcomed by everyone in the room. 

Since Patches is a small dog he can be on the bed, at the patient's request, and likes to cuddle. Me, well I am a large dog, so I usually just hop up on a chair beside the bed and let the patient pet me and give me treats. We both love seeing the patients faces light up when we visit and the smiles they give us. I believe that we enjoy visiting as much as the people we visit enjoy having us there.

This is the start of my sixth year at JourneyCare, and Patches’ fourth. We hope that we can continue to a few bring smiles to all the patients and families they serve, as well as the staff, for many years to come.

Thank you, JourneyCare, for allowing us to share in your mission of enriching lives through expert, compassionate care.


Also learn about JourneyCare's Pet Peace of Mind program, which offers an array of services to keep patients and their pets connected during the end-of-life journey.

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