Paying it forward is not limited to people. Dogs, too, can spread love and compassion to those in need – especially through the Arkansas Hospice Therapy Dog Program.
Lucy, a standard poodle, was born blind. Allan Gates was known for opening his home to dogs. When a vet called him about Lucy, little did he know how both their lives would change. Allan opened his home up to this disadvantaged puppy. He provided her not only with the care any other responsible pet owner would, but also with cataract surgery when she was a year old. The surgery resulted in Lucy gaining near perfect vision – a gift of unconditional love.
Now, at the age of 6, Lucy, returns that love to others through her work in the Arkansas Hospice Therapy Dog Program. Together, she Allan regularly visit patients at the Arkansas Hospice Ottenheimer Inpatient Center, located at CHI St. Vincent in Little Rock.
Providing comfort care to hospice patients with life-limiting illness, Allan has witnessed Lucy bring joy to patients, caregivers, family members, and hospice staff.
When asked what makes their work together so special, Allan said, “Visiting with Lucy has allowed me to do things I’m not sure I would have done on my own.”
If you have a therapy dog and would like to join the Arkansas Hospice Therapy Dog Program, visit https://www.arkansashospice.org/volunteer/therapy-dog-program/ for details. If you and your dog would like details on how to become a therapy team, you can visit https://petpartners.org/.
Even if you don’t have a therapy dog, there are still many ways you can help by being a volunteer with Arkansas Hospice. Visit https://www.arkansashospice.org/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities/ to learn more, or call our director of volunteers, Harriet Hawkins, at 501-748-3392.
I have nothing but the best things to say about Arkansas Hospice. They were so good to my Dad before he passed away. The love and care, compassion they showed to my dad was priceless. The nurses and CNA’s that took care of my Dad are the best and always be the best.
We are just starting our dad’s final journey and Arkansas Hospice has been a blessing. They’ve taught us so much already and provide as much support and comfort to the family as they do my dad. I’m grateful they’ll be walking this final path with us.
I love Arkansas Hospice. Every single employee has a heart of gold and takes the best care of their patients.
I would not hesitate at all to recommend this provider for anyone who is considering hospice care for themselves or for a loved one.
Arkansas Hospice took care of my Mom before she passed. It was my first experience with any hospice and I was amazed. They took such great care of her. They treated her with dignity and respect until the end.
So many thanks for the way your staff treated my very dear friend, Jeff, as he raced toward the finish line. Words can’t express my gratitude for helping us to care for him and keep him comfortable. Top-notch professionalism and immediate responses to requests for assistance.