Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hospitals and Dogs

I am behind in my posts due to some surgery and recovery. I do think my dogs have helped in my recovery and would have been able to help more if I had known one thing.
Having surgery is a stress but for me, worrying about my dogs while I'm gone is almost a bigger stress. I was lucky that 2 neighbors offered to watch each dog. One has a medium sized dog that Seymour is pals with and one has a small poodle that Zooey kinda tolerates. Being a recent rescue and having endured abuse by another dog, Zooey is very skittish around almost all dogs - except Seymour. They are a bit of a handful together, as another kind neighbor found out when watching them for 2 days, so separately them was the best way to go. But back to my story.
I was in the hospital for 3 days and feeling pretty bad both mentally and physically. The last night I was there, one of the nurses mentioned that if I had my physician write an order for "pet therapy" my dogs could have come to visit me. They would have had to be in their crate - at least when the door to my room was open, but at least I could have enjoyed their company for a few hours. Unfortunately, I wasn't told this until the night before I was going home so didn't try to get a physician's order. I am not sure hospitals publicize this, but I recommend that if you are ever in the hospital, you ask your physician about it. I do think that I would have been in a much more positive frame of mind, and maybe I wouldn't have been thinking about my pain as much,if I had my dogs to cuddle. Another good thing about seeing your dogs when you are in the hospital is that you don't have to walk them. It's like having grandchildren. You can play with them and love on them and give them back.
Instead, when my dogs came home after my hospitalization, they considered me the same person I was before; the one who walked them, gave them treats, fed them and held them. I'm sure they were wondering who that strange person was who had to just about roll off of the couch and on to the floor to be able to get up to open the back door for them. Maybe if they'd seen me in the hospital, they would have been more prepared for living with a semi-invalid for a little while.
I am hoping to not go in the hospital for a long time, but if I do, I want to add "dog visits" to my advanced directives.

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