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VIDEO: Dog comforts dying woman in hospice

Ready to cry at work? No? Too bad.

I often do bed visits, though never without The Bossy One. This is a lady who has very few people to visit her. She cannot see and often does not wake up, but she did like having her hand on my fur. She was very calm during my visit. We were listening to Yeats, by the way. I was very insistent to have her touch me, more so than usual. We fell asleep later with her hand splayed on my head, both of us snoring (but no proof of that!) I sure can be silly at times, but I also know when to be quiet and present. Her caregivers were very appreciative when they saw this video.

Posted by JJ, Hospice Therapy Dog on Sunday, February 23, 2014

A video from a year ago showing a therapy dog comforting a dying woman in a hospice has suddenly gone viral just in time for National Dog Day.
The video shows JJ a therapy dog nudging an unresponsive patient to pet him while poetry by William Butler Yeats plays in the background.
The video was shared to JJ’s Facebook page over a year ago by his owner Tracy Calhoun, who wrote from JJ’s perspective:
“I often do bed visits, though never without The Bossy One,” “JJ” wrote. “This is a lady who has very few people to visit her. She cannot see and often does not wake up, but she did like having her hand on my fur. She was very calm during my visit. We were listening to Yeats, by the way. I was very insistent to have her touch me, more so than usual. We fell asleep later with her hand splayed on my head, both of us snoring (but no proof of that!) I sure can be silly at times, but I also know when to be quiet and present. Her caregivers were very appreciative when they saw this video.”
Calhoun toldThe Huffington Postthatthe woman was dying after having a “pretty significant fall” and that she did not have many visiors.
"As is often the case, when someone is alone and it is a quiet time, I will sit at the bedside and JJ often will be on the bed," Calhoun said. "This lady was minimally responsive, but as can be seen in the video, she did have some response with JJ's prompting."
“I equate it to being a midwife at the other end of the life cycle," Calhoun said in regards to her working in a hospice. "We mostly do this when there is no audience."
The woman reportedly died the next day.

Matt Lee is a Web producer for Metro New York. He writes about almost everything and anything. Talk to him (or yell at him) on Twitter so he doesn’t feel lonely@mattlee2669.

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