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Letter: Don’t deny comfort

Was there really a need to deny the comfort our dog could provide while in the hospital?

Don’t deny comfort

Charlie sounds like a wonderful addition to many lives (Penticton Western News, March 10, Canine companion shares his love).

I too have a wonderful companion – her name is Pepper, and she is with me everywhere but the food stores and church.

When I broke my leg last June, I was in a room by myself, so we asked about bringing her to visit. I was given permission to do so by my social worker, and most of my nurses. After three days of visits with absolutely no trouble from her, a nurse, who obviously doesn’t like dogs, told me to get her out of my room. When I told her I had permission to have Pepper there, she informed me that was against hospital rules, and went to a more senior employee.

There was absolutely no mention of therapy dogs, who I understand are permitted to visit. Pepper is no different except that I do not have the paperwork to say she is for therapy. The senior employee and my surgeon were both very surly about my wish, and informed me it was against hospital policy, so I said I wished to sign out of the hospital. Most everything that was being in the hospital could be done at home. I was told to sign a paper saying I was leaving without permission.

There was no follow-up by my surgeon as to my health.

During that summer, my husband became very ill, and was confined to bed at home. Pepper spent her time at his bedside night and day. curled in his arms. When he was admitted to hospital, I kept her at home willingly because the nurses had much to do. When my husband was moved to the Hospice House, I asked if Pepper could spend time with him, the answer was “of course.” She was welcomed by the nurses and residents alike, and was no trouble to anyone. He passed away peacefully in September while Pepper went round and round his bed looking for him. She now spends almost every minute with me at home while I continue to recuperate.

Was there really a need to deny either of us of the comfort she could give us, especially in a private room with nothing to look at except the bare walls? I don’t believe so.

Drina Andrews


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