VIDEO: Therapy dog showing compassion at hospice center steals hearts

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

 

OREGON--(FOX 13)--A therapy dog in Oregon is stealing hearts across the internet. Her name is 'JJ,' and she works 12 hour shifts alongside Tracy Calhoun, a nurse at Samaritan Evergreen Hospice House in Albany, Oregon.

JJ has her own Facebook page, and over the past few days, it's gotten a lot of attention, mostly because of a video posted on the page of her with a patient.

The video shows JJ sweetly cuddling with an elderly woman who was dying. At times, the woman moves her hand along JJ's head and face. "That was the first purposeful movement that we had that day," Calhoun recalled.

The woman, who was visually impaired, was laying in her bed, listening to poetry. She had just been transferred there.

"She simply had no family, she just didn't have anybody, wasn't married, didn't have any kids. She had some very lovely caregivers," Calhoun said. 

The woman, Calhoun said, died shortly after the video was taken. But it's not just patients that JJ comforts, she also spends time with their families. "Here, it's almost like she's a resident dog. She goes room to room," Calhoun said, but she won't go in until she's given permission, something Calhoun taught her. "She'll pop her head in to see what's going on," said Calhoun.

JJ also has a sense of when someone might need her, whether it's a patient or a family member who needs to be comforted. Calhoun said the sister of a patient said, "I don't know how she does it but she knows." 

Calhoun says she just goes up to the woman when she's needed the most.

"It's intuitive," she said.

The Facebook page was created when the hospice center opened about three years ago. The video of JJ with the patient was actually taken a year and a half ago, but is just now getting attention. 

The posts are written as if JJ herself is talking, and it appears she's happy about being in the spotlight. "Thank you to everyone for such an enthusiastic response to not only the video, but the rest of the things we share," the Facebook page said.

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