- By: Anne Beaver
Sasha is the beloved dog of one of our late patients. Before he died, his wish was to know that Sasha was going to a good home. But in order to find her a new place where she would continue to be loved, Sasha had to have a clean bill of health.
Through Big Bend Hospice’s Pet Peace of Mind (PPOM) program, Sasha was checked out by a local Veterinarian. Although they confirmed that she was in good health, she was severely underweight and was not up to date on her immunizations. The Vet recommended a special diet of senior dog food. She was also prescribed heartworm and flea/tick medication, all of which can be very costly.
Because of the financial hardships the patient was experiencing, PPOM Volunteers worked to secure community donations, providing the special food Sasha needed, as well as the medications. This alleviated the financial burden and gave the patient the “peace of mind” he needed, knowing Sasha was being taken care of and would continue to be taken care of after his passing.
Sasha is now in a new, loving home. Initially, she would wander around as if she was “looking for someone”. But soon she adapted to her surroundings which includes a few brothers and sisters. She even enjoyed a weekend at the beach.
PPOM is a national program that helps hospice patients maintain the bond with their pets. Some patients are fortunate to have a broad support network. Others may be physically or financially unable to care for their pets but still benefit greatly from their presence. PPOM doesn’t want to be in the “pet rehoming business”, like in Sasha’s case, so we try to get families to be pro-active in their long-range planning for their furry friends.
BBH’s PPOM program is only available because of the generosity of the community. It allows hospice patients to complete their end-of-life journey with the comfort and companionship of a pet, without worrying about their pet’s current or future needs.