A patient at Hamilton General Hospital (HGH) got an early Christmas present recently. Ivor Jones, who has been at HGH off and on for much of 2016, had a visit with his cat Rovi, made possible by Zachary’s Paws for Healing (ZPFH). The organization facilitates in hospital visits with personal companion dogs and cats.
“I think he needs to see me too. He misses his owner.”
The holidays can be an especially difficult time to be in the hospital, and ZPFH wanted to make sure that 80-year old Jones was able to spend time with Rovi before Christmas. Jones is very close to the black cat whose name is the reverse of his own.
“Seeing him takes my mind off of being in the hospital,” says Jones. “I think he needs to see me too. He misses his owner.”
Jone’s friend Dave Dobbins has been looking after Rovi when he is in hospital and has assisted ZPFH in bringing the cat in for a few visits. “It’s good to see them together,” says Dobbins. “Rovi meows for him.”
Since launching, ZPFH has facilitating hundreds of in-hospital pet visits like this one. They also provide foster care for patients’ pets when there is no one to care for them while their owner is in the hospital. In addition, the organization brings therapy dogs to visit with patients on the Acquired Brain Injury Unit at the Regional Rehabilitation Centre every week.
Patients are always grateful for a visit from ZPFH, whether it’s with their own pet, or a therapy dog. For Ivor, his visit with Rovi allowed him to focus on his own health, knowing that his beloved pet is okay.