November 8, 2008
Posted By Wendy Shankin-Cohen
I have spent the past two months sitting in five different hospitals watching my 88 year old mother survive heart surgery. On many, many different levels, this has been one of the most frightening, challenging and enlightening experiences of my life.
While there were so many difficult days during her ordeal, there were also a few moments of light. Those moments were provided by brilliant physicians, kind and caring nurses, and by visits from therapy animal groups who brought their companions to the hospitals and shared them with the patients and staff.
We experienced so many dark moments, so many excruciating hours and painful days and then there would be a dog that would wag into the room, dance over to my mom and let her touch their nose and she would smile and so would I and a little light would shine on our otherwise difficult day. And I would learn again in that moment, just what our companion animals do for us. They have the ability to transform the energy in a room. And while I have always known this to be true, in the past few months, during these very dark, dark days, I have witnessed again and again the power of animals to give without judging, to love unconditionally and to embody their power to heal.
While I was missing my own dogs and my cat and birds, I shared, for a few moments, the joy of watching a guardian share their companion with people who needed the abundant love that their pet had to give. The day before yesterday, a therapy group brought 2 dogs, a rabbit and cat to the hospital. The patients who could leave their rooms were able come and sit and pet and hold these lovely creatures. I watched the healing happen. It was amazing. I saw more healing and transformation there, from the power of these animals, than I had seen in seven weeks in the hospital. It was wonderful.
These animals were truly a little light in the darkness.
Note: We brought my mom home from the hospital yesterday. She has a long way to go, but we expect a full recovery.