My Buddy and Me

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There is nothing like a buddy. A buddy is with us through thick and thin, and Mabel knows this all too well.

Her dog, Buddy, knows that the two of them are inseparable-two peas in a pod you might say. Although they both miss the third member of the pack, Mabel’s husband, they have each other. There isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for Buddy and vice versa. When he is sick and can’t tell her where it hurts, she stays up with him all night talking to him and holding him tight. When she is sick, Buddy lets her know that he’s there for her by cuddling next to her. They wouldn’t think of being separated-not now-not ever.

It’s been a while now since Buddy has seen her. He doesn’t know where she is, and he’s all alone. He hears others, but not her. No one holds him anymore or says “good boy.”

Mabel suffered a stroke and is now in the hospital. The Social Worker at the hospital coordinated care for Buddy at a local shelter on behalf of Mabel. For now, the future is uncertain for both Mabel and Buddy.

However, a Counselor from Pet Guardian Counseling Services is already on the case. The Counselor begins to work with Mabel and her family to reunite the two as quickly as possible. During the time in which they are separated, the Counselor acquires permission from Mabel’s POA to transfer Buddy to a family who provides Foster Care. She also arranges for a pet sitting service until Mabel’s prognosis has been determined. The pet sitting service provides adjustment, training, exercise, transportation to and from Vet appointments, and lots of hugs and kisses for Buddy.

Mabel transfers from the Hospital to an Assisted Living Facility at which time Buddy and Mabel are reunited. Once again, the Pet Guardian Counselor is on the scene to help both Buddy and Mabel adjust to new surroundings. Pet Sitting Services are continued when Buddy transfers to the Assisted Living Facility, since their assistance will allow Mabel to keep Buddy with her.

Mabel and Buddy continued their lives together for 16 months, at which time Buddy suffered a stroke and died in Mabel’s arms. The Pet Guardian Counselor was able to help Mabel through the Grief and Bereavement process. In addition to help from the Counselor, Mabel also received support from her fellow residents, who had also come to love Buddy.

Without the integration of Pet Guardian Counseling services, “Buddy would have lived out the limited remainder of his days at the shelter.” Pet Guardian Counseling Services provided a viable option for both Buddy and Mabel. An option that enabled both parties to continue to experience a high quality of life, while providing companionship to the other residents of the Assisted Living facility who became “buddies” of Mabel and Buddy.

Article submitted by Mary Elizabeth Van Everbroeck, M.A., N.H.A, L.M.F.T, Geriatric Consultant and Pet Guardian Counseling.

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