- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Lantern Books (April 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1930051360
- ISBN-13: 978-1930051362
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,909,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hospice Hounds (P)
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Animals' assisting in the healing process is becoming a very common practice, and allowing animals to visit dying people in hospices is therefore becoming more prevalent. In Hospice Hounds, Rivera shares her experiences with dogs brightening up the final months and days of people who are near death. Many of the stories pertain to her being a volunteer at a hospice, charged with the responsibility to accompany two caring dogs, Woody and Katie, as they visit the inhabitants. She first realized the comfort that a dog could bring to a dying person when her mother demanded a dog while lying on her deathbed in Rivera's home. At that time, the family didn't have a dog, so she first found a neighbor's dog to visit, and then eventually got a much needed and wanted dog for her family. Rivera, founder of the Prayer Alliance for Animals and author of many articles on dogs, has written an endearing book on the warming influence and care that dogs can give to a dying person. Julia Glynn
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Top customer reviews
Katie and Woody are two dogs owned by veterinarians. They are trained as therapy dogs and taken to the local hospice regularly to visit people who are sick and their families. The stories in the book are touching, profound, and often sad.
The hospital I work at has therapy dogs and they really do change lives for patients and their families.
I think the most touching story for me was of a little boy who had lost a mother and was losing his sister to AIDS. He had been bitten by a dog previously so at first the boy is afraid of Woody but with kind reassurances he ends up finding comfort in the dog and something to do while his grandmother stands vigil for his sister.
This book was a quick read and perhaps a bit too short. I would have loved to read more particularly about how therapy dogs are trained. The books is just little stories about hospice patients and the one or two interactions they have with the dogs. I would have really enjoyed if there was to the book.
Also, the author’s message ended up being a bit confusing. Her overall message at the end of the book had little to do with therapy dogs and more to do with changing the laws so that more apartment buildings allowed dogs. Many of the people in the hospice and their family lost pets due to strict apartment rules that didn’t allow them to bring pets when they moved. This isn’t a bad message but it isn’t really what one expects the final “point” of a therapy dog book to be.
I think people who love dogs will enjoy the stories in this book and that it is worth a read (though honestly you will probably only read it one time).