There’s a variety of volunteer roles at HopeWest. That includes pet therapy, Dr. Mark Madsen is one of our pet therapy volunteers. He brought Biscuit, a five-year-old yellow Labrador retriever to the interview and she sat on the concrete, happy to take any amount of ear scratches.
Biscuit is Dr. Madsen’s second therapy dog, the first was Molly, another yellow lab who provided comfort for a few years before she died. He did three scratchboards of Molly that were featured in the HopeWest art show “Art from the Heart.”
Dr. Madsen is familiar with hospice care and how it requires support of the whole self: emotional, physical and spiritual. “A lot of the patients … if they’re awake enough to appreciate her [Biscuit], they love her. A lot of the families that are there too, it just gives them relaxation and escape.”
Pets help connect people, whether that’s a dog like Biscuit or a cat, rabbit or lizard. Thank you to all of our pet volunteers and the time they give to our patients and their families.