Amy was going to stop volunteering for HopeWest.

She loves to travel and didn’t want to commit to volunteering then have to take weeks off. But then, a request came in to walk a couple of dogs infrequently. Through a partnership with the Pet Peace of Mind program, HopeWest can offer volunteers to help care for patients’ pets. A dog-lover herself, Amy couldn’t resist.

That’s when she met Judith.

Judith is a radiant presence; she’s witty and a fantastic storyteller. Her two dogs are just as friendly: Hooper, a nine-year-old Australian Shepherd, and Zozo, a ten-month-old mini–Australian Shepherd, greet Amy as they would a dear friend.

They banter back and forth, catch up on life and tell stories of years past. Judith used to be a coal engineer, and Amy is currently a Swedish translator. Even though at this time, Amy has only been helping Judith for six weeks, they seem like lifelong friends.

“I think she’s the hospice volunteer, not me,” Amy said.

Judith is no longer able to walk her dogs, so Amy takes them for walks and especially for Zozo, it’s a great chance for socialization.

Hooper is Judith’s service dog; he detects seizures and looks out for her. With his nine years of service, he’s getting older. When she’s ready, Zozo will take the role.

“I got her [Zozo] during COVID, so she hadn’t been around people, cars, things like that. So Amy helped take her out and get her used to those sounds,” Judith said.

With Amy’s help, Judith can keep training Zozo and give Hooper time to himself without the puppy. With HopeWest and Pet Peace of Mind, patients and families can have true peace of mind. 

Interested in volunteering at HopeWest?