Patient story

Alison’s Puppy Day

For most people, March 3rd 2023 was probably a very normal Friday, but for Alison, a patient on the Ward at St Wilfrid’s Hospice, it was a very special day. We are honoured to share Alison’s story.

“How it all happened was me and Sam, who was looking after me, were talking about the snow that was falling in other parts of the country. Sam mentioned that, a while ago, another patient wanted to see snow before they passed away, so they got a snow machine for them.

I said to Sam, well when it’s my time just put the sides of my bed up and put lots of puppies in with me! I love dogs and I’ve always had dogs in my life. Then the next day, the Friday, Sam said to me, “you’ll never guess who we’ve got coming in to see you later – you’ve got a puppy visit!”

Of course, my first instinct was that I’m dying now, but Sam swore blind that I wasn’t and I was so delighted that I was going to see puppies!

Of course, it got round the Hospice quickly that I had five puppies coming in to see me and lots of nurses had a cuddle too! The first pup that they put on my lap was so big, like a dump truck, I loved it.

It was so touching that someone could do that, it makes you emotional that someone can give you hope.

When you’re feeling miserable and out of control and someone has gone out of their way to listen to you, you can’t believe anyone could care enough. Some people might think “oh she just had five puppies on her lap – So what?” So everything.

They even printed out and laminated the photos for me, and I’m going to give one to my sisters and friends when they visit. Even though my sister wasn’t here when the puppies visited, it’s a memory for her too.

As soon as they said about coming to a hospice for a stopgap from the hospital, well, everyone knows what a hospice means don’t they! But no, it means so much.

They do fantastic things. They reset your mind. They give you strength.”

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