Animals in hospice: Bedlam Farm
By Valerie Hartman
Jon Katz is a writer who lives on a farm in New York State. He has been writing for many years, and I connected to his work on Facebook. I have a good friend, Melissa Patenaude Friend, a hospice nurse who follows his blog regularly; she referred the blog to me over a year ago. Jon blogged about his service as a hospice volunteer with his dog, Izzy, in 2012. Something in his written ‘voice’ and photographic ‘eye’ completely captivate both Melissa and me… every story, hospice and otherwise, is written with gratitude for life and appreciation for animal and human life experiences. He speaks from a very full heart and shares the gift of that with readers.
I wanted to share a link to the Bedlam Farm website, in particular a link to all the hospice blog posts that share Jon and Izzy’s experiences. As you navigate around the website, you will find a blog post and photographic essay of a recent illness and loss of one of the farm sheep. While we know the value of animals to comfort human beings, this blog shows us that animals teach much about life and death simply by the natural instincts of the other farm animals through the event. We also learn by example from the conscientious human caretakers, who provide care and kindness in the animal’s life cycle.
I am hoping that this blog will touch your heart, bring a sense of emotional validation and some joy through meaningful exchanges. I personally celebrate the role animals play in our lives as therapeutic healers and companions; as well as the meaning we can extract from observing and participating in the full life cycle of our animal friends.
Thanks to Jon Katz for being such a wonderful writer with such valuable content to share.
“Watching Izzy in his hospice work was a transformative experience for me. He responded to attention and need, and when he locked in on a hospice patient’s eyes, there was a connection that only deepened an – and grew. When I see that look in his eyes, I know I am in need, and I remember all of the beautiful people we met at the edge of life. Izzy is a spirit dog” – Jon Katz | Bedlam Farm Blog |April 3, 2012