Nothing feels more like home than cuddling with your dog or cat, and a new program in Hamilton, Ontario, does just that for long-term patients in the hospital.
The program is called Zachary's Paws for Healing. It's named after a young man with Hodgkin's lymphoma who died last year.
Zachary Noble was only 25 when he passed away. In his final weeks he was able to hang out with his best buddy, Chase, after hospital staff arranged for a visit. “It lifted his spirits immensely," Noble's aunt Donna Jenkins told BuzzFeed Canada.
"When he realized he was not going to recover, Zachary made me promise that we would do this," Jenkins said.
Zachary's Paws for Healing runs out of Juravinski Hospital and reunites people in long-term care with their fuzzy friends.
Zachary's Paws for Healing launched in September after a year of planning by Jenkins and hospital staff. It's believed to be among the first — if not the first — program of its kind in Canada.
Jenkins said long-term patients feel "prodded, probed, and handled" and often feel isolated from their normal lives.
"It reminds people there's a reason to want to go home."
Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.
Contact Ishmael N. Daro at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.