Abused as a puppy, dumped at Western Arizona Humane Society, and caged for two months, Jake was ready for love and life when Kathleen Hubbard met him in 2009. As a Hospice of Havasu volunteer, Kathleen had seen the positive impact visiting dogs had on facility residents and thought Jake would be a great fit. So she and Jake worked hard and became a Pet Partners Therapy Team in January 2012. Since then, Jake has garnered quite a following at the facilities he visits weekly as well as with kids who read to him at the library.
One very special person Jake visited weekly for almost a year and a half was his “Grandma.” As a lover of all animals on earth, she always lit up the moment Jake arrived. Knowing how important Jake was to her, the Facility Director told Kathleen when Grandma began transitioning. Kathleen took Jake for a visit and spent two hours with the dying woman. She drifted in and out of sleep because of her pain medication, but she when she was awake, her hands were on Jake and she was smiling. When the facility called a few days later to say it wouldn’t be long, Kathleen immediately took Jake in. He gently climbed up and lay next to Grandma, tenderly pressed to her side. Kathleen took her hand and said, “Grandma, Jake’s here to see you.” She could no longer speak, but she moaned as Kathleen guided her hand to stroke Jake’s head. She knew he was with her. Jake lay quietly next to Grandma as friends and staff came in to say their goodbyes. Kathleen asked the family several times if she and Jake should leave, but they always said no, happy that their loved one had one of her beloved animals to help her to the other side. Jake was also a much-needed distraction for family, friends, and staff. Jake provided Grandma with love and comfort for almost two hours until she passed.
Written By Kathleen Hubbard