Summary- Hospice hounds follows two therapy dogs as they help families with terminal patients.
My Rating: 4/5
This was a book that made me cry again and again. It is extremely emotional and if you are an animal lover I think you will appreciate this book.
Katie and Woody are two dogs owned by veterinarians. They are trained as therapy dogs and taken to the local hospice regularly to visit people who are sick and their families. The stories in the book are touching, profound, and often sad.
The hospital I work at has therapy dogs and they really do change lives for patients and their families.
I think the most touching story for me was of a little boy who had lost a mother and was losing his sister to AIDS. He had been bitten by a dog previously so at first the boy is afraid of Woody but with kind reassurances he ends up finding comfort in the dog and something to do while his grandmother stands vigil for his sister.
This book was a quick read and perhaps a bit too short. I would have loved to read more particularly about how therapy dogs are trained. The books is just little stories about hospice patients and the one or two interactions they have with the dogs. I would have really enjoyed if there was to the book.
Also, the author’s message ended up being a bit confusing. Her overall message at the end of the book had little to do with therapy dogs and more to do with changing the laws so that more apartment buildings allowed dogs. Many of the people in the hospice and their family lost pets due to strict apartment rules that didn’t allow them to bring pets when they moved. This isn’t a bad message but it isn’t really what one expects the final “point” of a therapy dog book to be.
I think people who love dogs will enjoy the stories in this book and that it is worth a read (though honestly you will probably only read it one time).