For seven years, Jane Adams and Storm have volunteered with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice, bringing comfort and smiles to families and patients in the inpatient unit.
“We started volunteering in 2014 after Storm passed her therapy test and we have done over 400 visits with hospice since,” Adams said. “I knew we wanted to be at hospice as soon as I knew she was a good candidate for therapy dog. My father passed away in hospice and this is a way to give back to the organization that treated him so well.”
From their first visits to patients in their homes and nursing homes to their ongoing visits to patients in the Hospice House, Storm has shown her ability to go to those who need her the most and provide a soft comfort.
“Having patients tell you through tears in their eyes that it was exactly what they needed that day is why we do it. It is amazing what the power of a dog can do,” Adams said. “She’s no different than other therapy dogs, except that she is strikingly white. People seem to gravitate toward her.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, volunteer visits were put on hold at the Hospice House. For more than a year, Storm and Adams stayed home, though Storm knew each Saturday afternoon where she should be going.
“When we started back a few weeks ago, Storm knew exactly what to do and what she was there for,” Adams said. “It was like nothing changed. She stopped at the front desk to check in and get a biscuit and wagged her tail as we walked through the halls.”
A typical visit includes a walk through the halls to visit patients and their families. Then, Adams and Storm take a walk around the grounds and see a few people outside.
“Sometimes patients aren’t responsive, but the therapy dog visits give the family peace and something to talk about,” Adams said. “Storm loves children and lets them hug and pet her to bring them comfort in a time that’s very hard for them.”
Adams added that though Storm is getting older and has had an injury, they will continue visits as long as they can.
“Storm has a few titles, but therapy dog is the one I treasure the most. It brings the most joy,” Adams said. “We love our hospice, and we are so glad to be back.”
To learn more about volunteering with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, click here.