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Kelly and Lily's Story

As healthcare providers, we often choose our career paths based on the idea that we want to help others. In January of 2013, a patient turned the tables on that concept and generously gave her beloved pet to my family. The result is the implementation of a new service at Pullman Regional Hospital, a program including pets called “Prescription Pets."

How Lily Became Part of my Family
During a routine visit with a patient in the Intensive Care Unit at Pullman Regional Hospital, I’d been asked to complete an evaluation on a patient who’d been living alone.  As the patient and I were talking, the subject of dogs came up. It turned out she had a black standard poodle named “Lily.”  I was excited to tell her our family loved poodles, and sadly, we had just lost Rico, our 5-year-old black standard poodle.

The next day I returned to check on my patient. The family informed me that their mom wanted to give Lily to our family. This dog was the love of her life. She said Lily had helped her remain independent and in such good health for so long. She said it was meant to be that I was sent there to see her and they were hoping I would accept Lily as part of my family. Tears streamed down my face; I was beyond moved by their generosity, excited about the possibilities, and so thankful for a healthy pet.

How Lily Became Part of the Pullman Regional Family
Lily and I have completed our registration process to be a registered team, and are working with the support of the Pullman Regional Auxiliary, Volunteer Services, Summit Therapy & Health Services, and others to coordinate a Prescription Pet Program. Our goal is enriching the healing process through therapy, services, and companion animals. We get to “pay it forward” by combining Lily’s love of people and the proven benefits of animal assisted interventions for people’s emotional and physical health.