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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Those Who Also Care /  Editorial List  

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Those Who Also Care

Regular readers would know by now that at times I can probably rate as a world class cranky curmudgeon (curmudgeonly crank?) I reserve my rants for those people, products and services (government and otherwise) which inhibit the caregiver's ability to do their best for themselves and their loved ones.  (Okay, there  are some words and phrases that also regularly seem to bring out the uber-cranky in me.)   So it may surprise you when I admit to working with a built in pacifier in my arms. a fifteen pound canine pacifier.  You'd think it would be a challenge to get a good crank session going when most days,  I get to look down in my lap and see Morris snoring away. He is obviously wishing that the phone would stop ringing, I would stop moving around and generally the world would stop conspiring to interrupt his well deserved and frequent naps.  On a related note, I also feel that even a smidgeon of journalistic integrity demands I admit to my working conditions before continuing this column.  

As our good friend Dr. Bill Thomas has proven, pets can be life affirming to those living in long term care settings, yet they can also be of significant importance to our loved ones living at home. Over the past few years, I  have had many interesting conversations about caregiving in veterinarian's waiting rooms.  I had one such discussion recently with a long distance caregiver in town to visit his mother. He was around my age and told me that he had been in town for the past few days. During dinner with his mom the previous evening, he had asked her when she had last brought her beloved cat to the vet for a check-up.  He was surprised to hear the answer - four years ago.  She lives in a senior condominium where animals are prohibited, but the management looks the other way since almost every tenant has at least one cat in their window. Yet, she was afraid to bring her cat into the elevator for fear of discovery. He was glad to be of service and brought the cat to the vet the very next day because he knew that if anything happened to that cat, it would greatly affect his motherís tenuous health. Thankfully, the cat was in good shape and was snuck back into his mom's apartment where he sits today in his very own windowsill.   The lesson I learned was that as we pay attention to our loved ones care, we need to be a caregiver to those who also care - their pets.

Don't miss the September / October issue of Today's Caregiver magazine which will feature the special section "Caregivers and Pets". 

Gary Barg

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