Add new comment

My name is Leslie Corin-Ash. I've worked as a medical social worker for the last 30 years. In the course of doing home visits for a Hospice Agency north of Boston I noticed that family pets were taking on caregiving jobs. In one case a cat, remothered a dying woman who had no family. Her her mother had emotionally abandoned her years before and the cat, rescued by the woman, gave her back a sense of being loved and cared for for the first time in over 50 years.

I saw this over and over with dying humans and their companion animals. Always the animals knew what was going on. There was no denial there. Cats would climb into bed with their human and stay there for days at a time. Dogs helped ailing humans get out of bed and into the bathroom.
Their quiet devotion, their patience when their human despaired, became an invaluable gift. Countless times patients told me they could be more honest with their pets than their family members. I came to see this relationship as transcending the ordinary definition of the human-animal bond. In some ways animals are way ahead of us. I believe they do understand about death, they know that they will die but they don't live their lives in nervous anticipation. They just live and love. They have shown so many people another way to exist in the world beyond self-absorption that I have come to think of animals as our teachers more than as our pets.

I have used this to help people who are dying talk about the meaning of their lives. Always this turns to relationships which most every dying person recognizes as the most important thing in their lives. As people reminisce about their life's relationships, the love they've received from animals takes on added meaning. People often say it was the love of their pet that made them fully 'human'.

As a result of these experiences I trained as an animal communicator and now I do it for a living. It is a source of boundless joy for me to help people deepen their relationships with animals. For by so doing, peole inevitably deepen their relationships with each other and with nature at large.
I'm so glad you have a show like this and wish I had heard about you sooner.

Thank you for your good work.