Monday, February 1, 2010


I was at St. Francis Hospice West the other day, happily hacking away at the piano as is my usual habit every Thursday, when a couple walked into the lobby with two dogs. They waved at me as they went past and headed towards the nurses' station and the patients' rooms.

I quickly finished my hour of hacking and went to the nurses' station, hoping to meet them.

Freida, Jim, Vickie and Angela

Jim and Vickie Kennedy have been doing "pet therapy" for two years now. The idea all began when Vickie's guide dog, Freida, (Vickie has been legally blind since 1978) got very sick. Freida had to have a large cancerous tumor removed and although she fully recovered from the operation, she began to slow down quite a bit. By late 2007, Freida had been with Vickie for almost eight years (the normal guide dog service is six and a half years) so the Kennedys decided to try to have Freida perform pet therapy work. And Freida took to that work like the trooper that she is. Vicky, meanwhile obtained another guide dog, Angela.

Everyone, patients and staff members, look forward to their visits. They have served at the Queen's Medical Center, St Francis Hospice (Nuuanu) and St Francis Hospice West. Freida has made over 2,000 visits in the two years.

Good Job, Freida.

People who volunteer to make the community a better place to live are indeed, special people.

If you have questions for the Kennedys, please feel free to comment. Or, email me and I'll forward your comments to them.

No comments: