Meet Katie Schreck, a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) with Our Lady of Peace Hospice in the community. She is a compassionate caregiver to her patients, with a heart that is also filled with love for animals.
Recently, Katie was visiting a patient who was preparing to transfer to our hospice residence for more extensive care, and she noticed there was a dog in the house. When she asked the patient’s daughter where the dog would go when her father moved, she said they planned to surrender the 13-year-old poodle “Missy” to the Humane Society, hoping she would be adopted. Not willing to take that chance, when Katie finished her shift, she got clearance from the daughter, and Nancy Larson, OLP Director of Community Hospice and Home Care, to go in search of a new home for Missy.
Katie knew people who had mentioned wanting a senior dog, so she posted on message on Facebook to all who may be interested in adopting Missy. Before long, Kacie, someone Katie worked with in the past, responded and said she and her boyfriend Mo would take the dog, as long as she got along with the dog already in their home. Kacie grew up with a poodle, so it felt right. Katie said, “I picked Missy up the next day, and she jumped in the car right away. My patient was noticeably sad to say goodbye to his dog, but I assured him she would be okay. Kacie and her Chihuahua named Rocky met us outside their home and Rocky acted normal.” Missy was now a member of their family.
After a wellness check and a trip to the groomers, Missy began to snuggle in with Kacie, Mo, and Rocky. Katie sent her former patient a picture of Missy snuggling in bed with Rocky, bringing him peace. His daughter said, “We’re very happy you took the dog.” And, Missy is happy too. She’s been to the cabin and is enjoying doggie ice cream from Dairy Queen. She is very attached to Mo and they play together on the floor.
Katie loves dogs and as a result, wanted to protect Missy. She also shared another reason why she was determined to find a new home for the dog. “My best friend and doggie daddy to my three dogs passed away last March. He didn’t come home to us, and I didn’t want this doggie to experience a sudden loss like that.”
Compassion is key to the care that OLP staff provides to their patients. Based on this story, it’s clear to see that it isn’t something a person learns, it’s who they are.
Well done, Katie Schreck. Thanks for going the extra mile for OLP patients!