A nurse went the extra step to help one of her patients by adopting his dog. Jennifer Smith, a nurse at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing Home in Rome, New York discovered that one of her patients had given up his dog after he was hospitalized.
John Burley is one of Jennifer’s favorite patients. So when he called her after Thanksgiving, greatly concerned about his dog Boomer, she wanted to help him. John was worried what would happen to Boomer at the pound and asked her if she would take care of his dog for him.
John had adopted Boomer as a puppy and the dog was now 12 years old. But when John got sick he had no one to care for Boomer and was forced to give him up.
Jennifer reassured John she would take care of Boomer but she didn’t know what shelter had Boomer. After calling around, she learned the dog was at Rome Humane Society.
“I was a little panicked because I didn’t know how long he had been in the shelter or if he had already been adopted to another family,” Jennifer told CNN. It’s Christmas time and people get animals,” she said. “I told John I have a 13-year-old dog myself who I’ve had since a puppy, so I fully understand the panic. It made my heart sad for him and Boomer.”
The next day she went to the animal shelter to adopt him.
A short time later, she officially adopted Boomer and brought him home. Now she brings the little dog to visit John at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing Home while he recovers. The dog’s visits have lifted John’s spirits, and those of other residents.
“There are just so many worries in the world right now. If I can take one worry away from John, that’s the least I can do,” Jennifer explained. “I can’t cure diseases. I’m not a miracle worker … I made a promise to John to take care of Boomer. I will take care of him as long as he needs me to. John knows that. Right now the focus is on John getting better and taking it one day at a time.”
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