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Companionship at Hands of Hope

Goldendoodle provides comfort to seniors in home health and hospice care

Published online: Oct 11, 2021 Articles, East Idaho Health
Viewed 2042 time(s)

Photos provided by Hands of Hope

When Cate Marboe took the role of Marketing Director at Hands of Hope, she knew she wanted to not only spread the word about the business’s personalized hospice care, but also provide joy to those employing their services. It is never easy to prepare to face death or say goodbye to a loved one, which is why Marboe coordinated with owner, Jill Garrett, to bring a companion animal she would personally care for into the business. 

Although excited to bring a dog into the company’s mission, she had no idea how wide of an impact Caper would have at Hands of Hope.

Choosing Caper

When Cate approached a breeder for a goldendoodle puppy she picked a puppy named Dodger. However, the breeder eventually called her and pointed her toward one of his litter mates, Gomer (who would later be renamed Caper), pointing out that the puppy appeared to have a better disposition for the role she was hoping he would play in the lives of patients and others.

Cate describes Caper as an “old soul,” pointing out that like the breeder said, he was perfectly suited for his current position as a companion dog. Caper has been through multiple rounds of training from local spots around town, including PetSmart (for beginner classes) and Intermountain Therapy (for more advanced tasks). 

Bringing Hope

Caper always brings a special spirit into the rooms of those he visits. Trained to read cues, such as an extended hand, tolerating rough handling (tail tugs, hair pulling, etc.), restraining from reacting to aggression and coping with loud noises. Not only does he complete all of these tasks, but he also provides emotional support to people of a variety of ages and journeys in life by silently communicating with them.

“I've watched non-verbal patients light up with a smile when Caper approaches,” Marboe said. “However, not all people like dogs. Caper knows to approach cautiously. Most extend their hands to him. It's tender to watch.”

Creating Positive Vibes

Efforts by Hands of Hope staff, such as bringing in Caper to visit patients, generally keep everyone in high spirits. However, as one would guess when providing hospice services, the work isn’t always easy. Staff members frequently face grief as they deal with the deaths of those they provide services for, but this doesn’t stop them from always creating a positive environment.

Hands of Hope has provided comfort and care to local hospice patients for the past 15 years. Since opening, they have brought a new level of care to the Idaho Falls area and plan to continue to do so, both through Caper and their dedicated staff for years to come. 

For More Information

Hands of Hope 1379 E 17th St208-523-7441

Click here to read the October issue of Idaho Falls Magazine.


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