Animals in hospice: Bedlam Farm

Jon Katz is a writer who lives on a farm in New York State.  He has been writing for many years, and I connected to his work on Facebook.  I have a good friend, Melissa Patenaude Friend, a hospice nurse who follows his blog regularly; she referred the blog to me over a year ago.  Jon blogged about his service as a hospice volunteer with his dog, Izzy, in 2012.  Something in his written ‘voice’ and photographic ‘eye’ completely captivate both Melissa and me… every story, hospice and otherwise, is written with gratitude for life and appreciation for animal and human life experiences.  He speaks from a very full heart and shares the gift of that with readers.

Credit: John Katz

I wanted to share a link to the Bedlam Farm website, in particular a link to all the hospice blog posts that share Jon and Izzy’s experiences.  As you navigate around the website, you will find a blog post and photographic essay of a recent illness and loss of one of the farm sheep.  While we know the value of animals to comfort human beings, this blog shows us that animals teach much about life and death simply by the natural instincts of the other farm animals through the event.  We also learn by example from the conscientious human caretakers, who provide care and kindness in the animal’s life cycle.

I am hoping that this blog will touch your heart, bring a sense of emotional validation and some joy through meaningful exchanges.  I personally celebrate the role animals play in our lives as therapeutic healers and companions; as well as the meaning we can extract from observing and participating in the full life cycle of our animal friends.

Hospice dog, spirit dog.
Credit: John Katz

Thanks to Jon Katz for being such a wonderful writer with such valuable content to share.

“Watching Izzy in his hospice work was a transformative experience for me. He responded to attention and need, and when he locked in on a hospice patient’s eyes, there was a connection that only deepened an – and grew. When I see that look in his eyes, I know I am in need, and I remember all of the beautiful people we met at the edge of life. Izzy is a spirit dog”  – Jon Katz | Bedlam Farm Blog |April 3, 2012

Holy Redeemer

Holy Redeemer

For nearly 80 years, the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer have served the community through their mission to care, comfort, and heal. The visionary Sisters created a health system committed to helping people achieve optimal health no matter where they are in life. This includes delivering exceptional medical care not only within the hospital, but also through our outpatient, home care, and long-term care facilities and services. As a result, our health system is well-positioned to serve the community now and in the future.
Holy Redeemer

2 Responses to “Animals in hospice: Bedlam Farm”

  1. richardalonso

    Thank you, Valarie, for sharing the Bedlam Farm blog. For anyone interested: The post on the death of Tess the ewe, and its effect on other animals and humans, is at


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