I read this week that a hospice in North Devon allowed an 87 year old man to feed his horse for the last time.
Patrick saunder's bed was wheeled outside so that he could feed his horse carrits and apples. His daughter went to see him and saw him stroking the horse.
Firstly, full praise the hospice staff for enabling this to happen. So many people are dismissive of the bond that humans have with animals, and this horse clearly meant the world to Patrick. Not only that, but it will bring great comfort to his daughter as he father dies to know that he was granted his last wish.
But perhaps even more importantly, people don;t always recognise the bond that animals have with their owners. Studies have shown that animals have a sense of when their owners are ill or are dying, and owners suddenly being taken away can be confusing and distressing fior the animal. Allowing both animal and human to say goodbye can be a comfort all round.
Let's hope that this story sets an example for many others.
For full news story please see http://news.sky.com/story/hospice-staff-help-dying-man-feed-a-horse-for-the-final-time-11025806