WHEN an elderly Aberdeen man was transported to the John Hunter hospital for urgent medical care, he was worried about who would care for his little dog, thankfully local paramedics Melinda Jenkins and Mitchell Beaman are dog lovers and also cared for his beloved pet.
Melinda Jenkins a Scone based paramedic who also fosters dogs said she understands how important pets are to the elderly and wanted to put the man’s mind at ease.
“When we arrived at his home we saw he had a little dog and we asked if he wanted her left inside, which he did and before we left I made sure she had food and water,” said Ms Jenkins.
“In the ambulance the gentleman gave us the number for his son so that he could go and care for the dog, Mitchell and I tried to call the son a number of times and we were concerned we couldn’t reach him, so on the way back from the John Hunter we thought ‘the dog can’t be left alone’ so we called by the house on our way,” she said.
“When we arrived at his home the son was at the neighbours place, but couldn’t get near the dog,” she said.
“So I went in and sat down on the kitchen floor with the angry little dog and after about six or seven minutes of me chatting she came and sat on my lap and I could give the dog to the son.
“She was just very stressed and she just needed some love, just like our patients.
“People’s pets have such an impact on our lives, especially our elderly so we really have to look after both of them, obviously people first, but 60 or 70 percent of our work is with elderly patients and it is important to understand making sure their pets are ok is important for holistic care.
“I would hate to think if that happened to me and people forgot to check on my dogs,” she said.
“My favourite thing in the world is being kind to people and dogs and this was one situation where I could do both,” Melinda Jenkins said.
Mark Bell, station manager Scone Ambulance station said he learned of how much their efforts were appreciated from his brother in Sydney.
“It just so happened my brother lives next door to one of the man’s sons in Sydney and his son was saying they just couldn’t believe Mel and Mitchell went so far above and beyond the call of duty,” Mr Bell said.
“They had the initial call out at just after 1am to the local hospital and then the transfer to Newcastle so they weren’t coming back through Aberdeen until after 7am; so most people would have thought let someone else deal with it, but they didn’t and it says a lot about both of them,” he said.
“In the end what they did didn’t take long, but they did it after such a long night at work and it meant a lot to the patient and the pet,” said Mark Bell.