So Hard to Say Goodbye

Parker at River Road follows the Ten Principles of Eden Alternative®, one of which states that “Loving companionship is the antidote to loneliness. Elders deserve easy access to human and animal companionship.” Following this principle, Parker has two resident cats that bring love, spontaneity, and joy into our residents’ day. On March 31, one of our cats, Bob, passed away after a short illness. Parker Home will always remember Bob with love and gratitude for his service to our residents, guests, and staff. The heartfelt post below was written by Pam Olish, Care Team Member for Parker at River Road.

Bob became a part of our Parker family on November 15, 2005 and began his Eden journey with us.  He was adopted from the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter in Bridgewater.  We were looking for a special cat with a great personality, and special he was!
He made his home on Deerview Way, and although shy at first, began venturing out to visit staff and Residents.  Eventually, he made all of Parker at River Road his home and was a delight to many.  He could be seen spending lazy afternoon sunning himself or watching the birds and squirrels from one of his favorite spots on the window seats on the Deerview Way breezeway.  He accepted us unconditionally as we accepted him. 
In the almost nine years he had been with us, he graced us with his presence bringing smiles and comfort to all who know him.  At most times you could find him relaxing by the front door, greeting visitors and hoping to get the occasional pat on the head or a belly rub!
On occasion he joined a meeting in the conference room, jumping up on the table to make his presence known, or sleeping on a Resident’s bed (with permission) or just walking around socializing, looking for an occasional treat from staff and Residents alike.
We began to notice something was wrong with Bob when he wouldn’t eat and was losing weight rapidly.  Sadly, tests confirmed that Bob had developed an aggressive type of lymphoma cancer in his kidneys.  He was put on medication to help him eat and feel better and we enjoyed whatever time we had left with him.  On March 28th, Bob went home with Mary Weber who graciously volunteered to care for him in his final days.  It was a sad day as Residents and staff were given the chance to say goodbye to our little friend who brought us so much joy through the years.
Thank you Bob!  You have given us so many wonderful memories and we will miss you dearly,
A special thank you to his care team for their help and diligence, to Fern Marder who administered Reiki (a Japanese technique for stress reduction, relaxation and healing), to all the Residents, staff and visitors who gave him so much love and to Mary Weber for providing him a place to go to live out the rest of his days in peace and quiet comfort.

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