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Most common last wish to see a pet

Monday October 17th 2011

Seeing a loved pet or a favourite animal is the most common final wish for terminally ill patients, a small survey has revealed.

Help the Hospices polled 56 hospice workers and established that 60% had requests from patients to see an animal or pet.

Pets need hugs, cuddles and lots of love, and not forgetting the essentials like food, water, Pet Insurance and toys.

Following closely behind seeing a pet was arranging a romantic occasion, like a date or a wedding (57%) and celebrations and parties had been requested to half of those polled.

Requests to travel to a favourite place were made to 41%, while a favourite drink was requested to 23%.

Dying wishes had been fulfilled in many ways, the survey found, from arranging for a young patient to have a visit from a monkey, to organising a wedding and honeymoon for a dying woman and her groom in just four days.

National clinical lead for Help the Hospices, Heather Richardson, said: "For some people facing the end of life, it's the small things that can make the biggest difference - like having a drink with friends, getting to a family birthday party or seeing a beloved pet.

"Others may have big goals that they would like to achieve - like travelling to a meaningful destination, marrying the love of their life or arranging a living funeral."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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