A few blogs back I talked about Oscar, the Rhode Island feline who spookily holds death-bed vigils for residents at Providence’s Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre.
It appears it’s not just cats who have the gift of sensing when that Final Taxi is drawing near. We now read about Scamp, a Schnauzer from Ohio, who goes to the bedsides of the dying elderly.
Scamp prowls the corridors of The Pines nursing home in Canton and “tries to raise the alarm when he gets the feeling that one of the seniors is at death’s door”. Staff member explain that the dog will run around a room or bark at the room when he knows that something is going on.
Director of nursing Adeline Baker said Scamp had forecast “practically every one of the 40 or so deaths that have occurred in the three years”, including that of Andrew Popa. Popa’s friend Yvette Notturno has heard about the dog’s “gift”, and “when she got a call from a nurse that Scamp wouldn’t leave her friend’s bedside, she came right away knowing that her friend didn’t have long”. Popa duly died shortly after.
The Schnauzer owner, Deirdre Huth, stresses that Scamp’s presence was welcomed by residents of the Pines. They know that he is not a grim reaper. Baker has said, “It’s kind of comforting to know that maybe at the end of our lives, if we don’t have family members, there will be somebody there to be with us.”