Once upon a time, a young doctor was going about her daily business on the ward when she became aware of a noise of an unusual nature coming from one of the side rooms. In that room was a person of whom it was thought unlikely that they would ever again leave the hospital, or see the friends they had left in the outside world. The doctor carried on with her business, but over the next little while she began to hear whispers of a rumour about these unusual sounds.
Eventually, her curiosity took her to the charge nurse.
“O Great Charge Nurse,” said the doctor doubtfully (for the rumour was ludicrous one). “Is it true there’s a dog in Room C?”
“Sssssssh,” she replied. “It’s a secret dog.” And: “It’s wearing a coat and hat.”
For the ward staff had sneaked in the dog, that it and its human might have one last chance to see each other.
And when some time later the doctor found herself having a conversation about therapy animals, she told this story to her new colleagues.
And her consultant said: “Do you know, Beth, I think that if ever I’d heard a story about a secret dog in a hospital dressed in a hat and coat anyway, I wouldn’t actually be surprised to hear that you were somehow involved.”