“Dog is man’s best friend”.

How many times we heard this phrase, but only who has a dog knows that really is as well.

My name is Ruben, I am 26 years old and I am a nurse of the ICU of the Hospital Moisés Broggi of Sant Joan Despí, and I have a dog.

Three year ago I was given the opportunity to be part of the team of the ICU, the same years that has Barney, my dog. It´s a white Westy, small, loving and faithful. Barney is a part of my family and none of us will imagine the life without it.

Our ICU belongs to the IC-HU Project and has a Commission that works to humanize the care. Gradually we have incorporated ideas to improve the day to day of the people admitted at our ICU, but still there is a large path to walk.

HUCI-CO is a step ahead on this road, a new idea that came up a couple of months ago. Alba my girlfriend is a midwife and sometimes we have imagined what would happen if any of us would be admitted for a few days in the hospital. Both of us have the same in mind: “How would I miss Barney!”. It gave me the idea.

As usual when patients have a long ICU stay, family usually brings photographs of his/her loved that we hung close of them for seeing it.Enric is a man who is near four months admitted to our unit. His family asked us if they could bring photographs of the children, grandchildren and other relatives.

One day, when I was coming into his box I could see it: small, old lady, wit big eyes and white. Hence its name, Blanca, the dog of Enric and Ana.

I remember that day, after talking with Enric and his family on the strong link that he had with his dog, I promised that I would make everything possible for he could see Blanca. In that moment the clinical situation of Enric did not allowed big adventures, but gradually he improved.

A month ago, on August 13th, with a stable clinical situation, a tracheostomy and Enric accommodated in his wheelchair, I asked permission to doctors to be able to take him to the street after 4 months for one of those #paseosquecuran (healing walks), and if possible, take advantage and see his dog. Everyone thought it was a brilliant idea.

I phoned Ana at 10 AM, Enric´s wife, and I explained the plan. She was very surprised that a patient in the ICU could go out to the street. I asked her if it was possible bring to Blanca for Enric, and still surprised, she said that she would try.

Enric didn´t know anything and I wanted to give him a surprise. We took the four basic things for the walk and went out to the street. He liked very much to see the Sun, feel the air in the skin, he was happy but the best still lasted. When we saw appear to Enric son with the dog, he changed the face and his smile didn´t dissapear. He returned to see Blanca after 4 months! It was equal, as he remembered it. We were 15 minutes in the street and Blanca that was a little nervous about the trip, doesn´t separate of the Enric´s wheelchair, looking for it constantly with the hand. It was a very special moment and that I am sure that Enric will never forget it.


Since that day, Enric has one out to the street almost daily, and on Monday, his family brought Blanca again.

All my teamwork (doctors, nurses and auxiliaries) think that Enric is happier, with a more positive attitude, and in two weeks he seems to improve a lot. He looks stronger, almost he stands up by himself with a little help and even he is walking little by little.

His mood has changed and we all hope he continues improving gradually, with the help of his family and the unconditional love of his dog, Blanca.

Rubén Castrillo Rodríguez
Intensive Care Nurse.
IC-HU of Hospital Moisés Broggi of Sant Joan Despí