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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

In hospice, a dying veteran receives his final wish: to meet his dog one last time

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Dogs are, without a doubt, man’s best buddy. They’re the ideal pet, a devoted companion who can keep you company and provide consolation when circumstances are difficult.

And one man’s faithful companion was there for him when he needed him the most: on his deathbed.

It’s a sad story, but it demonstrates the wonderful link that exists between people and their pets in the end.

John Vincent, a Vietnam-era veteran Marine, is nearing the end of his life. The 69-year-old was admitted to the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Affairs Medical Center for hospice care.

Unfortunately, this meant he had to say goodbye to Patch, his 5-year-old Yorkshire terrier.

He surrendered the dog to Albuquerque Animal Welfare because he had no family in the region.

Because John is presumably nearing the end of his life, Amy Neal, a palliative care social worker, asked him if he had any last wishes.

John’s decision was straightforward: he simply wanted to see his dog one more time.

The staff were moved by his dying wish and agreed to fulfill it, resulting in a wonderful final reunion between the man and his dog.

Amy Neal told the Albuquerque Journal, “I asked him if that’s something that would be meaningful for him, it  came together very quickly.”

“When the request came in, it was an immediate ‘absolutely,’ and let’s do whatever we can to get it done,” added Danny Nevarez, director of Animal Welfare. “It was as simple as getting Patch over here.”

Patch was brought to the hospice by members of the Albuquerque Animal Welfare team. John was brought to tears when he saw his old friend again:

“Yeah, that’s me, that’s daddy,” Vincent explained to Patch.

“Are you so happy to see me? I’m so happy to see you.”

Patch was said to have been silent for the majority of the voyage, but grew tearful as they approached the hospital.

“It’s almost like he knew, he just started whimpering,” Nevares said the Journal. “Like he had that anticipation.”

When Vincent’s neighbor had a litter of puppies, he adopted Patch. He named the dog after a small patch of white fur on the dog’s chin that matched John’s chin hair.

Vincent explained, “We were the patch brothers.” Patch was the smallest of the litter, which he liked since he could take him for motorbike journeys.

It was a heartfelt reunion of two longtime friends. Unfortunately, it will most likely be their final farewell.

Even still, it’s good that they were able to arrange the reunion, giving the veteran a little joy in his final days.

“It was such a heart warming moment!” Albuquerque Animal Welfare posted a status update on Facebook.

“They were so happy to see each other and to say their good byes.”

“It was an honor to make this veterans final wish come true.”

If there is a silver lining, it is that Patch will be well cared for once his owner passes away.

He’s returned to the animal shelter, where he’s looking for a new home, and Animal Welfare says they’ve already found a suitable adopter.

But, of course, John will always have a place in his heart.

Source:1, 2, 3, 4.

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