A dog really is a man’s best friend. They’re the perfect pet, a loyal companion who can keep you company and comfort you when times get tough.
For one veteran, his beloved dog was there when he needed him the most: on his last day.
It’s a sad story, but one that ultimately shows the beautiful bond that exists between people and their dogs.
John Vincent, a veteran Marine who served in Vietnam, is facing the end of his life. The 69-year-old was admitted to hospice care at Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Affairs Medical Centre.
Unfortunately, this also meant having to part ways with his beloved dog, Patch, a 5-year-old Yorkshire terrier.
Since he had no family in the area, he surrendered the dog to Albuquerque Animal Welfare Centre. So someone else could give Patch the love and attention that John once did.
As John was more than likely in his final days, Amy Neal, a palliative care social worker, asked him if he had any final requests.
For John, the choice was simple: he just wanted to see Patch one more time.
Moved by his dying wish, the workers decided to make it happen, setting up a beautiful final goodbye between the man and his dog.
“I asked him if that’s something that would be meaningful for him. And it came together very quickly,” Amy Neal said.
“When the request came in, it was an immediate ‘absolutely,’ and let’s do whatever we can to get it done,” said Danny Nevarez, Director of Animal Welfare. “It was as simple as getting Patch over to the hospital.”
“Yeah, that’s me, that’s daddy,” Vincent said to Patch. “Are you so happy to see me? I’m so happy to see you.”
Patch was reportedly quiet during the ride but became emotional as they approached the hospital.
Vincent adopted Patch when a neighbour had a litter of puppies. He named Patch after his little patch of white fur, which matched John’s sole patch of white chin hair.
We will always be the patch brothers.John Vincent
He says he also liked that Patch was the smallest of the litter, so he could take him for rides on his motorcycle.
It was a touching reunion between two old friends.
But sadly, it is likely to be their final farewell.
Still, it is nice that they were able to make the reunion possible, giving John a little bit of joy in his final moments.
“It was such a heartwarming moment!” Albuquerque Animal Welfare wrote on Facebook. “They were so happy to see each other and to say their goodbyes.”
“It was an honour to make this veterans final wish come true.”
And if there’s a silver lining, it’s that Patch will still be well taken care of when his owner has passed.
Patch has returned to the animal shelter where he is looking for a new home—and Animal Welfare says they have an interested adopter lined up.
But of course, part of his heart will always be with John.
Forever and always, the patch brothers.