Dogs can be of great comfort to those who are suffering, providing precious moments of solace for those who are sick or grieving.
When his dying wife asked to see her beloved pet dog one last time, a caring husband went out of his way to make it happen.
He managed to overcome hospital policies by smuggling their 50 pound Australian Shepherd – Bella – to her room in a suitcase; bringing a smile to his wife’s face in her final days.
Telling the tearjerking story on Reddit, the husband recalled:
My wife was in the hospital after a very invasive surgery, which after a few days, looked like it did not produce ideal results. The prognosis was not good.
She was able to speak, but was not eating or drinking, and relied completely on her IV and hard pain pills. In one rare instance of cogent speech, she convinced me to sneak our dog into her private room, so she could see her ‘one more time.’
Our dog is about a 50 pound Australian Shepherd, and as it turns out, she fits nicely in a normal suitcase. I packed her in, with the lid unzipped, and placed her in the car until we arrived at the hospital.
When we arrived, I ‘explained’ to her that I would open the zipper in a few minutes and that she could see her Mommy.
Luckily, Bella was a very good girl indeed, keeping quiet as they sneaked past nurses:
Unbelievably, she never whimpered, barked, or whined. When I walked past the station nurses, I told them I was simply bringing items to make my wife more comfortable. No problem, they said.
The wife was asleep when the man and Bella entered the room, and awoke to the sight of her cherished pet:
I unzipped the suitcase, and the dog immediately jumped on the bed, and gingerly laid across her chest, somehow avoiding the wires and IV.
She positioned herself to where she could look directly into my wife’s eyes, and laid completely still, until about twenty minutes later, when my wife woke up, and started moaning in pain.
The dog immediately started licking her, and quietly moaned, as if knowing that barking would definitely blow our cover.
My wife hugged her for almost an hour, smiling the whole time. We were busted by one nurse who was so touched that she promised not to tell. When my wife finally went back to sleep, I loaded the dog back in the suitcase, and she somewhat sheepishly obliged.
This act of devotion took place just a few days before the wife died:
My wife sadly passed a few days later, and as if that is not sad enough, now, whenever I grab the suitcase, the dog thinks we are doing to see her again.
Our thoughts are with this grieving husband at this difficult time.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.