Vietnam war hero reunites with pet dog one last time at New Mexico hospital after it is put up for adoption
Vincent, who does not have long to live, lit up as he held his pet dog close to his chest and lightly stroked his brown and black fur.
A Vietnam marine from New Mexico, who is currently on death bed at the Hospice Center at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, said a final goodbye to his 5-year-old Yorkie, for one last time on October 17.
The eyes of the 69-year-old war veteran, John Vincent, who does not have long to live, lit up as he held his pet dog close to his chest and lightly stroked his brown and black fur.
“Yeah, that’s me, that’s daddy”, Vincent said, the Albuquerque Journal reported. “Are you so happy to see me? I’m so happy to see you.”
With his days numbered and no surviving family members, Vincent was forced to put his dog up for adoption at Albuquerque Animal Welfare shelter. The endearing moment was witnessed by physicians, social workers, and others who made the final reunion possible and most of them were overwhelmed with emotion. They assured Vincent that Patch “will get a wonderful home.”
Amy Neal, a palliative care social worker, who has been working with hospice patients for more than 15 years, said Vincent only had one wish and that was to see his beloved pet once more before it was taken away and given to a new family.
“I asked him if that’s something that would be meaningful for him”, she said. “And it came together very quickly.”
Neal said it was “an honor” to fulfill Vincent’s request. “It’s about ‘what can we do to enhance his life?’ Because it’s about living here when they come here... and this is living for him”, she said. “When I reminded him this morning that they were coming, he goes, ‘Is this really happening?'”
Danny Nevarez, Director of Animal Welfare, said Neal called them and said the veteran “was not doing too well and wanted to see his dog.”
“When the request came in, it was an immediate ‘absolutely,’ and let’s do whatever we can to get it done”, he said. “It was as simple as getting Patch over here.”
The entire car ride from the Westside shelter to the hospice care, Patch was abnormally quiet. “It’s almost like he knew, he just started whimpering”, he said. “Like he had that anticipation.”