Dying Veteran in Medical Center Got His Final Wish — To Pet His Dog One Last Time

Salwa Nadeem
Feb 04, 2022
06:40 P.M.

A 69-year-old veteran expressed his final wish while spending his last days at a hospice center. He wanted to meet his beloved dog, Patch, one last time.


Albuquerque Animal Welfare's Facebook page uploaded heartbreaking photos of the reunion, where thousands of people shared their reactions.

The veteran was admitted to the hospice center earlier that week, and he met his dog on Thursday. They even had a little conversation during their meeting.

Source: facebook.com/AlbuquerqueAnimalWelfare

Source: facebook.com/AlbuquerqueAnimalWelfare


The Vietnam veteran, John Vincent, reunited with his beloved dog, Patch, on October 18, 2019, days after he was admitted to the hospice.

His cute little dog dropped by for a visit with some officials from the Albuquerque Animal Welfare which took Patch to their shelter after Vincent was taken to the hospital.

Their meeting was arranged after Vincent told his palliative care worker about Patch's whereabouts and asked if he could see his pup.

It was the first time for the animal welfare department to entertain such a request, and they immediately decided to drive Patch to the hospice center after receiving a call from there.


Since Vincent had no family, he had to hand over his dog to the animal welfare. Danny Nevarez, the director of Animal Welfare, brought Patch to the hospice center.

The Animal Welfare brought Patch back to the shelter and listed him for adoption.

He said Patch remained silent during the car ride, but he started whimpering when they were near the hospital. He confessed it seemed like Patch knew he was about to see Vincent.


The doctors, social workers, and Animal Welfare workers gathered around Vincent as Patch was placed on his lap. They all witnessed the emotional moment Patch licked his best friend's face.

Vincent shared that he met Patch after his retirement. He saw the pup among his neighbor's dog's litter. He asked if he could adopt him and the neighbor obliged.

The veteran wanted a dog who could accompany him on bike rides. Since Patch was a small dog, he became the perfect ride partner for Vincent.


"Yeah, that's me, that's daddy," said Vincent gently when he met Patch on his hospital bed. The Animal Welfare workers confessed they were happy watching Patch reunite with his owner. His palliative care worker recalled:

“When I reminded him this morning that they were coming, he goes, ‘Is this really happening?'”

Almost a thousand people shared the Facebook post, and more than two thousand people reacted to it. The Animal Welfare workers brought Patch back to the shelter and listed him for adoption.


Someone was already interested in adopting Patch when the post was uploaded. Meanwhile, people posted comments under the heartwrenching post. A woman wrote:

"Oh my gosh. Let the dog stay with him until the end. This is heartbreaking."

Other people also suggested the Animal Shelter let Patch stay with Vincent until his last breath. Another Facebook user shared that Yorkies are a loyal breed, and they get worried easily. The user pointed out that the dog's tongue showed he was under stress.

Many people messaged the Animal Welfare's page on Facebook, showing interest in adopting Patch. After some time, they updated the post stating someone had adopted Patch.

If you enjoyed reading this story, you might like this one about a retired police dog who cried when he met his handler after years.

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