I am a Community Palliative Care Nurse and a few years ago I was nursing a lovely young woman who was dying from a melanoma.
She had a husband, a young son who was about six and a large wolfhound mix called Chief.
Chief would always greet me and when I sat down would climb onto my lap for a cuddle (I really love dogs).
As she deteriorated, we would visit daily.
One morning I was talking to the husband as his wife lay unconscious nearby. He was understandably very upset and full of sadness.
Their young son arrived home at this time and saw that his dad was upset so ran over to hug him.
As they cried together, Chief came out from under her hospital bed and walked over to the two of them, stood up on his hind legs and wrapped his arms around them in a genuine embrace.
The three of them stood like that for some time.
I’ve seen pets grieve and show obvious anxiety and sadness, but I’d never seen such an extraordinary act by a family dog before.
He was a pretty special dog.
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