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Dying patient gets to see her beloved dog one more time

LEAWOOD, Kan. - A Kansas doctor went out of his way to grant the wish of one of his dying patients.

"Mary," was in her 80's. Her lungs were failing, and the one thing she wanted more than anything was to be with her 11-year-old rat terrier Herman.

“She had what we call respiratory failure, and in this situation, it just so serendipitously happened to be something that we could really do," said Dr. Ryan Sears of Kansas City Medicine Partners.

Herman was taken to State Line Animal Hospital, which also serves as a shelter, after Mary was hospitalized.

Sears thought he could make Mary’s request happen, so he went to the animal hospital and brought him to her.

Herman with Mary for one last visit

“The instant that she saw him, she was wanting to pet on him, and you could see the change in her face that she was so happy to see her dog,” Sears said.

Sears and nurses had the challenge of keeping Herman calm, as he was excited to be reunited with his owner.

“He wanted to be right up next to her,” Sears said. “We had to wrap him up in a blanket because he was just so much energy, and we had so many things going on at time.”

Mary died the next day, and Herman was taken back to the shelter.

“I think the big thing for her was that she wanted Herman to have a good home and get adopted,” Sears said.

On Friday, a family adopted Herman, but they returned him on Wednesday after realizing they couldn’t give him the attention workers at the shelter said he needs.

“He’s got some separation anxiety, which we would expect because his owner’s gone,” said Cindy Pugh, the manager at State Line Animal Hospital. “He’d do better with somebody that was either retired or home a lot.”

Pugh said pets like Herman often wind up in shelters when their senior owners die. Family and friends don’t always step up to care for them.

Herman, the 11 year-old terrier needs a new home.

“We have a disposable society, and when it becomes a problem, a lot of people give up,” Pugh said.

Pugh said Herman may have a bit of anxiety, but he's also a ball of energy.

“He’s very social and loves the people that he meets,” she explained. “He’s just very sweet, affectionate dog.”

Sears and the staff at State Line Animal Hospital are now hoping someone will grant their wish and give Herman the love and life he had from the start.

“I’d love for him to find a forever home and really be with a family that can support him,” Sears said.

“He just needs the chance to live the rest of his years in a loving environment,” Pugh added.

Pugh said Herman appears to be in good health, understands commands and would do well with another dog in the home. He also has been good with cats at the shelter, according to staff.

For more information in adopting Herman, call the State Line Animal Hospital at 913-381-3232 or check his profile out on Petfinder.