Posts Tagged ‘basset hounds and death’

Basset Hounds Add Comfort to Dying Baby and Her Family

In 1983, we brought home a tiny 8-week-old basset hound puppy. Six years later, we found a beautiful mixed-breed (part German shepherd-lab-golden mix). The dogs weren’t best friends, but didn’t hate each other either. The German shepherd mix never fussed when we took only the basset to the vet, except for one day. That day, the basset was taken to be euthanized. She was over 14 year old and suffering from kidney failure. How the German shepherd mix knew that her sister was leaving this world, we never know. But she was so distraught that she almost ran into the window trying to get out to be with her sister in her last moments.

Later on, we acquired a pack of 5. When one would be on death bed, there always was one or two who would keep guard by the sick dog’s bedside. So, when a question as to whether one should let two basset hounds be around a baby that was dying was posted in FB on a basset hound group I belonged to, I didn’t hesitate in saying yes. The family were worried that the basset hounds would be too stressed out. I knew from experience that the hounds would be an awesome source of comfort and the hounds would find comfort as well. Today, I found this article about them in yahoo:

Basset Hounds Wouldn’t Leave Dying Infant’s Side

By NICOLE PELLETIERE
Good Morning America

A family’s two basset hounds refused to leave a dying child’s side after doctor’s informed her parents the devastating news that she wouldn’t survive.

“It was really nice,” mom Mary Hall of Deluth, Minnesota, told ABC News. “It brought us a lot of comfort to have them [there]. But by the end of the first day, you could see they were stressed out and depressed. Normally, they’re very happy-go-lucky. We knew they could sense there was something wrong.”

Nora Hall, 5 months old, died Monday after suffering a stroke April 6 and spending three weeks in the hospital.

The stroke had affected both sides of her brain, causing severe damage, her mother said.

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The family dogs, 8-year-old Grumpy and Gracie, fell in love with Nora as soon as she arrived from the hospital, Hall said.

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“Gracie, especially, took on the role as second mother,” she said. “Whenever Nora would cry, Gracie would run to see what was wrong. She was always, always by Nora and kissing her and making sure she was OK.”

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As Nora’s days were sadly numbered, Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis asked Mary and John Hall whether they had any final wishes for their daughter.

“I asked, ‘If you could let us have our dogs [at the hospital], we’d really appreciate that,’” Hall recalled. “I didn’t want to go home and have them sniffing around for her and not knowing where she went. They lowered the bed so the dogs could lay with her and Gracie ran up and licked her [Nora].”

Hall said she is grateful for the hospital honoring the special exception of having Nora, Gracie and Grumpy together one last time.

The family snapped photos of the touching goodbyes and posted them on Facebook.

“She was just a really happy baby,” Hall said. “Before we went into the hospital, she’d just start laughing. She was happy all the time.”

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