Vietnam veteran in hospice care bids final farewell to loyal dog

John Vincent served his country with honor as a Marine during the Vietnam War. Originally from Montana, John retired in New Mexico where he was gifted Patch, a Yorkshire terrier, from a neighbor whose dogs had puppies.

“He was the smallest, and I wanted one that could ride on my motorcycle. The only hair I had was on my chin, which was called a patch. … And he had a little white patch, so we were the patch brothers,” John said.

Sadly, John’s health began to decline severely and he found himself spending his final days in hospice car. Regretfully, John could not bring his best friend with him and was forced to surrender the then five-year-old Patch to Albuquerque Animal Welfare. As the end drew near, John had only one request — to see his best friend one last time. Thankfully, the animal welfare center was brought Patch to the hospice center at Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center.

Albuquerque Animal Welfare wrote about the tearful moment on Facebook. Yesterday was a special day for a Veteran named John Vincent and his beloved dog Patch. Vincent was admitted this week to the Hospice Center at the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He has no family in New Mexico so had to surrender his beloved dog, Patch to us.

“John Vincent may not have much time left,” said Amy Neal, a palliative care social worker and he had only one request.

Vincent wanted to see his dog one last time. Yesterday we were able to make their final reunion happen. Our AWD Director, Danny Nevarez, along with team members Joel Craig, Desiree Cawley and Celina Chavez-Fennell took Patch down to the Hospice Center for the reunion. It was such a heart warming moment! They were so happy to see each other and to say their good byes. It was an honor to make this veterans final wish come true.

Patch is now back at our Westside Animal Shelter awaiting his new home. Patch already has an interested adopter.

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