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Husband smuggles family dog into hospital for one last heartwarming visit with dying wife

When it looked like his wife was days from passing, the husband snuck their dog into the hospital.

Husband smuggles family dog into hospital for one last heartwarming visit with dying wife
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Angela Auclair

Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 26, 2021. It has since been updated.

For centuries, dogs have been more than pets—they've been vital companions. From aiding in hunts to providing comfort in stressful modern times, these descendants of wolves have truly earned the title of man's best friend. So much so that they're often considered irreplaceable family members, sometimes cherished as deeply as our human relatives. Reddit user Mellifluous_Username knew that his wife shared such a bond with their family dog, Bella.

So when it looked as though his beloved wife was days away from drawing her last breath, the Reddit user decided to find a way to somehow sneak Bella into the hospital. "My wife was in the hospital after a very invasive surgery, which after a few days, looked like it did not produce ideal results," they recounted on the r/Pets forum. "The prognosis was not good. She was able to speak, but was not eating or drinking, and relied completely on her IV and hard pain pills. In one rare instance of cogent speech, she convinced me to sneak our dog into her private room, so she could see her 'one more time.'"

"Our dog, Bella, is about a 50-pound Australian Shepherd, and as it turns out, she fits nicely in a normal suitcase. I packed her in, with the lid unzipped, and placed her in the car until we arrived at the hospital. When we arrived, I explained to her that I would open the zipper in a few minutes and that she could see her Mommy," they explained. Amazingly, Bella understood the importance of playing her part quite well. "She never whimpered, barked, or whined. When I walked past the station nurses, I told them I was simply bringing items to make my wife more comfortable. No problem, they said," the Reddit user wrote.


"When we entered the room, my wife was asleep. I unzipped the suitcase, and Bella immediately jumped on the bed, and gingerly laid across her chest, somehow avoiding the wires and IV. She positioned herself to where she could look directly into my wife's eyes, and laid completely still, until about twenty minutes later, when my wife woke up and started moaning in pain," they continued. "Bella immediately started licking her, and quietly moaned, as if knowing that barking would definitely blow our cover. My wife hugged her for almost an hour, smiling the whole time. We were busted by one nurse who was so touched that she promised not to tell. When my wife finally went back to sleep, I loaded Bella back in the suitcase, and she somewhat sheepishly obliged."


Sadly, the Reddit user's wife passed away a few days after her time with Bella. However, like countless faithful others of her kind, Bella is still waiting for her dog mom. "Whenever I grab the suitcase, (any suitcase) Bella thinks we are going to see her again," the Reddit user revealed. The heartwarming story struck a chord with many on the social media platform, prompting one user to share a similar story of their own.


"My mother absolutely adored our dog, who splits her time between my place (near my mother's home) and my ex's place an hour away. When Mom was dying in hospice care a few months ago, my ex brought our dog down to say goodbye," wrote u/didyouwoof. "Mom had reached the point where her eyes no longer opened and she couldn't speak, but she could hear and respond to touch. I took her hand and put a small amount of kibble in it, then called our dog over and held Mom's hand where the dog could reach it. Mom smiled so broadly when she felt our dog's soft snout in the palm of her hand! And now I'm crying, but happy. It's a good memory. Sorry for your loss; glad you have that memory of Bella with your wife."

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