John Vincent, a 69-year-old Vietnam veteran in hospice care had one final request: To say goodbye to his best friend, a 5-year-old Yorkie named Patch.
On Oct. 17, the former Marine had a chance to do just that:
After Vincent entered hospice care last week at the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he had to put Patch up for adoption because he had no family in New Mexico. But when he told social workers at the medical center that his last wish was to spend some time with his pup, they happily obliged.
“When the request came in, it was an immediate ‘absolutely,’ and let’s do whatever we can to get it done,” Albuquerque Animal Welfare director Danny Nevarez told the Albuquerque Journal, which first reported the story. “It was as simple as getting Patch over here.”
The emotional reunion, which quickly led to a string of viral news stories from local and national publications, left few dry eyes in the room. As Vincent stroked Patch’s wiry brown fur he said “Yeah, that’s me, that’s daddy… Are you so happy to see me? I’m so happy to see you.”
Vicnent told the Albuquerque Journal that he used to ride around with Patch on his Harley, as if this story couldn’t get any more adorable.(Albuquerque Animal Welfare/Facebook)
Vincent told the Albuquerque Journal that he was born and raised in Montana, and enlisted in the Marines as a young man where he saw service in Vietnam during his three years in the Corps. After the military, he moved around, working blue collar jobs, before eventually retiring in New Mexico, which is where he met Patch.
A neighbor’s dog had a litter, and “he was the smallest, and I wanted one that could ride on my bike,” Vincent told the Journal. “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.”