“Ryan lay on his deathbed as family gathered from near and far to say their goodbyes. Yet, it was Molly, his cherished dog, who held a special place in his heart. Little did they expect her extraordinary response to this final goodbye.
Ryan Jessen, a 33-year-old talented landscape designer, was working hard in his garden one hot summer’s day when suddenly he collapsed with no one around except for his best friend, his boxer dog Molly. He was in dire trouble. Luckily for him, Molly was quite intuitive and intelligent.
After nudging Ryan over and over with no result, she decided to run and get help. She ran back into the house and found Ryan’s sister, Michelle. Michelle, confused, followed Molly out into the yard only to be shocked and scream horrendously. She immediately ran straight back into the house and called an ambulance.
When the paramedics arrived, they told Michelle straight away that things didn’t look good. They rushed him to the hospital as fast as they could. But when the doctors looked at him, they only confirmed what the paramedics had already said. It looked bad.
Turns out Ryan had suffered from a brain hemorrhage, causing irreversible injury. The doctors told poor Michelle that her brother probably wouldn’t make it to the end of the day. They asked her what she would want them to do, but she insisted that they keep him on life support until they knew for sure that he wasn’t going to make it.
Michelle, although hopeful, couldn’t deny reality. She could see that her brother was in terrible condition. Even though he had made it through the day, didn’t mean he was going to make it through the night. She stayed right by his side the entire night, holding onto his hand tightly. She really wasn’t ready to say goodbye to him yet.
Sure enough, the next day when the doctors came through, they were once again surprised to see that the man was still holding on, if only by a thin thread. Nevertheless, it was working. Somehow, it seemed this dying man had something he still needed to do and wasn’t ready to let go.
Michelle, desperate for a shower and some food, decided to quickly pop home to have a shower and check in with the rest of their family. She had yet to tell them anything about what had happened. Both their parents had been out on a trip when her brother had fallen in the garden and were rushing to get home. She was keen to have a shower in her own home. That way she could try to regain some energy and positivity before returning to her brother’s side.
But when she got home, she suddenly realized she was forgetting something—or better yet, someone: Molly. She was in the process of preparing lunch when Molly suddenly came rushing in and alerted her about Ryan.
Michelle then realized she needed to tend to Molly. When she got to Ryan’s house, she was confronted with something she didn’t quite expect—something that made her stomach drop horrendously. As she walked through the door, she immediately noticed that the couch had been torn up. This was so unusual; she had never experienced behavior from Molly like this before.
The couch cushions were now hollowed out with loose fibers all over the room. Ryan’s indoor pot plants had been turned over, with the sand sprawled out all over the floor. As she walked deeper into the house, she was met with mess after mess. With Ryan at the hospital, Molly had been all alone.
The frantic dog had gone absolutely mad, tearing up the house. Michelle had known Molly to tear up things like her new white tennis shoes or her favorite bag, but the pooch had never done something to this extent.
Because she had spent countless hours at her brother’s house helping him with his landscaping business, she often had to deal with Molly. This close proximity to Molly, his cherished but contentious canine companion, had never been easy for Michelle. Despite her love for animals, she and Molly had frequently clashed, leading to heated arguments with Ryan.
It had all started when Ryan had brought Molly home a few years ago, a flea-bitten and dirty dog plucked from the streets. Michelle couldn’t fathom why Ryan would bring home such a dog, one that wasn’t exactly a puppy and could potentially harbor diseases. However, Ryan’s love for Molly remained steadfast regardless of the disagreements.
It had been a normal day for Ryan when he headed out to one of their many landscaping projects. Michelle, who took care of the administrative side of the business, had waved him goodbye, wishing him a good day. When he had returned that day, he was accompanied by a dog Michelle had never seen before.
Ryan explained that while he was on his way back from a local farm, he had spotted a frazzled, dehydrated dog idling sadly on the side of the road near Sutter SE Cemetery. The dog was full of fleas and dirty. It looked like someone had abandoned the poor thing. It was clear that it needed help.
Ryan knew at that moment that if he didn’t do anything, the dog would wither away and die right there on the side of the road. So, he offered the poor dog some water and successfully managed to get her into the car with him. She had accompanied him the rest of the day before coming home with him that evening.
From the very start of their relationship, it became very clear that Ryan was growing a very strong bond with the sweet dog, while his sister seemed to have the opposite. Whenever Michelle came near, Ryan, the dog would growl and bark at her, not letting her come any closer. Ryan found it hilarious, considering that he and his sister were very close.
Ryan bonded with the dog quite well over the next two weeks, ultimately deciding that he would adopt her to stay with him. He affectionately named her Molly and tried to train her a little to help him out when he went out to landscaping projects outside the city.
In many ways, it seemed like Molly was acutely aware of the fact that Ryan had given her a second chance at life, and for that, she was extremely loyal to him. On the other hand, Michelle didn’t want to be involved with the dog at all. Every time she came over, she only had one condition: she didn’t want to be responsible for Molly, and she didn’t want to be near her, especially considering how Molly reacted to her.
This was no problem for Ryan at all. He found himself super engrossed in his relationship with Molly anyway. Just like Ryan, Molly loved being outdoors. She was the perfect companion to accompany Ryan on his many fishing expeditions, and when inside, she never left Ryan’s side either. She even slept on his bed between his legs.
So, the timing had worked out perfectly. The only problem now was that Michelle had never dealt with Molly in any way before. Ryan had been meticulous in training her. She was, in fact, so well-trained by him that Michelle had never had to face any major issue or problem from the dog. So now, she was facing what seemed like acts of terrorism in her brother’s home.
The mess created by Molly only added to Michelle’s stress. Now, it was personal. Michelle was not only dealing with her brother potentially on his deathbed in the hospital but also with the dog that hated her and was tearing up his home for a reason she was unaware of.
She immediately got filled with rage she had never experienced before. She ran angrily around the house looking for the guilty dog. But when she found her, she found herself questioning her own behavior. She found Molly cowered in the kitchen, moaning sadly.
It was the first time it had occurred to Michelle that maybe Molly was really worried about her beloved owner. It was the first time since Ryan had rescued and rehabilitated Molly that they had been separated, and of course, the last time Molly had seen her beloved Ryan, he had been unconscious.
Molly was obviously distraught at the whole situation and didn’t know what to do with herself. Thus, she had taken out her frustration on the contents of Ryan’s home. As Michelle witnessed the sadness on Molly’s face, she no longer felt anger towards her. Instead, she understood her pain and felt like she needed to console Molly.
Letting out a big sigh, she collapsed onto the floor with tears in her eyes next to her brother’s best friend and looked at her. This was the moment Michelle broke down with no reservations whatsoever. And looking deep into the dog’s eyes, she shared a moment filled with all the emotions she had been bottling up these past few days.
While hugging the dog, she experienced grief, frustration, and anger together with Molly. There was some kind of uncertainty in Molly’s eyes when she looked at Michelle. That’s when she realized something startling. Molly was probably thinking the worst. She couldn’t exactly ask Michelle how Ryan was doing. For Molly, everything was uncertain and up in the air.
Where was her beloved owner? Why hadn’t he come home yet? To Molly, it seemed like he had abandoned her, and that must have frustrated her. When she got this idea into her head, Michelle realized that she needed to get Molly into the hospital to see poor Ryan. That was the only way she was going to ease the poor dog’s nerves.
As much as she wasn’t a huge fan of their relationship, she also wasn’t a monster. She could see the sweet dog was hurting and she wished to help and make her feel better. Besides, it would help to distract her too from the horrendous reality she was facing. If he didn’t wake up soon, they were going to have to make a very hard decision, one she wasn’t ready for in any way.
The only problem was it wasn’t exactly routine practice to allow a dog into the hospital. Naturally, for hygiene levels, they needed to keep all types of animals out of the hospital rooms. But Molly didn’t quite understand this, of course, and there was a chance she was going to keep making Michelle’s life difficult if she didn’t get to see her favorite person soon.
Michelle pleaded with the hospital administration at Rideout Regional Medical Center to allow Molly to come in. She even got other family members, including her parents, to request the same thing. She hoped that maybe numbers would help to convince the hospital to go over their policy.
That’s about where things took a horrible turn. Just a few days after Ryan collapsed from his brain hemorrhage, the doctors gave him a dire diagnosis. They told Michelle that he probably wouldn’t last the day. Upon hearing this news, Michelle could hardly control herself. She was distraught with grief. How could she be losing her sweet brother all because of bad luck?
Ryan had been healthy as a fiddle until he had collapsed. It reminded Michelle of the impermanence of life, and that scared her witless. But even in that moment, she remembered poor Molly. Now that they knew that Ryan wasn’t going to make it, she once again implored the staff to allow Molly in, just once, to say goodbye to her beloved owner.
The hospital tried desperately to block the boxer dog from coming in, but eventually, they relented. They allowed sweet Molly in just one time to say goodbye to her best friend. Molly wasn’t the only one to be called in, though. They had called on more family members to come and say goodbye. It was an emotional and heartbreaking affair.
The last thing most people wanted to do is say their final goodbyes to loved ones, especially when it happened so suddenly. When Molly finally got her chance to come in and see Ryan, she immediately ran to the bed and began whining loudly. She then paced around and seemed eager to be reunited. You could see that she desperately wanted to jump up onto the bed to cuddle Ryan.
This was no unusual affair between the two of them, having done this every morning at home. When she finally got the go-ahead and a helping hand from Michelle, she hopped up onto the bed and curiously began to sniff Ryan while emitting soft, anxious whimpers. The underlying concern in her whines was unmistakable.
But when Ryan didn’t react, Molly got super concerned and began to sniff the poor unconscious man even more anxiously. But Ryan was unaware of what was happening, and this was not going to change. Molly didn’t understand this, though, so she kept sniffing Ryan while his mom and dad reassured her that this was, in fact, her beloved owner.
While his dad lovingly stroked his head, Molly kept inspecting the unresponsive man in front of her. With all of those tubes coming out of him, Ryan was almost unrecognizable to Molly. But when she picked up his distinct smell, it confirmed to her that this was indeed her best friend.
She couldn’t fully understand what was going on, but everyone in the room could tell that she was instantly sad by this realization. That’s when something heartbreaking happened. Molly sought comfort between Ryan’s legs, a place where she had always felt safe since he had rescued her.
It was a poignant expression of her emotions. Michelle understood the significance of this ritual and was filled with emotion seeing where Molly had chosen to lay down. She was glad to have helped Molly say goodbye to Ryan and was forever grateful to the staff of the hospital for allowing this.
Ryan only deteriorated from there. By the afternoon, Michelle knew Ryan had little time left. The doctors at this point began to advise the family to let go and say their final goodbyes. She knew there was nothing else they could do, so she prepared herself to say goodbye to her brother, too.
Molly lay between Ryan’s legs, moaning away. It was as though she was now the one comforting her beloved owner. He loved his dog, and there was nothing he would have wanted more than spending his final moments with her. Not long after Ryan’s family and Molly had finally said goodbye to Ryan, he finally let go.
In addition to his deep affection for Molly, Ryan possessed a profound compassion for others. He was an organ donor and actively engaged in local charitable activities. Michelle had always been aware of his desire to donate his organs upon his passing, and that’s precisely what happened.
As a result of his selfless act, seven individuals received the precious gift of life, one of which was a 17-year-old boy. Michelle wrote in a Facebook post, ‘A 17-18-year-old boy in California whose birthday is on Christmas will receive my brother’s heart today. As sad as it is to lose Ryan, we know his heart is going to bring so much joy to the family of the recipient.’
She also stated on a different platform, ‘I think knowing that Ryan’s heart continues to beat in somebody else is a comforting thing in a time of loss.’ Michelle expressed that her family had an emotionally positive experience with the hospital staff from Rideout Regional Medical Center. Prior to Ryan undergoing surgery, the nurses and the organ donor coordinator joined hands with the family, and together they shared a heartfelt moment of prayer. They were comforting. “We have nothing but good things to say about Rideout,” Michelle said. “All the nurses involved were kind and gracious while we were standing there miserable, knowing these were the last moments with Ryan.”
The tearful video of Molly saying goodbye to Ryan in his final moments went unexpectedly viral. Since then, the video has garnered over 8 million views and has been shared more than 880,000 times. People from all over the world have offered their condolences and love to the mourning family.
As a final message of gratitude to the overwhelming response from well-wishers, Michelle wrote, “Thank you to everybody for the outpouring of support. But I won’t be responding anymore. We are sincerely touched and humbled by other stories they’re sharing in our sadness and the kindness of so many people. Don’t worry about the dog; we’re keeping her. She’s part of the family.”
Eventually, Michelle was the one who adopted Molly, who was a great addition to her dog pack back at home.
As for the notion of allowing a dog to enter a hospital to say goodbye to its owner, it’s a deeply emotional and complex situation. While hospitals typically have strict hygiene and safety protocols that restrict animals from patient areas, the bond between a pet and their owner is profound.
In cases like Ryan and Molly’s, where the dog played a significant role in the patient’s life and emotional well-being, allowing a brief, supervised visit for emotional support might be beneficial for both the patient and the pet. It’s a sensitive decision that hospitals might consider on a case-by-case basis, prioritizing the emotional needs of the patient and the pet while maintaining a safe environment for all involved.
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