With only days to live, John Simpson, who has pancreatic cancer, said he had one final wish: to hold his missing dog one last time.
On Friday, his wish came true. Mr. Cutie, his two-year-old Chihuahua, was found by a Good Samaritan, then quickly reunited with Mr. Simpson in a touching, wiggly reunion. It is believed Mr. Cutie ran away to search for his owner, the Florida man who had been taken to hospice a few weeks prior.
The story started when Simpson’s cancer had reached its final stages a few weeks ago, according to the Daily Mail, and he was forced to relocate to Pasco County hospice. Ann Marie Gemmel, who had been caring for the dog, had returned home with Mr. Cutie from a visit to the hospice when the dog ran away. He escaped by digging a hole under the fence. Gemmel believes Mr. Cutie was headed back to his owner.
“That dog’s never tried to dig a hole. Saturday was the first time I took the dog here to hospice. That next day, he got out. I really think he was looking for John,” she said.
Mr. Cutie, however, wasn’t wearing a collar or ID tags, and he never made it to the hospice. Friends of Mr. Simpson launched a search, hanging fliers and creating a Find Mr. Cutie Facebook page.
Simpson had this to say: “When you’re growing up you’re asked, ‘If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?’ Back in those days, I used to say, ‘As many wishes as I could wish for.’ Now, my only wish would be for my dog to come home.”
Fortunately, Mr. Cutie wasn’t lost for long, as a woman named Missy Figueroa picked him up on the streets — near the hospice, no less. Since Mr. Cutie had no tags, Figueroa spent a week trying to track down the owner. After she put a photo on FidoFinder.com, the two search parties found each other.
She wasn’t sure that she had the right dog, but as soon as Mr. Cutie saw his owner, he exploded into a wiggly mess.
“Seeing this person I don’t even know, so excited to see his dog, it just makes me happy that I got to be here for that and make him happy,” said Figueroa.
Mr. Simpson, who had been praying to St. Jude for Mr. Cutie’s safe return, was overwhelmed when Figuero brought the dog to the hospice.
“I feel like crying,” he said, as Mr. Cutie went to work on his face.
Mr. Cutie will be spend a lot of time at the hospice, thanks to staff who understand the connection. Mr. Simpson said that he wanted to stay alive in the hopes of seeing his little dog again. Now, let’s hope Mr. Cutie makes his final days as happy as they can be.
Via the Daily Mail