Dying Man Granted Final Wish—A Visit From His Dog

By The Bark Editors, April 2018, Updated June 2021
Photo/video by Robson’s granddaughter, Ashley Stevens

Photo/video by Robson’s granddaughter, Ashley Stevens

Sometimes it makes sense to bend the rules.

Such was the case when hospital staff made the compassionate decision to grant a terminally-ill man his dying wish to see his dog one last time. Due to infection control, regulations at the renown Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, Scotland, do not allow animals into their facilities except under exceptional circumstances. Staff had asked relatives of the 70-year-old Peter Robson, who was suffering from fibrosis of the lungs, whether he wanted any comforts from home before he died. Robson’s only wish was to see his dog Shep one last time. Aware of the hospital restrictions, the family was shocked when hospital staff granted Mr. Robson’s wish and allowed Shep to be brought to his companion’s bed to say goodbye.

In a post on Facebook, Robson’s granddaughter Ashley Stevens said she had been “absolutely amazed and touched” by the gesture from the staff at Ninewells. “Still in shock that the wish was granted and they went above and beyond today and made a dying man very happy.”

Ms. Stevens later told BBC Scotland that her granddad had gotten Shep as a puppy eight years ago, with the dog becoming his constant companion after Mr. Robson’s wife died. She added: “He really thought he would never see Shep again. It was an amazing moment to see the two of them together, and Shep was so excited to see him.”