Heartbreaking Photos: Woman Gets Dying Wish to See Pets One Last Time


When Jan Holman, 68, was placed in hospice care recently, she felt like she had some unfinished business to attend to.

Jan was rather suddenly taken to the hospital weeks ago following a terminal bowel cancer diagnosis. She was ripped from her normal routine and life, and realized she didn’t have much time left.

But the problem was that she’d never gotten to say goodbye to her beloved pets: her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Monty and Rowley, and her horse, Bob.

While in hospice care at Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Chester, England, Jan had a glimmer of hope that she might be able to see her pups again, as she was able to bring her dogs to that particular hospice to visit a neighbor in the past.

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But as she neared the end of her life, the hospice — knowing how important her equine companion was to her — decided to go the extra mile for her and arranged for all three of her animals to visit.

“Even though Jan wasn’t able to get out of bed, she was so excited to have the chance to see Bob one more time,” the hospice shared in a Facebook post on Oct. 6.

“The nurses wheeled her bed to the patio doors and the team from Thornleigh Park Farm Stables, where Bob is in livery, walked him into the Hospice courtyard for a very emotional re-union between horse and rider.”

“Bob put his head through the doors and nuzzled Jan’s neck and lap and thoroughly enjoyed his treats of carrots, bananas and apples. Jan’s face lit up as soon as she saw Bob.”

Jan was elated to be reunited with her old friends, if only for a short while.

“I just can’t believe what the staff here at the hospice have done for me,” she said.

“Until a few weeks ago I was still riding Bob every day and he is such an important part of my life, and I have missed him so much.

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“I knew that arranging for my dogs to visit was possible as we had a neighbour who was a patient at the hospice a few years ago and we were allowed to bring the dogs to visit her, but I just didn’t expect that they would ever be able to give me the chance to see Bob one more time.”

According to ITV, Jan has since passed away. Her husband of 46 years, Dennis, expressed his deep gratitude for the hospice’s willingness to orchestrate the special visit in his wife’s final days.

“It was just such a relief once Jan was moved from the hospital to the hospice in Chester and we were able to have named visitors who could come and see Jan regularly,” he told the hospice care team.

“However, we never imagined that we would be able to include our dogs Monty and Rowley and Jan’s horse Bob on the visiting list.”

The post has gone viral, bringing joy to many who share Jan’s heart for their own animals and are happy to see the compassion and effort exercised by the hospice.

“The ethos of hospice care is not just about caring for the clinical needs of our patients but also looking after their emotional and spiritual needs as well,” the hospice concluded in the post.

“It’s about making a difference to our patients and their families in whatever way we can.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking



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