Man with Terminal Cancer on Borrowed Time, Must Find Dog a New Home Before Dying


Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine that the world is a good place. There’s so much bitterness, hurt, and pain, that seeing the good around us can feel more like an exercise in futility than anything else.

How much more so when you have cancer, and you can only see the world through the lens of a countdown. It can consume your thoughts and make it difficult to focus on what’s important.

But one man on death’s doorstep experienced a nice reminder of the kindness of strangers. Walt Hollier’s faith in humanity was restored on Jan. 26. It was through unexpected means, a cancer diagnosis and dog, that Hollier found goodness in the world.

It’s a world that he has been preparing to soon leave. He has terminal liver cancer.

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Doctors told him at the time of diagnosis that he probably had three to six months to live. That diagnosis was about six months ago.

On Facebook, Hollier wrote, “So in all likelihood, I will be leaving this world soon.” One of his main priorities was ensuring his two dogs, Doc and Diego, would be cared for after his death.

Family members were able to take in Doc. Diego’s personality and activity level meant he needed a new home, however.

Hollier told KEYE, “He loves to run…And I thought, well I can’t die and have him in limbo.”

Diego is 8 years old and in good health. Hollier wanted to make sure Diego would still be able to do at least some of his favorite activities including playing, running, swimming, and riding in vehicles in his new home.

The pressure was on for Hollier to find his beloved dog a new home. He posted to Facebook and never expected such a huge response.

“It tears me heart out to lose him. But it would bring me great comfort when I die that he is well taken care of,” Hollier wrote.

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He shared his phone number and his location in the Austin, Texas area. Over 1,300 responses poured in with more than 100 adoption offers.

Hollier posted a new update about his search to find his dog a home that very same day with the words: “You folks are amazing, and have restored my faith in Humanity. God bless each and every one of you for the kindness you have bestowed me.”

Hollier and Diego drove down a dirt road together one last time before reaching the dog’s new home. Diego will now be living at the Last Resort Recovery Center.

He will serve a great purpose of helping the men at the rehab center recover from addiction. As difficult as it was to find Diego a new home, Hollier can now rest in the knowledge that his dogs will be well-cared-for.

What better timing for this ailing man to be shown compassion and such an outpouring of support. He said he’d received prayers from around the world: a heart-touching final sendoff.

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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