Lifestyle & Human Interest

Woman Mourning Friend Is Comforted by Former Foster Dog She Never Expected to See Again


A woman was met with a completely unexpected gift on Monday when her former foster puppy appeared in her neighborhood as she was mourning the loss of a friend.

Kate Howard, a news editor and journalist living in Kentucky, had just gotten home from the memorial service of a friend and fellow reporter named Heidi Hall. Hall passed away after falling ill with metastatic colorectal cancer and had “faced her diagnosis with incredible grace and bravery,” according to Howard.

Hall had also been “a tremendous lover of dogs,” Howard wrote on Twitter.

Grieving and in need of rest, the editor decided to spend her afternoon and evening outside, enjoying the autumn sunshine. However, it wasn’t long afterward that she found herself receiving comfort from the most unlikely of sources.

“Today I was sitting on my porch, enjoying the sunshine and the rest of my day off after returning from the memorial service of a friend who died far too soon,” Howard began her story on Twitter. “A woman and her dog stopped at my yard, and the dog plopped down on my grass.”

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A dog-lover herself, the editor immediately noticed the happy pit bull and its owner at the edge of her property, as the stranger struggled to pull her wayward hound back on their way.

“The dog was cute, a brown pitty girl with white markings. All dogs are perfect but she was particular[ly] charming,” Howard said. “Her owner was trying to get her rolling again but she was staying put.”

For some reason, the dog didn’t want to budge. Her owner called her, trying to get the pup off Howard’s property and back to walking. But as soon as the woman called her name, a spark of curiosity grew in Howard’s mind.

“‘Winnie! Come on!'”

Looking closer, Howard thought she recognized the markings.

“Last November, I fostered a dog for the first time over Thanksgiving,” she continued on Twitter. “She was a soft wiggly baby puppy I named Winnie. I cried for three days after she was spayed and went up for adoption, worrying about whether she had found a good home.”

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Now more than curious, and slightly disbelieving, she knew she had to ask, as the young dog continued to flop and play in her grass.

“I asked the woman whether she adopted Winnie with that name. She said yes, as she didn’t want to change her name and confuse her. I asked when — she said last November. By then, I was practically leaping off the porch screaming.”

Howard realized the now-grown Winnie was, in fact, the same dog she had cared for all those months ago.

The editor had just recently moved into a new house and was new to the area. She and the stranger soon discovered that they lived in the same neighborhood and both loved and cared for the same pup.

“It turns out this house is a block over from Winnie! I would have been at work, not on my porch, this afternoon if not for traveling from the memorial service,” Howard tweeted.

Winnie’s owner told her that before adopting the pit bull puppy, she had lost another special dog. But as soon as she had seen Winnie up for adoption, she knew it was time to open her heart to a new furry friend in need of a home.

For Howard, the strange encounter was incredibly special, as she was reunited with the dog she once devoted so much time to, met with joy on a day that she had expected to be filled only with sadness.

“It was beyond comforting for my first foster dog to turn up on my front lawn today, her fur still soft and her ear still crooked and her tail still wagging,” she wrote, thankful to have received a message of hope after the loss of her friend.

Twitter users fell in love with the heartwarming story of encouragement — and Winnie’s adorable photos. Many wrote back to Howard, offering both condolences and messages of solidarity as pet foster parents themselves.

“I’ve been getting super nice messages and pictures of adorable rescue dogs all day. This is so pure and good and I’m so grateful!” Howard wrote.

She has since decided to consider fostering another puppy in need of a home, realizing just how much love she has to give.

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Laura Stewart was an associate story editor and news and lifestyle contributor for The Western Journal.
Laura Stewart was an associate story editor and news and lifestyle contributor for The Western Journal.
Phoenix, AZ