Off the Leash Off the Leash

Dying veteran reunited with lost dog

Cancer patient living out his final days in hospice care has a joyous reunion with his pooch.

By Vetstreet Jun 10, 2013 3:12PM

John Simpson, a Vietnam veteran with pancreatic cancer, moved to hospice to live out his final days, but he had to leave his dog, Mr. Cutie, behind.

Last Sunday, the dog escaped the backyard of Simpson’s home — the day after visiting him in hospice.

Photo: John Simpson is reunited with his dog Cutie / Fox 13"I really think he was looking for John," said Ann Marie Gemmel, the neighbor who has been checking on the dog.

Simpson, who described Mr. Cutie as the “spark of his life,” had one wish: to see his beloved dog again. Luckily, Missy Figueroa found the dog and posted pictures of him to FidoFinder.

Bing: Prevent your dog from getting lost.

"Seeing this person that I don't even know ... so excited to see his dog, it just makes me happy that I actually got to be here for that and just make him happy," Figueroa said.

As for Simpson? "I'm about to cry," he said during the reunion.

— Read it at Fox News

Join the MSN Living "Here comes the sun" Twitter party tomorrow! Get details here.

More from Vetstreet:
Blind girl reunited with her stolen therapy dog
20 dog breeds sadly losing popularity in America
Why won’t my dog look me in the eye?
7 things pet owners do that drive veterinarians crazy
Solider reunited with lost dog thanks to microchip

Photo: John Simpson is reunited with his dog, Mr. Cutie, / Fox 13

Jun 10, 2013 8:14PM
I'm so glad someone found your dog, I know that I would be devastated if my dog was lost.  I salute you and thank you for your service!!!  God Bless!!!
Jun 10, 2013 8:14PM
All can say , being in the marines many moons ago is semper 
Jun 10, 2013 8:07PM
I am a US Marine vet. Iraq, Afghanistan ...I had 6 uncles in Vietnam .. My brother , my friend... thank you God bless you I have a great girlfriend and a great dog  What a lucky man am I . You too The Cutie is God's gift and you hers Long may you run Semper Fi
Jun 10, 2013 7:57PM
God bless you and Mr. Cutie, Mr. Simpson!! Thank you for your selfless service to our country!!! Miss Figueroa, may you be richly blessed for reuniting Mr. Simpson with his beloved dog. I pray hospice allows him to have his dog by his side for his last days, it would be wrong to deny this poor dying man and his grieving dog, who are missing each other; that bit of comfort!!! :(
Jun 10, 2013 7:51PM

Mr.Cutie is a cutie and animals do give unconditional love.  What is going to happen to Mr. Cutie?  It said that a neighbor was looking in on him.  Who is taking care of Mr. Cutie?  Someone has to be there for him when his beloved owner is gone. Dogs do go through a mourning process.


I am the very proud daughter of an Air Force pilot who served 34 years...I thank you John for your service...I thank you Mr. Cutie for making John's world and now OUR world a better place. This story sure put things back into perspective for me!

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

pics, advice, info and stories for pet lovers

  • Puppy friends (Photo: Courtesy of Mikkel Becker)

    Can dogs have best friends?

    The strong bonds that dogs can form are undeniable.

  • Angry cat (Photo: Thinkstock)

    10 things your pet won’t tell you

    Think you know your pet’s every unspoken wish? Think again. Your pet is unlikely to be capable of communicating her wants and needs in ways you might assume she would. Even those of you most in touch with your pets' feelings are likely missing a few cues here and there.

  • Chesapeake Bay Retrievers (Photo: Thinkstock)

    10 dog breeds that love and hate the water

    The Chesapeake Bay Retriever made both our readers' and veterinary professionals' lists of breeds that love the water.

  • 7 signs your dog owns you

    7 signs your dog owns you

    You might proudly call yourself a dog owner, pet parent or canine guardian, but let’s be real: Your dog owns you. You might be laughing now, but think about it — you've surrendered the best seat on the sofa to him, you plan your entire weekend around his trips to the dog park, and you take him to the groomer more often than you get your own hair cut. And let's not forget who's in every photo on your Facebook and Instagram feeds. Sound familiar? We thought so. But in case you still think you're in charge, here are seven classic signs that your dog is the one calling the shots.

  • 9 unusual dog breeds

    9 unusual dog breeds the vet is seeing more of

    One of the best things about being a veterinarian is all the different dogs I get to meet. Of course, I love the Labs and Beagles and Boxers and Poodles, not to mention those crazy Canine Cocktails, or what my parents used to call Heinz 57s. They are among the more popular dogs out there, and I see a lot of them. In fact, it used to be that it was rare to see anything else. Here are nine dog breeds I sometimes see now that I didn’t see in the past.

  • Shaving dog (Credit: Thinkstock)

    10 dog breeds that shed the most and least

    We asked veterinary experts and readers which breeds they think and if it is OK to shave longhaired pets in the summer.

  • Maine Coon

    12 kid-friendly cat breeds

    If you're searching for a breed that may enjoy the company of a kid, we have some great suggestions for you.

  • Labrador Retriever

    9 large dogs that can be good for families

    When searching for the right dog to add to your family, your first instinct might be to bring home a tiny little thing that your kids can cradle in their laps. But we're here to remind you that the best fit for you may be a large dog breed.

  • Akita

    11 stubborn dog breeds

    Many breeds were developed to do work that required them to act independently. Those dogs tend to be smart, but as family pets, they may need more leadership and training than others. Ultimately, though, they’re worth it. Here are 11 dog breeds that tend to have independent personalities.

  • Chimera cat with interesting facial colors

    13 pets with cool coats and markings

    Many of us here at Vetstreet are fascinated by pets who have unique coats and cool shapes hidden in their markings. So we asked our Facebook fans to share pictures of animals that have interesting coloration, and you did not disappoint. From mustachioed cats to a horse of a different color, here are our 13 favorite photos of pets with cool coats.

  • Jack Russell Terrier

    Dog breeds most likely to chew something up and land in the ER

    We surveyed 284 veterinary professionals (including vets, veterinary technicians and office staff) to see which breeds they felt were most likely to chew something they shouldn't and wind up in the veterinary emergency room, and we've listed the top five answers below. Do you agree with their opinions? Which breeds would you add to the list?

  • ​Simone Pievani, Getty Images // ​Simone Pievani, Getty Images (​Simone Pievani, Getty Images)

    Help your pet brave the Fourth of July fireworks

    This Fourth of July, Americans will celebrate with the sights and sounds of fireworks. While we love the pyrotechnics, it's important to remember that our patriotic midsummer spectacular is no holiday for many of our pets.

buzzing now on msn living
family videos
editor's pick