It was an exceptionally emotional moment, yet most unexpected that Peter Robson’s final wish could possibly be granted. The terminally ill man had wished to see his pet dog, Shep, one last time before dying and to the surprise of his family, hospital officials actually allowed them to bring the dog to the owner’s hospital bedside. The staff at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee allowed Peter Robson’s border collie Shep into Ward 3 on Thursday. Usually, infection control regulations mean animals are only allowed into hospitals under exceptional circumstances. Mr Robson’s family felt grateful for “making a dying man very happy”.
NHS staff had asked his relatives whether the 70-year-old, who was suffering from cystic fibrosis, wanted any comforts from home. To that the family said his only wish was to see Shep one last time. But they had no expectation of such a thing being allowed to happen. However, they were told just 20 minutes later that Shep would be allowed to visit – and the dog was brought to his owner’s bed in the ward, where Mr Robson was able to say goodbye to his beloved pet for the final time. In a post on Facebook, Robson’s granddaughter Ashley Stevens said she had been “absolutely amazed and touched” by the gesture from NHS staff at Ninewells. She added: “Our granddad’s last and final wish was to see his dog one more time. I am still in shock that the wish was granted and they went above and beyond today to make a dying man very happy.” Mr Robson had got Shep as a puppy eight years ago, and the dog becoming his companion after his wife died. Ward 3 senior charge nurse Fiona McCallum said she was proud of the team for their “caring and compassionate act”.