Patient Loses Dog, So Nurse Takes Action

Jennifer Smith adopted her patient's dog to keep them together
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2021 8:00 AM CST
Nurse Adopts Patient's Dog To Keep Them Together
Nurse rescues patient's dog from shelter   (Kristopher_K / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

It's an all too common tale: a dog owner becomes ill and must stay hospitalized for a long period, forcing them to surrender the companion they love. In many cases, they lose their dog forever. In the case of Central New York man John Burley and his buddy Boomer, a kindly nurse wanted to make sure that didn't happen. Enter Jennifer Smith, a nurse of 12 years who works at Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing in Rome. She told Spectrum News 1 that she learned of the situation as soon as she got to work the Monday after Thanksgiving when a distraught Burley called the nurse's desk from his room after learning Boomer had been taken to the shelter. "I could tell in his voice that he was scared," she told the outlet.

Smith said that's when Burley asked her to take care of his beloved dog. "I said, 'Of course, John. I will find Boomer and take care of him for you,'" she told CNN. Thinking of her own 13-year-old dog at home, who she says she could never imagine losing, Smith went to the Rome Humane Society the following day and was relieved to find the 18-pound pooch there waiting to be saved. Boomer has since come home with Smith and is able to visit Burley at the rehab center while he awaits release. Other patients get to enjoy Boomer's company, too. "There are just so many worries in the world right now. If I can take one worry away from John, that's the least I can do," Smith told CNN. (More Some Good News stories.)

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