An 82-year-old grandfather whose dog died while he was in the hospital broke down in tears when his family surprised him with a new pooch.
“My grandfather was overwhelmed and overjoyed. For a couple of weeks, all he’d done was cry. To see a little smile on his face was the reason I did this,” Jodie Payne, 21, his granddaughter, told InsideEdition.com.
John Payne, 82, was devastated when his 9-year-old English Springer Spaniel Swift died of an enlarged heart last month. John himself had been in the hospital with septicemia, as was his wife Shirley.
When John returned home, it was unbearable, said Jodie. “He came home to no wife, and no dog. It was dead silent when he walked in,” she said.
So Jodie set out to bring some joy back into her grandfather’s life, and spent several weeks looking for a replacement dog of the same breed.
She found a rescue Spaniel named Fly. “The dog was left to starve to death. His owner had been a man who divorced his wife and left the family home, and his ex-wife didn’t care about the dog, I think as revenge to the husband,” said Jodie.
“Fly just wanted attention and love,” she said.
Jodie made the 7-hour journey to pick up the pooch, and, surrounded by her family, surprised her grandfather on Sunday.
John was overcome with emotion, and broke down in tears in a video Jodie posted on Facebook. So far, it’s racked up more than 113,000 views.
“He’s like a new man. I was there earlier day. They sleep together in my granddad’s bed. My granddad said, ‘I put my arm out, he comes to me, I tickle his tum tum, and he falls asleep.’ The match is a match made in heaven,” she said.
“They’re inseparable. Fly doesn’t leave his side. His good with my nan as well — she gives him treats,” she said. “The love is definitely shared there.”