It’s hard even to begin to imagine what Mary and John Hall went through after their four-month-old daughter Nora suffered a massive stroke. Until that terrible moment, the baby girl had brought so much joy to their lives. “She was just a delighted baby,” Mary recalled. “Before we went into the hospital, she’d start laughing. She was happy all the time.”
In the short time, they had known little Nora, the family’s eight-year-old basset hounds Grumpy, and Gracie had formed a strong bond with the baby. “Gracie, especially, took on the role as the second mother. Whenever Nora would cry, Gracie would run to see what was wrong. She was always, always by Nora and kissing her and making sure she was okay.”
The stroke had done severe damage to both sides of Nora’s brain. Unfortunately, the doctors at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital held out no hope for recovery or even survival. Hospital staff asked Mary and John if they had any final wishes for their daughter. “I asked, ‘If you could let us have our dogs, we’d appreciate that.’ I didn’t want to go home and have them sniffing around for her and not knowing where she went. They lowered the bed so the dogs could lay with her and Gracie ran up and licked her.”
Nora’s parents were very grateful that the hospital made an exception to the usual rules about visits from pets. As Mary said of the dogs, “It was nice. It brought us a lot of comforts to have them there. But by the end of the first day, you could see they were stressed out and depressed. Normally, they’re very happy-go-lucky. We knew they could sense there was something wrong.”
Sadly, Nora died just three weeks after being hospitalized. Her family put together a tribute video, and we’ve posted it for you below. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the Facebook comments. Don’t forget to like and share: it’s a sad, but touching story.