Nothing lifts a hospital patient’s spirits more than when friends and family stop by to visit. Of course this was true for a grandmother named Dona who was hospitalized in Santa Maria, Calif. earlier this month.
But when her granddaughter found out there was one specific family member Dona wanted to see– her dog, Patsy– she came up with a brilliant way to smuggle her in.
Shelby Hennick, a 21-year-old veterinary technician, scooped up little Patsy in her arms, then threw a blanket over her shoulder, leaving hospital staff with the impression that she was carrying a baby.
Dona actually thought the same thing when Shelby entered the room, figuring she had brought her sister’s baby by for a visit.
“Patsy was quiet the whole time and actually kept licking my arm,” Shelby said. But the pup practically cried for joy once the blanket was removed and she saw Dona laying before her.
The photos Shelby posted on Twitter on June 11 were a hit and soon went viral, with more than 550,000 likes and close to 134,000 retweets.
Because pets can potentially spread diseases, fleas and other parasites, hospitals typically only allow service animals. Shelby came under fire from some Twitter users, but she wrote in later posts that Patsy was clean and disease-free prior to the visit.
And it turns out, Shelby isn’t the first to sneak a pup in to the hospital to visit a sick family member.
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