The Short of It
A Minnesota family's loyal dogs stay by their baby's side until she passes away.
The Halls' 8-year-old basset hounds, Grumpy and Gracie, took an immediate liking to baby Nora when she was born.
"Gracie, especially, took on the role as 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 OK," Nora's mom, Mary, told ABC News.
At 5 months old, Nora suffered a stroke on April 6 that caused severe damage to both sides of her brain, and doctors informed the Halls she would not survive.
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Her parents were devastated, and the dogs also understood Nora was ill.
"Before we went into the hospital, she'd just start laughing. She was happy all the time," Mary says about Nora, adding about Gracie and Grumpy, "Normally, they're very happy-go-lucky. We knew they could sense there was something wrong."
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Nora spent three weeks in the hospital before she passed away on May 2. Before she died, the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis asked Mary and her husband John if they had any final wishes for her.
"I asked, 'If you could let us have our dogs [at the hospital], we'd really appreciate that," Mary says. "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 [Nora]."
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The photos of the loyal pets snuggling with Nora in her hospital bed are at once heartbreaking and uplifting. Nora experiencing so much love in her final hours will be a beautiful memory for her parents as they grieve their daughter's death.
To the Hall family, you are in our thoughts, including Gracie and Grumpy.