All too often as pet owners, we have to endure the heartbreak of saying goodbye to our faithful friends because they aren’t graced with lives as long as humans.

But what about when dogs — who seem hardwired to loyally love their protectors for as long as they live — are forced to say goodbye to their owners instead? Sadly, this is what happened to Mollie the Boxer.

Her owner, 33-year-old Ryan Jessen, checked into Rideout Memorial Hospital last month with what he thought was a migraine.

Unfortunately, the “migraine” turned out to be a ventricular brain hemorrhage that he would not be able to recover from. Jessen slipped into a coma — never to wake up again.

dog owner with boxer

Ryan Jessen and Mollie. Source: Ryan Renteria / Facebook

As if this wasn’t devastating enough for family members, they were even more saddened that the dog Jessen shared such a special bond with might not be able to see him one last time.

Related: Dying Dog Says A Loving Goodbye In This Powerful Video

According to The Dodo,  Jessen’s family explained this to his hospital caregivers, and Rideout Memorial allowed them to bring Mollie in to pay her respects.

dog visit owner in hospital

Mollie gives her owner one last sniff. Source: Storyful / Youtube

Michelle Jessen, Ryan’s sister, posted a touching video of the farewell on her Facebook page. Mollie appears to be confused, but gives her owner one last sniff while family members encourage her to say goodbye to “Daddy Ryan.”

Michelle went on to say:

“THANK YOU to everybody for the outpouring of support… We are sincerely touched and humbled by others’ stories, their sharing in our sadness and the kindness of so many people. Don’t worry about the dog! We’re keeping her!!! She’s part of the family.”

Jessen’s beloved dog will stay in the family, hopefully bringing them whatever comfort she can in this difficult time, and vice versa.

Related: Hundreds Of Onlookers Join Dying Dog For His Magical Last Day On The Beach

Jessen passed away on November 30th, surrounded by loved ones and his furry companion. His sister stated in the Facebook post that the hemorrhage was believed to be brought on by high blood pressure — possibly related to the frequent consumption of energy drinks.

boxer mourning

Facebook memorial posts have been featuring Mollie. This one was captioned: “Mollie will miss her doggy daddy!” Source: Laurie Ann Hickenlooper Jessen / Facebook

There is a small light of positivity derived from this tragedy. Jessen was an organ donor whose heart was donated to a 17-year-old boy on December 1st — just one day after his untimely death.

Michelle said on Facebook:

“A 17-year old boy in CA whose birthday is on Christmas will receive my brother’s heart today. As sad as it is to lose Ryan, we know his heart is going to bring so much joy to the family of the recipient. I wish Ryan could know what a difference his heart will make for that young man.”

We would like to send Jessen’s family, friends, and Mollie our sincerest condolences.


Header images via Storyful (left) / Ryan Renteria (right)

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