Rose O’Neill and her husband were devastated after their beloved mastiff Sir Ruckus was put to sleep. But the kindness of a stranger made the dark moments a little bit brighter, O’Neill says. (Courtesy of Rose O’Neill)

Sooke woman looking for kind stranger who offered hugs after dog was put to sleep

Rose O’Neill posted online looking for woman who took ‘the time to comfort a stranger’

A Sooke woman is hoping to thank a stranger who offered comfort in a moment of sadness.

Rose O’Neill took to Facebook Thursday evening to thank a woman who stopped and hugged her when she was crying in the parking lot outside Saseenos Veterinary Services. O’Neill and her husband had just had their seven-year-old mastiff, Ruckus, put to sleep.

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“Thank you for taking the time to comfort a stranger, thank you for the hugs and gently telling me hard decisions are never easy,” she wrote. “Thank you for your kindness. I was so distraught I never got your name.”

“You were so gentle and sweet,” she added. “I appreciate your ability to just be willing to comfort us. Your hugs were needed.”

‘Sir Ruckus’ taught Rose O’Neill “about laughter and life.” The Sooke woman is looking for a kind stranger who offered hugs in the moments after her beloved pet was put to sleep. (Courtesy of Rose O’Neill)

O’Neill hopes the woman will see her post and reach out, or at least know how much her simple act of compassion meant in that moment.

“I really wanted to say thank you to her, it was such an incredible act of kindness,” O’Neill told Black Press Media. “People don’t do that anymore. I’m just so grateful to her, it made such a horrible horrible day just a little bit better…it might have been a simple hug for her – it just took a few moments out of her day – but for me, it meant the world.”

O’Neill and her family, including a dog who was bonded to Ruckus, continue to mourn the loss of the big playful dog, who O’Neill called a “true and constant companion.”

“I learned more about laughter and life from Ruckus than he learned from me,” she wrote. “Ruckus was a huge personality, aptly named, full of life and love. For that reason we could not allow him to suffer anymore for our benefit, no longer could we be selfish.”

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Since she posted about Ruckus and her experience at the vet, O’Neill has been shocked by the number of messages and comments she’s received offering condolences and support. She said the entire experience, while heartbreaking, has reminded her of the power of kindness and compassion – including the role it played in the difficult decision to say goodbye to her four-legged friend.

“We must show him the love that he has unconditionally shown us no matter how difficult the choice. Goodnight Ruckus, you were larger than life. We will miss you. Sleep well.”



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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