Woman Provides Terminally Ill Senior Dog with 28 Memorable Last Days Before Euthanasia


Saying farewell is always heartrending, particularly when it involves parting ways with a beloved companion forever.

The prospect of losing a treasured pet to the “rainbow bridge” is a moment dreaded by every dog owner. The fear of that inevitable moment often looms large, a constant shadow over cherished moments.

When Kate Schakols of Texas decided to adopt Rooster, she knew their time together would be fleeting. Rooster was an elderly Labrador, deep into his golden years and plagued with severe health issues.

Why would a young woman adopt such an aged, ailing pet? She wanted to offer him the best final days he truly deserved.

Rooster’s life had been tough—he was old, neglected, and in poor health when he arrived at the Gulf Coast STARS shelter in Brazoria County, Texas. Yet, in his last days, he found love, care, and rescue, all thanks to Katie and her family.

“I fell so in love,” Katie expressed to PEOPLE magazine. “He is just one of the most beautiful dogs I’ve ever seen, inside and out.”

Despite Rooster’s numerous ailments, including cataracts, worn-out joints, and heartworm, Katie formed an extraordinary bond with him. “The connection I had with Rooster was unreal,” she added. “It was clear he had chosen me to be his person.”

Knowing their time was limited, they made every moment count. Rooster was welcomed into a loving home, joining a younger canine sibling, Bailey, and experiencing unprecedented affection.

For the first time, Rooster enjoyed real dog food and felt grass under his paws, a stark contrast to his previous life of hardship.

But as with all good things, this too had to end.

On the 28th day of his new life, tragedy struck unexpectedly with a case of bloat—gastric dilatation-volvulus—a condition that caused his stomach to fill with air and twist painfully. Despite it being treatable in some cases, Rooster’s condition was too advanced for a life-saving gastropexy.

In his final moments, Katie could not be by his side due to safety protocols, but she whispered words of love and regret into his ear before he was taken away.

In a heartfelt video on her TikTok, Katie reflected, “I know my mom is sad, but I wish she knew these were the best 28 days of my life,” imagining Rooster’s perspective.

This story, while deeply sorrowful, highlights the profound impact of compassionate acts. Katie’s brief time with Rooster transformed his final days, showcasing the profound difference kindness can make.

It’s a poignant reminder of our limited time on earth and the importance of extending kindness and refuge to those in need—especially to elder shelter dogs who, despite their past hardships, have boundless love to give.

Let’s be inspired by Katie’s example to open our homes and hearts to those waiting for a chance to experience the joy of a loving home.

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