Kathleen Zuidema may have had the most bittersweet day of her life. The Seattle native, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy and is not expected to live much longer, has been desperately looking for someone to give her three dogs a forever home once she passes. Zuidema, who has incurable and inoperable lung cancer, took her plea onto Facebook in a post that within hours garnered hundreds of responses from people wanting to help.
Despite the avalanche of kind words and empathetic responses, Zuidema couldn’t seem to find the right fit. Until recently, that is. Just as Zuidema wished, her trio of beloved Australian Sheepdogs will be remaining on San Juan Island, which has been her and the dogs’ home for many years. In fact, the kind-hearted soul that will be taking the dogs in is Zuidema’s neighbor and has actually seen her and the “Aussie Posse” as she calls her pets, several times.
Danielle Cochran, who will be taking the three dogs in, has two dogs of her own and openly advocates for dog rescue and adoption. Upon hearing that the dogs were still up for adoption after all of the news buzz, Cochran and her husband went directly to the neighbor’s house and knocked on the door. The instant chemistry between the couple and the dog trio was palpable. Zuidema knew that this would be the family her dogs would join.
“I feel really, really, really relieved and great about it,” Zuidema told q13 Fox of the match. “But on the other hand it’s heartbreaking.”
As her health continues to decline, Zuidema’s younger two dogs will eventually begin to spend more time at the Cochran property. The oldest of the trio will stay with her until the end. As sad as the whole situation is, the fact that a woman dying of cancer has been selfless enough to think of the well-being of her dogs after she is gone, demonstrates how deep the connection between a human and their animal companion can be. Considering that hundreds of dogs are left homeless each year, what she’s doing is truly amazing! We hope that they enjoy their remaining time together as much as possible.
Image source: Q13 Fox News