Two canine best friends have been forced to say goodbye in the most heartbreaking of circumstances.
Rescue dogs named Heart and Soul were picked up by Stray Rescue of St. Louis on January 2, when the team was out checking on a dog and came upon traffic on the I-70, in Missouri.
“Donna was out checking on another dog when she came up to traffic on Highway 70. There was a group of people on the side of the road gathered around an injured dog and another dog was barking alongside them. She pulled over to see if they needed help,” Natalie Thomson from Stray Rescue of St. Louis told Newsweek. “His loyal friend was by his side, barking.”
Neither dog had a collar or microchip and it wasn’t clear how they had ended up on the highway, but it was apparent that the dog on the ground was badly injured after being hit by a car.
The team named the dogs Heart and Soul and and took them both to the trauma center where injured Soul could be sedated and properly checked out by medical professionals. “He couldn’t move and he was holding his legs straight out from his body. After x-rays, our veterinarians saw a bad break in his back, they said it was ‘severed’ and wouldn’t be able to heal,” said Thomson.
“At Stray Rescue, we will do what it takes to save a life, but if there is no chance at quality of life, the kindest thing is to say goodbye,” she added.
While there was no way to save Soul, they gave Heart the time she needed to say goodbye. On Facebook, the team said “This is true love,” and added “We’re all grieving with her.”
In thousands of comments, supporters of the rescue facility shared their reactions and sent love to the two dogs.
“I can hardly see to write for the tears streaming down my face,” said one Facebook user. “I’m so incredibly heartbroken for Heart and Soul.”
“I’m crying too hard right now,” said another reply. “My heart hurts for her to have to say goodbye. They definitely know.”
“She wanted to be with him, so we gave her time to say goodbye. We kept her with us the entire time, hoping she would understand what was happening,” said Thomson. “We got her set up in an apartment with big, cushy blankets and sat with her. At first, she was scared and growly, but then she didn’t want us to leave her. She’s starting to open up. She was also very dirty and stinky—her fur was covered in something very sticky. We gave her a nice, sudsy bath this morning and will start the healing.”
Heart will be looking for her forever home in the near future.
“Right now she’s still very shy and hasn’t wanted to meet any other dogs yet, but we’ll work with her more this week and see how she interacts with other dogs,” said Thomson.
Meanwhile, the team at Stray Rescue of St. Louis have ensured that Heart will always have a piece of her Soul nearby.
Thomson explained: “We have ordered a small pendant where she can keep some of his ashes on her collar, so she can always carry him with her.”