Family Gives Heartbreaking Update on Dog That Waited 7 Years for Owner Who Died to Return

dog that waited for owner

Rufus was a loyal dog that waited for his owner, John, to return. In fact, the sweet pup spent 7 years waiting for John. The problem, though, was that Rufus’ favorite human had died. But now, the family believes these two pals have been reunited in Heaven. Make sure you’ve got tissues handy for this inspirational short story!

Lydia Crochet’s dad, John, adopted Rufus as a puppy. And Rufus quickly became the retired man’s furry best friend.

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Though John and his wife, Teresa, had many dogs over the years, Rufus was “one of the best they'd ever had.” He quickly became John’s shadow. Whether enjoying the outdoors or working on cars in John’s shop behind the house, the two were rarely apart.

“Rufus loved to run in the ponds with Dad when he was checking the traps,” Lydia recalled. “He was a natural hunting dog and loved to chase anything that moved out there: raccoons, possums, nutria, snakes, and even skunks. Dad would laugh watching Rufus gallop through those ponds.”

Devoted Dog Rufus Faithfully Waits For His Owner’s Return

On the rare occasions when John had to go somewhere Rufus couldn’t follow, he wasn’t gone long. And Rufus developed the habit of lying down on the same spot in the driveway each time, where he could face the road and eagerly wait for John’s return.

“Since Dad was retired, he normally wasn't gone for very long periods of time,” Lydia explained. “Rufus knew he'd be right back, so he waited patiently in that one particular spot.”

Sadly, in 2016, Lydia’s dad suffered a heart attack. Doctors discovered an extremely rare “anomaly of the heart” which got in the way of his recovery. After some time in the ICU, John passed away.

“Dad was taken by ambulance the night of his heart attack and never returned; he passed away 17 days later,” Lydia said.

Of course, there was no way to explain this to Rufus. And though Lydia says she knows Rufus sensed something was wrong (what, with all the grieving people all around), he took up his usual spot in the driveway. There, the loyal dog waited for his owner to return.

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As time went by, Rufus continued his vigil. Day after day he took up residence in his usual spot in the driveway and waited for John to come home. It became his daily routine — one that carried on for years. And when Lydia shared a video of Rufus’ relentless watch, it quickly went viral.

WATCH: Loyal Dog That Waited For Owner Year After Year

Despite never losing hope that his favorite human would one day return home, Lydia says Rufus still lived a good life after John’s death. For starters, he still had his mom, John’s wife, Teresa, whom he loved very much. And he still got plenty of visitors, belly rubs, and playtime.

“He would still make his usual rounds in the yard and the ponds,” Lydia explained. “But always made his way back to that spot to wait. Rufus was well cared for, but he missed Dad. It was heartbreaking at times to see him waiting."

Some folks commenting on the viral video about the dog that waited for his owner suggested Lydia and the family should have taken Rufus to John’s funeral for closure. And while Lydia appreciates this as a great suggestion, she said that in the family’s time of grief, it’s just not something they considered.

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“Whether it would have changed Rufus's routine or not, we just don't know,” she said. “But his story reminds us to hug and appreciate our dogs each day. They truly are man's best friend."

Though the dog waited for his owner year after year, Rufus continued living his life, too. He still experienced plenty of joy and love. His daily vigil for John simply became a part of his routine.

“He knows Dad is gone. But he still watches. Just in case…” Lydia said in an update.

John Finally Comes For Rufus

Rufus kept watch until he reached the age of 12. Then, it was his turn to depart from this world.

“We believe he died of natural causes, from old age,” Lydia explained. “We were devastated. His mom, Teresa, misses him so much.”

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However, the family did find a silver lining amidst the gut-wrenching loss of Rufus.

“We believe he's now reunited with Dad,” Lydia said. “Some stated that Dad finally came to get Rufus in his truck. I like that. I believe that if there are ponds in heaven, Rufus is playing in one while Dad looks on. Laughing, of course!”

WATCH: Dog That Waited For Owner Reunites With Him In Heaven

Our pets truly are a blessing from God. They are special fur angels on loan to us from Heaven. And may the undying devotion of the dog that waited for his owner who’d died remind you of God’s unwavering love for you.

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If that kind of unconditional love can come from an animal, imagine the magnitude of the love God has for us!

Please be sure to share this story with anyone who could use a reminder that they are loved!

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h/t: The Epoch Times

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Jeanie & Pippa; Two 3-Legged Dogs | Instagram/jeanie3legs