As if country singer Luke Bryan hadn’t already had enough heartbreak in his life, his heartwarming story of adopting an 18-year-old dog ended in sudden tragedy.
Bryan is no stranger to sadness. He lost both of his older siblings to tragic accidents, and his young niece died from a heart defect.
Bryan’s love of animals and a promise to his niece that she would someday have a white pony led him and his wife Caroline to start an animal rescue called Brett’s Barn in her honor. They now have chickens, goats, pigs, llamas, and even kangaroos in their menagerie, in addition to a white pony.
The Bryan family’s love of animals apparently has no bounds. Recently, Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue, a no-kill shelter in Nashville, reported that the Bryans adopted an 18-year-old dog named Poochie. The senior dog had been surrendered by his previous owner after causing allergies in the home.
The shelter took in Poochie on February 1st and posted his story to their Instagram page:
“Poochie is an 18, yes 18 year old, Aussie mix who was surrendered to MACC when ‘a family member became allergic to him.’ We are getting him today. He will go to our vet and then will need a hospice foster.”
Senior dogs are notoriously hard to find homes for. Most people want puppies and fear taking on medical bills for animals that need more care in their later years. Senior dogs are often surrendered when families no longer want to care for them.
So when the Bryan family adopted Poochie, their story melted hearts around the country. No one at the shelter expected the elderly dog to be adopted and they were prepared to foster him for the remainder of his life.
But when they posted Poochie’s story online, Bryan saw it and he and his wife Caroline filled out an adoption form and brought Poochie home to hang out with the animals on their farm. And, of course, the shelter was thrilled:
“After reading about Poochie on our social media, Luke Bryan and his beautiful wife, Caroline, applied and adopted Poochie this past Saturday! He is pictured here with his new mom, Caroline and his previous foster, Lacy Marie! He is loving life on the Bryan farm and soaking up all their love. Who knows, maybe Poochie will inspire a country song! Thanks, Bryans!”
At the time of the adoption, the rescue’s founder expressed her excitement that Poochie had found a wonderful home and that the rescue would continue to receive updates on his well-being:
“We are so thrilled for Poochie and know he is in great hands. Caroline Bryan has graciously given us updates on our sweet boy. Their adopting this sweet old guy will allow us the chance to save yet another.”
The good news is that Poochie fit right in and did, indeed, live out his final days running around outside and playing with his new friends.
But sadly, those days were short. People Magazine reported that Poochie passed away just two weeks after being adopted into his new home.
Carolyn Bryan posted the sad news on her Instagram page:
“If the kindest souls were rewarded with the longest lives, dogs would outlive us all.” ♥️ My heart is sad but full to post this..our sweet Prince Poochie has passed away. He lived 18 years and was loved by so many people. My kids especially loved to hear him snore when he slept! Thank you @proverbs1210animalrescue for giving our family the opportunity to love this sweet dog.”
The shelter also paid tribute to Poochie on their Facebook page:
“Poochie enjoyed his time with the Bryan family. He even felt well enough to stroll in their pastures and be a dog again. He sadly passed away a few days ago, but he was loved and passed in his sleep on a big comfy bed. He is now buried on the Bryan farm amid other beloved pets.”
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