24 March, 2016
This is What's Trending Today:
Wednesday was National Puppy Day. Lots of people used social media to post adorable photos of their furry companions.
But what happens when dogs outlive their owners?
That is going to happen to Kathleen Zuidema, a dog-lover from the U.S. state of Washington.
Zuidema has lung cancer and does not expect to live much longer.
She has three dogs, Australian shepherds.
Zuidema is making plans for the end of her life, and she wrote this post on Facebook in March:
"My heart is breaking and I'm sobbing as I write this ..."
Zuidema said she needs someone to take all three dogs, and not break them up. The new owner must have a large yard for the dogs to run, jump and play. The yard must have a fence so the dogs are safe and cannot get loose.
But Zuidema lives on a small island in the cold waters off the coast of Washington state. There are few people on San Juan Island who would be able to take in three full-grown dogs together.
For about three weeks, Zuidema's post was passed from person to person. It was shared more than 30,000 times.
Neighbors being neighbors, another islander, Danielle Cochran, walked over to Zuidema's home and asked if she could help. She did not know Zuidema, but she knew her dogs from seeing them around town.
Zuidema's last wishes will not go unanswered.
A local television station says Cochran and her husband will take the two younger dogs soon. But the third, and oldest, will stay at her side on her deathbed until Zuidema dies.
"I got everything I wanted ... except for the dying part," Zuidema says.
And That's What's Trending Today.
I'm Kathleen Struck.
Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
Would you volunteer to care for the pet of a dying friend? Write to us in the Comments Section or on 51VOA.COM.
Words in This Story
yard – n. an outdoor area that is next to a house and is usually covered by grass
adorable – adj. very appealing or attractive