Local Man Grants Dying Father’s Last Wish

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A local man broke the rules to grant his dying father one last wish.

Rodney Trent had a heart attack after surgery last month and never regained consciousness.

His wife wanted to bring his favorite dog in to see him before he died, but UPMC Passavant wouldn’t allow it.

So their son, who uses a service dog, put his German shepherd’s vest on the tiny shih tzu and walked into the ICU.

“We wanted to have Asia in to see him before he passed because those two had a true love affair,” Viola Trent, Rodney’s wife, said. “He lifted the dog up and she got to sniff his hair and kiss his face.”

The next day, Rodney Trent died.

His wife says she believes he’s looking down and laughing at the lengths they went to for him to see his beloved dog.


More Local News
More Reports By Brenda Waters


One Comment

  1. dog lover says:

    I am really sorry for your loss

    1. Margaret De Vido says:

      My thoughts and Prayers go out to Mr.Trent’s family…God Be With You..

  2. Lois Nicole Spear says:

    i would have done it my dad had massive storkes that was great thing u did it made him happy

    1. Lois Nicole Spear says:

      i sorry for your loss

      1. Loretta says:

        I would much rather see my dogs than to see any human being if I am about to die

  3. Connie says:

    Sorry for your loss but I think that taking a dog into an ICU unit where there are people who are in critical care is irresponsible and callous, you not only broke the rules, you displayed an abject indifference to the patients in the ICU unit. Rules are present for a reason, in this case, animals can and do carry germs that could have been fatal to a person in an ICU unit. I was angry when this aired on the nightly news, the respect for the patients in the ICU wasn’t even considered. I understand your emotional need, but it should not have been done.

    1. to connie says:

      hey connie did you know Humans carry more germs that dogs, many more. Lighten up it’s obvious there are few who agree and honestly is it right for you to sit and bash the actions of someone who just lost a loved one? Don’t ever judge until you are in their shoes.

      1. TIMSTER says:

        I think we can all agree that Connie is emotionally challenged. I would suggest she get a dog to chill out with, but that wouldn’t be fair to the dog. That would be animal abuse L O L

    2. Bob says:

      When a family member is dying, the last thing most people worry about is other people. Human Nature.
      I would have done the same thing.

      1. Margaret De Vido says:

        Thank you,Bob!!

      2. Carla says:

        I agree 100%.

    3. Yup says:

      Connie – dogs are often used to help sick people. Make them happy, life spirits. Maybe you need a dog?

      1. DOG says:

        Connie needs a HEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. me says:

        yes they are but those dogs are bathed before they are let in (EVERY TIME) and they are trained not to jump on or lick people. to those who say “humans carry more germs” that may be but we dont go around putting our bare a**es on the chair or bed that someone else is going to sit on and we dont go around licking and putting our noses on everything we come in contact with. so when you figure in the behavior then no they are not cleaner then people. i understand the family wanting to make him happy but he did not make the request (as it said he never regained consciousness) so it was not granting a dying mans last wish it was simply doing what his wife asked and it could have done serious damage to someone in ICU for resp issues just having the dander in the air. sometimes we need to think twice as people and think out the cause and effect of our choices.

      3. tom says:

        Connie sucks

      4. Andi says:

        People – they let the dog in thinking it was a service dog, so obviously they didn’t think that a dog was a threat to others in the unit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4. Pitt says:

      I doubt they let this dog go around and lick every person laying in ICU. Also, if they will allow service dogs in – what is the difference to once in a while bring a non-service dog in? Same thing, just different dogs. Lighten up. People die of MRSA given to them by hospitals, dogs don’t carry diseases that are passable to humans.

      1. Carla says:

        Great comment. Agree

      2. intn says:

        Actually dogs DO carry germs and diseases that are passable to humans. Before you post something, EDUCATE yourself!

    5. Jessica says:

      i understand connies concern for the safety of other patients but whether it is a german shepard or shih tzu service dog they will both carry germs..a dog is a dog..very sorry for the families lost…hope you find comfort and peace knowing you went out of your way to grant his wish

    6. Jac says:

      I somewhat agree with Connie. Hear me out. I’m not even concerned about germs that dogs carry at this point, I’m more concerned about allergies. Had someone in that ICU been allergic to that cute little dog that could have been life threatening for them. I know they were acting on impulse and it was a sweet gesture, but next time – take everyone into consideration. For the most part that breed is supposed to be ‘hypo-allergenic’ but that’s not a guarantee. These days, you have to be so careful bringing pets, peanuts, etc. into hospitals and even some schools because of allergies. Anyway, RIP.

    7. esmiranda says:

      Anyone who thinks that Connie is cold, heartless, ignorant etc. – if you feel the “no dog” rule is unfair, don’t waste your time bashing Connie. Contact your local health care facility,and talk to the head administrator using the same arguments you are using here to change the policy at the source. Good luck.

    8. KLC says:

      guess you don’t care for pets much — I’m glad they did it! ICU is not one big open place, their are individuals rooms and the dog wasn’t running around licking every patient!

    9. Laura says:

      While I understand both sides of this story, I have to admit Connie is correct. As much as we love our family and friends, and we would like to grant everyone’s last wish (although I don’t see it has his last wish as he never regained consiousness and never expressed a desire to see the dog,) The other people in the ICU were not considered when this dog was brought in. The ICU is for the sickest of the sick patients of the hospital potentially on the brink of death, and if I were a patient or the family of a patient with extreeme allergies to whatever animal what brought in and a death resulted from this, not only would the staff, the hospital and the family of the patient who died as a result would be liable.

      1. William A Dlubak says:

        Great comment Laura, But I am sure ther will be some out there that your comment won’t penetrate. God Bless, you know what you are talking about..

      2. Charles says:

        First of all, have you ever been to an ICU? They are private rooms under positive pressure. Beyond that you would have to ask every person to be sanitized before entering the hospital since remnants of their dog/pets or friends pets would still be all over them and their friends and their friends friends and so on and so on and so on. Perfection is not possible and striving for it just makes you ridiculous.

      3. Karen Penland Baldwin says:

        The hospital did not have a policy against service animals so had the dog been an actual service dog it would have been allowed in anyway. It’s not like they took the dog to each patients room. I for one think they did the right thing.

      4. Paula says:

        Connie is a brutal piece of sh!t

    10. Laura says:

      I can understand both sides of this issue, but I have to admit Connie is correct. As much as we love our family and friends, and everyone would always love to grant everyone’s dying wish (although I don’t see it as his wish as he never regained consiousness and never expressed it as his wish), to bring this animal into the hospital without considering the fact that the ICU is for the sickest of the sick patients who are potentially on the brink of death was irresponsible and reckless. If I were a patient or the family of a patient, and if that animal brought something in and affected the health of either myself or my loved ones, not only the staff, the hospital, and the family that brought that animal in would be liable financially in a court.

    11. Jenn says:

      Did you notice that he could bring in the service dog? beyond the training whats the cleanness difference between a service dog thats 75lbs and a relatively small dog that had to lifted up to see her master one more time??

    12. Mona Farrow says:

      What’s th e differnce between a service dog (German Sheperd) and a Shih Tzu? A dog is a dog. A dog gives uncondiional love and as stated early can calm and relax an ill person. If they were that close — it was the best thing a love one could do. I have found out in several occasions with friends and relatives who are supposely unconscious, heard and knew everything that went on in that ICU. We will never know what joy and peace this action this dog gave to his owner in his last moments.

    13. Carla says:

      Oh Connie, you are a very sad person. Like Bob said, when you have a family member that is dying what matters to you is your family member, doing everything possible to give him his last wish. I would have done the same thing.

      1. Sarah Connelley says:

        Really Carla, you would have only cared for YOUR family memeber and not given a ratt’s behind to everyone else in that ICU?? Really??!! Then that makes you about as selfish as they come.
        My husband of 40 years died in an ICU of a COPD related illness. On top of that he was severley allergic to dogs. Watching him trying to get just enough oxygen to keep him alive was more heartbreaking that I will ever be able to express.
        If a dog was brought in to the ICU when my husband (who was the kindest man I had ever had the priviledge to know) was gasping for breath, not only would I have them forcefully removed from the hospital, I would have sued the family for going against hospital policies, that family would be paying me for years to come for their stupidity.
        While it is a nice thought to comfort someone who is dying by granting thier last wish, even this one as good hearted as it was, by putting everyone else around you at risk by doing so was thoughtless and selfish.
        If you think I am wrong, wait until it’s someone you love is in that position before you comment.

    14. NAMVET says:

      One the hospital let them bring in the dog under the disguse of being a working dog, whats the difference between a working dog and a normal dog (one works the other one doesn’t. hair ,germs,or what ever are the same, So the hospital had no problems with a dog being in there as long as it had a job,

    15. junior says:

      Connie, would you have felt the same way if it was his REAL service dog and not his dad’s pet that he brought in? Or should the son who needed the dog not be allowed to see his father because of his dog? More people DIE in a hospital exposed to germs than those that die after discharge to their germ filled homes.

    16. Maggie Schneider says:

      Connie I agree, That is Why there should be arrangements that make it safe for things like this to happen. If the person was dying there should be a palliative care area where no one else would be put at harm and the emotional needs of the paitent- family could be met.

    17. D says:

      Connie I work in a hospital and to me that was the greatest thing a person could do for a dying patient. I would do it in a heartbeat…..Back of a little

    18. Laura says:

      Sorry Timster, Connie is right. While caring for your loved one is a great thing to do but it’s when we neglect or flat out ignore the rights of others because we think only of ourselves, that is where conflicts arise.

      1. TIMSTER says:

        No need to be sorry Laura, you are wrong anyways. If you had a loved one, and this situation would arise, you would do the same thing. Any person with a heart at least would.

    19. Beags says:

      Connie, if it was so dangerous to bring a dog into the ICU, then the hospital staff would/should’ve not allowed it. These people didn’t sneak the dog in or try to conceal it. The dog strolled in with a service vest. So the irresponsibilty and callousness you speak of lies on the ICU staff. If you have such an issue with it, contact them, bash them. Don’t lash out at this grieving family.

      p.s. get over yourself.

    20. clara says:

      You obviously are not a pet owner and don’t understand the connection that a person can have with their dog. They love you unconditionally and are perhaps the best friends that a human can have. They don’t judge (as you have) and don’t have as many “germs” as any human at any given time.

    21. Charles says:

      The only thing keeping his beloved dog away was the service vest. What about all the service animals that do have proper access? Are they germ free? When talking about being callous, you fit the mold

    22. Neil says:

      Thank God we have Connie as our moral barometer …

    23. Andi says:

      Connie – you aren’t all there apparently. The hospital allowed a dog into the unit (thinking it was a service dog), so apparently they felt that a dog’s presemce wouldn’t hurt others in the unit. Duh.

    24. Marsia Powers says:

      When my mom had a stroke and was spending a month at Kaiser we brought our Shepard. The nurses knew and took turns coming into the room. They felt the dog was a good stress reliever for my mom and for them.

    25. paulRN says:

      Connie I hope to God you are anyone like you is never doing direct patient care or making decisions regarding patient care. You are callous and obviously bitter! As a criitical care nurse who has years of experience the dog is the least of any “germ” concern! I am ashamed to even see your response and blatant disregard for the human experience,

    26. Lisa says:

      Well said Connie! I know it was important to your family, but there were many other people who needed to be considered. Any number of patients in that ICU could have had weakened immune systems, and the last thing they need is an animal bringing more germs in. Rules are in place for a reason…..to keep ALL the patients safe!

    27. rtg says:

      I’m guessing the dog had its shots, it didn’t lick anyone else, and frankly, some people simply seem to have an annal compulsive need to be sticklers to rules regardless of the probability of anyone actually catching some mysterious disease. Sometimes, the heart does indeed come first, something I’m guessing you may learn one day, or then again, maybe not. Personally, I’d rather see my dog than most people, and will probably escape from whatever hospital I might be found in, because of annal compulsive people who won’t allow me to be with the creatures I treasure at the time I most need them.

    28. Heather says:

      I am sorry but if they allow service dogs in then they should allow a family pet. A service dog is the same as a pet dog except for training. Being a service dog does not mean it does not have germs.

  4. Tim in Ohio says:

    I’ve been single my whole life. I’ve had my dog for 16 years. If I could feel the physical touch of my dog a last time relating a lifetime of friendship, my last breath would be a sigh of relief. God’s Speed.

  5. life is short says:

    I probably would have done the same thing…and was he actually in ICU…we dont know…
    My only grip is to dog lover…dont blame the nurses for hospital rules…UPMC is fining its employees and Doc’s for not washing their hands so I think this would entail a fine or worse if they allow it….just sayin

  6. Bernie says:

    God Bless …I hope my child will be brave enough to do the same for me….

  7. R Barnes says:

    Connie needs to get a life I had a stroke a few years ago and my dog was brought in to the hospital and helped me. They thought it was good my recovery it worked for me.

  8. george says:


    I work in an ICU. Trust me…the amount of infections there are 10 times more dangerous than a dog that licks its butt and licks you.

    1. esmiranda says:

      Since you know for a fact that the “no dogs” rule is biased and not based in scientific fact, perhaps instead of arguing with Connie here in the comments you should go to the chief administratior of the facility where you work, and use the words you use here to make them change that “no dogs” rule. I wish you luck – finding another job.

  9. William A. Dlubak says:

    I do respect someones last wishes but, when it endangers others you must be logical. I know dogs are usually clean but ICU has this rule for a reason. What if
    a dog hair, which is very light and easily carried through the air lands on a patient with an open wound, it would be detrimental to that patient and the patients family. Rules are made for a reason, and this is a just reason. Dog hairs can carry infectous elements especially around patients with open wound. Why would you chance another life over a last wish? You have my sympathy on your loss. May God bless you and your family in the name of Jesus Christ.

    1. jessica says:

      its not like they said the dog couldnt come in they assumed it was a service dog so whether they allowed a service dog or a “service dog” a dog is a dog the both have hair they both have germs

      1. Laura says:

        Exactly Jessica, The hospital thought it was a service dog. What’s the difference between a service dog and a regular house pet?? The difference being that a service dog is washed from head to toe shortly before entering a facility thereby significantly reducing the risk of allergic reaction. How many times does a regular dog get washed?
        This family, and I do not begrudge anyone from granting a last wish, took their scruffy unwashed dog into an area in which this was prohibited to an uncertified service dog into an ICU. If anyone had died from that, again, the staff would have and probably have been repremanded, the hospital and the family that brought the dog would have been sued for neglegence.
        Yes humans are germ infested creatures, but the ICU has rules for a reason and they must be respected and enforced.

      2. Charles says:

        Laura, you foolishly base your argument on the NON-FACT that the dog was dirty, Since the family has a service dog, wouldn’t it be more likely that they wash it and complied with cleanliness requirements? You sounded reasonable earlier, why ruin that with stupid assumptions?

  10. Jack Beiber says:

    god bless you for helping your dad have a lastbright day.

  11. Doug the pet lover says:

    I am sorry for your loss, too. Good for you! I would have done it, too, and I sure hope someone would have done it for me. William, if all the hospital employees can go sit outside with scrubs on and then come back in and tend to patients, how do you think that is not MORE risky to the patient than the chance in ten million that a hair is going to float into an open wound and cause an issue? I understand hospitals need to be clean, but with all the things they allow to go on this is not worth getting worked up over. Plus, it may have even HELPED others in the hospital that benefited from seeing the dog. It is so good to see someone caring enough about a parent to do this – God bless you!!

  12. William A. Dlubak says:

    All I am saying Doug is why enhance the possibilty of infection. This is true, they do go outside, but not into a kennel. They also wear protective gear and isolate those with open wounds. Why take the chance? I would be asking for my Bible knowing I was washed clean by the Blood of Jesus Christ. A dog would be the last thing on my mind. Pleasing my God would without a doubt be my mission. But I would not chance putting anyone at risk even at the smallest
    possibility. God Bless You and all you do……..

    1. TIMSTER says:

      William A. Dlubak, are you related to that idiot Connie? You both have to be from the same gene poll. And to bring religion into a forum about a dog, look in the mirror. Usually people who qoute the bible have guit about something, and remember, a dog is one of God’s living creatures.

      1. William A. Dlubak says:

        Hey Timster, Your comment reflects your education. When you graduate grade school, let me know!!!!!!

      2. Yankee fan says:

        Hey William – how Chirstian of you to degrade someone’s education. Is that what your religion teaches you? To judge others and look down on those who are less educated than you? If so, you can have your religion. I’ll take my dog over your judgmental Bible any day!

      3. TIMSTER says:

        Billy A. Dlubak, for what it is worth, I have a Masters Degree. This helped me understand social religious misfits like you in today’s society. Quick question, what ever happened to “Turn the other Cheek”? Oh that’s right; you must have one of those bibles that you refer to when it is convenient for your ideologies.
        Shouldn’t you be protesting a veteran’s funeral somewhere? I am a god fearing person, but I keep my religious beliefs to myself. Hypocrite. Go Yankees, Yankees fan.

      4. Andi says:

        TIMSTER – Why do you care if he made a simple comment about God? You were quick to jump on this. He said nothing judgemental – you actually were the one spewing out all of the judgement, which actually makes YOU the hypocrite. In his reply, he only simply pointed out (correctly I might add) that calling someone an idiot when you can’t spell simple words is funny. That makes him no less of a Christian. I can guarantee if someone from another religion had made a post, you wouldn’t have griped, and don’t you dare equate all Christian’s with those sicko’s at Westboro Baptist! Also, if you are so “God-fearing”, you would understand that religion has everything to do with everything, even down to a simple discussion about a dog. So, now it’s your turn to look into the mirror.

    2. Lainey S says:

      Maybe the spirit of God was being carried by the dog. Probably more germs on the Bible cover than on the dog.

  13. Dog Kennel says:

    The hospital including the ICU is already like a kennel from the tons of fur and dander from pets on peoples clothing. Also, imagine the the pathogens from the soles of shoes.How could one think one dog would matter? What a relief the hospital recognized that a dog is fine to go in there,howevet with service dog certification.Brilliant effort on part of the son. May God comfort the family.

    1. thin about it says:

      germs from the bottom of shoes stays on the floor but a dog walks on the floor then they put him up on the bed where a nurse lent down to check his vitals then she went to another patients bed to check on them and maybe she brushed against the edge of his bed causing the germs from the floor to be transfered to his bed where his hand of arm comes in contact with them and all of a sudden now this patient had a raging staph infection from an “unknown” source, say that patient is too weak to fight it off and dies how the h*ll would you feel to know that just because YOU wanted (he was unconscious and never asked for the dog) to bring a dog in you basically killed an innocent person. try explaining that to another family who lost their loved one because you made a decision without thinking it through and try living with that on your conscience. Still think he was “brilliant” ? If so your not too brilliant yourself.

      1. Blondie says:

        Please stop getting your medical information from the tv show Scrubs.

  14. William A. Dlubak says:

    In most ICU’s they make you wear hospital clothing before you go in. Pending on what is the risk. They are aware of these things you mentioned. But rules are for a reason, not just to anger the patients or families. Why don’t you call them and ask them why? God Bless

    1. Yup says:

      Nurses and doctors shouldn’t be going outside to smoke then coming back in, I don’t want someone smelling like pewp to tend to me.

      1. Laura says:

        Yup I completely agree. Any hospital staff stupid enough to smoke fully knowing and seeing the damaging effects of smoking by watching them die from smoking related illnesses should either quit or find another profession before they land up as patients themselves.

    2. My Own says:

      William, you need to go visit an ICU because they do not make you wear protective clothing. A hospital is a breeding ground of germs, the few extra from that dog don’t make a difference especially since there are not transferrable to humans. I think you need to get a dog and find what true love is. The love of God is all fine and well, I believe in Him and seek his guidance, but when I’m on my death bed someone better bring me MY DOG.

    3. Blondie says:

      If the rule stated that there were *NO* dogs allowed, then they wouldn’t even be able to let a service dog in, but they did, so common sense tells me that the people working in the hospital know the risk of having a animal in there and know when they can & can’t. Think about.

    4. Vicky says:

      I am a nurse and have worked in the ICU. It has been years since people have to change clothes to go into the ICU, including nurses and doctors. Now this may not be true where you live, but this was a cost saving effort. Only surgery changes, and sometimes OB.

      There are dogs that are therapy dogs, and they are allowed to be placed on beds and lick the patients face, if it is given the command to do so. If a person is allergic, they stay away from those rooms. It is obvious from the story that a dog had been in there before, so there doesn’t appear to be an issue unless the dog had fleas. And the way this family loved their animals, I highly doubt that was the case. I would bring my family members pet in, rules or not. A hospital is so teeming with germs that are deadly, that what a dog brings in is nothing in comparison.

  15. nurseamy02 says:

    At AGH we not only allow dogs to come in and visit but we have a volunteer service that constantly walks dogs through the halls for any patients that want a visit…I think its an amazing idea and I have yet to hear a complain from my patients. Its really therapeutic .

    1. TIMSTER says:

      Thank you Amy for you service, nurses are a dying breed.

      1. William A Dlubak says:

        For your info Timmy, The Lord said to go out and spread his word to everyone. I did not call no one a name, I was called a name. I do not need a hypocrite like you to preach to me. Why don’t you go look into a mirror, All I can do for you is pray, and I advise you learn the gospel, we are not to keep the Lords teachings to ourselves. You talk a good game, but thAT ALL IT IS , TALK. Try using scripture instead of judging, if you know any????

      2. TIMSTER says:

        Well “JUDGING” from you comments Billy Boy. I don’t need a bible toting person who can’t take it in the real world to preach to me and others explaining religious values. As I mentioned earlier, I am a God fearing person, and I only have to explain my actions to him. I have no guilt, which in turn, I don’t need to “Preach”. For you to be so religious, you must have done some terrible and immoral acts in the past. It is your “GUILT” that makes you state passages and spew false love for God. The last time I checked, this forum is for TALK, I don’t need someone like you to pray for me, please don’t.

  16. terri says:

    i would do the same thing dogs are like kids they know when people are sick im happy you did what you did and your dads happy too hes looking down and thanking you for hes last wish know this you did nothing wrong buy doing it my heart gos out to you and your family god bless

  17. Nina Lyons says:

    My old neighbors… Wonderful Wonderful people and real animal lovers. So happy they did that for Rodney… and for Asia… God Bless…. I know Rodney is looking out for all of them now…

  18. j says:

    Its not always the Nurse who is the mean one. We are on the front line of hospital policies, management, and other things that can get us fired. We are the first ones with our neck on the chopping block. Bringing any visitor in without regard to the policy can get us canned. Most of us are just trying to keep our license. It is very unfortunate that we have to play security guard just so we can do our job. Recently I had to endure verbal and near physical abuse from a non-compliant patient every half hour for 10 hours of my shift. So think before you label us as “mean”. We are just trying to do our job the best we can.
    Sad to know that you must have had a poor experience with a nurse or two, and clearly do not have a family member in the medical community.
    With that said, If I were in their shoes I would have tried to do the same.

    1. hunnykins says:

      I agree. I work at a hospital, and people don’t understand that we on the “front lines” are expected to play rule police, and our livelihoods ARE on the line if we don’t make sure rules are followed. As for being mean, I admit I can get cold and business like when pushed and pushed by the same person trying to bypass hospital policies I’m expected to enforce. I try to be polite and courteous, but “nice” does tend to go out the window when the pushing gets to the point of personal insults and threats. We do try very hard on a daily basis, but we are only human.

    2. Carol Thomas says:

      I’ve been a nurse since 1983, mostly in ICU/CCU. My opinion is we are not responsible for policing a policy that is not in the best interest of the patient and family.
      We are patient advocates first. I have many, many times turned a blind eye to theraputic pet visits, baby visits…whatever. If it comforted a family to bring the little dog in to see a dying patient, DO IT! I’ve cleared the way for bigger dogs to come up the back stairs on the weekend.
      When a patient is dying and you’ve done all you can, the family becomes your patient and you do what’s best for them. This was reasonable. If caught, mea culpa, I’m sorry.
      I’ve done alot of things against policy over the years:
      Advising family to transfer their loved one to a university center for better care. Advising them to switch doctors while the medical community drags their feet on getting rid of a dangerously bad surgeon. The families have always protected me from scrutiny from management, and if they hadn’t, well, so be it. Patient advocate first, hospital employee second!

    3. Sara Fine says:

      Nurses are amazing. My mother and two of my aunts were nurses and I have nothing but the greatest respect for their decisions, compassion, and strength.

  19. Matthias says:

    I would have to think that the hospital staff knew it was safe to bring the dog into the dying man’s room and that no other patient was in harm’s way because of that act.

    Dying and death is a sad event as we all know… and it was a good thing that this dying man had a chance to smile at the end of his time.

  20. Debbie says:

    dogs are usually better behaved than some of the people and their kids that go to visit relatives and friends in the hospital. I have worked as a nurse in local hospitals for over 30 years. There are many sources for germs that are more of a concern that what a dog could bring in (MRSA). For those of you who are against this. lighten up. Kudos to the son who did what he thought was best for his Dad and Asia. Bad marks for “Pass-away” Hospital (as we affectionately call it in the North Hills) for being unfeeling and so regimented. Now I have even a better reason NOT to seek my health care at that facility!

    1. Big Daddy Kahuna says:

      Well said Debbie. Yes, a lot of us humans carry that MRSA bug around … and yes …. I would agree that most dogs behave better than humans!

  21. Chuck says:

    My wife had emergency surgery at Passavant and while she was in emergency after surgery waiting for a room we smuggled 2 Doxie puppies in a big bag into see her.They were so excited to see her thet were jumping out of the bag and whining; it was cute and really helped cheer her up.

  22. William A. Dlubak says:

    . They do on certain cases make you put on special garments when an open wound is involved. I know this because I went through it when my sister was in the hospital. A dogs love for you cannot be compared to TRUE LOVE. Sure, you can love your dog but True Love? I had a dog and I did love it, but if I was in the hospital, I would have respect for the other patients. Maybe one patient has
    an allergy to animals, you do not know this. There is a time and place for everything, a hospital is not the place although to be truthful, if that was someone I loved and they requested to see their dog, I would pursue every
    avenue to get that dog in to see my loved one. In closing, to some degree i concur, but to others I do not. Depends on the situation. God Bless

  23. Happy says:

    That’s what is wrong with this world everyone is too worried about how everything affects everyone else. If YOU smoke, I might get cancer, if YOU bring a dog into the ICU I might get sick. We are a bunch of whiners. I’m glad
    this family was able to do this for their loved one.

    1. Joe says:

      Actually it is the exact opposite. People only care about themselves and getting what they want. This situation is a good example of this.

      Right or wrong there is a rule that prohibits animals in the ICU. This family felt the rule did not apply to them or they were more important than every other family that had someone in the hospital at that time.

      Do not use a tough situation (loss of a loved one) to justify your selfish behavior. We all lose people at some point.

      If this is acceptable, where is the line?

      1. Blondie says:

        Obviously, there was NOT a rule prohibiting animals in the ICU or a service animal would NOT have been allowed in there. Do you think service animals are specially bred to be antibacterial?? No, they are regular animals (just trained differently). Do you think the staff didn’t know what they were doing when they allowed what they thought was a service animal in the ICU??

  24. Big Daddy Kahuna says:

    Well folks, here is a perfect example where common sense should take over, but again, the “sticklers” get in to the mix and put their foot down. Great to see the family get around them this time!

  25. mike says:

    Bravo for the wonderful Trent family to bring in RODNEY’S baby Asia to see him one last time. Double bravo to Rodney’s son Tom to give Rodney a Vietnam vet who fought for our country, one last wish on earth. Dust no Dust , Dander no Dander, nothing matters more that the human heart.. Geez… Dying mans last breath of love for his wife and son and baby dog Asia . It’s a no brainier.. If we worried about every little germ and infection we would all be in a vacuum with masks upon masks and would not live.. These beautiful people did what I’m sure every loving family member would do for their loved one for one last time if given the chance. ..and this little soul is what Rodney loved so much in his short life.. What a story. I cried. When did everyone become so sterile and loose heart. Time for the hospitals and places like that to come up to 2011. It’s been proven that animals heal and give life to people that are depressed and lost; and even people with Alzheimer are benefiting from these beautiful. dogs, Time to change the rules. Every case is different and not all is one size fits all. Do u hear that UPMC Passavant.!!! ICU need to re think your policy for the dying.. God bless to Mrs. Viola Trent and her son Tom and Rodney’s little Asia.My prayers for your loss..

  26. William A. Dlubak says:

    Happy is right to a certain extent. That is the problem in this world. We are supposed to worry about our brothers and sisters. We are our brothers keeper.
    Those that only worry about themselves is a sin. If you do not concur, I suggest
    you read the Bible. After reading that statement from Happy, reflects the
    narcissism that ruins this country…………..My deepest sympathy to Mrs. Trent and her family. May the Lord comfort you in this time of need…

    1. Merideth says:


      Clearly you and your sister are infected. That is why they made you put special garments on. That is the ONLY reason people change before entering a room in a hospital today. Your sister probably has MRSA or had C-DIF. You, obviously, have C-DIF of the mouth. As an ICU nurse told you before it hasn’t been done in years. I work in a hospital and the only people that change are OR and OB. You’re rude and I’m ashamed that you have used God’s name in this story. I will admit I am judging you but what you’ve said to people on here is not alright. The probability that all these “germs” could have been spread is low. Also, the chances of a person being allergic to the dog-low. The dog didn’t go into any other room and the patients in the ICU aren’t walking around-normally. I hope God washes your mouth and brain out with soap. Soon.

      1. William A Dlubak says:

        The Bible says we are to obey authority until his second comming. God is involved in everything, if you were Christian you would know this. I can tell you
        know nothing about the New Tesrament. God needs to wash out your brainand not soon, immediately. I have no diseases, but I am sure you do. You need to repent like the rest of us. God is involved in all his creations, you will learn this if you study the NT. This incident with my sister happened in 1994. It’s people like you that caused her demise, learn your job also. Even the nurses had to wear these things. When you grow up, then you can talk to me, otherwise, DON’T SEND ME NO MORE COMMENTS, I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY TO YOU…….

      2. Merideth says:

        No I don’t know anything about the New Tesrament. I’m Lutheran and proud to be a Lutheran. You are clearly a LIAR then if this happened in 1994. I like how you say that a God is involved in all his creations…now. My job skills have nothing to do with what this is about and just for your comfort….I do know my job and I go above and beyond. Oh…you’ve God blessed everyone else but me….hmmmm…you’re the worst Christian I’ve ever had the pleasure of conversing with.

      3. Merideth says:

        Just as a suspected. I looked at your facebook William. You are CRAZY! I hope I’m never in New Kensington, PA. It also says you studied law. Therefore, you know nothing about the medical field and should stick to things that you know.

      4. William A. Dlubak says:

        My Dear Merideth,
        If you know nothing about the New Testament, how can you even call yourself a Christian. You are a wannabe…Do not condemn me pagan. By they way, I said God is involved in everything. You do not have a clue about my sisters situation at that time, so whatever you go above and beyond on God knows. I know more about the medical field than you can even dream of. So if your looking for a fight, try someone else, you bore me. By the way GOD BLESS SWEETHEART…….

      5. Merideth says:


        You need to reread what you wrote to me and what I wrote back. You need to learn how to spell testament. Then you’ll see that I was laughing in your face like you did to somebody else on here for their spelling. Just because you’re disabled doesn’t make you know everything and anything about the medical field. You went to school for law not to be a MD-like me. Animals have been PROVEN to help people heal faster. There was a news story out of Minneapolis, MN today. A husband packed up a horse to bring to visit his wife… and guess what! She’s in the ICU too!

      6. Merideth says:

        My bad William. She’s not in the ICU. That would be another story I read about a patient getting better after seeing their pet. http://www.kare11.com/news/article/913891/391/Patients-horse-visits-hospital There is the link about the horse.

    2. Laura says:

      You know what William, I am an agnostic, and for once on these crazy comments boards, I completly agree with your way of thinking in regards to how people should treat othe people.
      We get so caught up in our own lives that we forget that others around us have feelings too just as we do, and that their needs are just as important as ours.
      While you and I will probably never agree on the whole religious aspect of things, may your faith give you comfort. Have a wonderful day!

      1. William A Dlubak says:

        Bless you Laura, you have more common sense than most of these people.
        I wish you the best, your rationality is impressive.

      2. TIMSTER says:

        Laura, I’m a hypocrite? You have the nerve to question my statement about William and Christianity, when you are an Agnostic? You are a clearly confused individual who spews hypocrisies.

  27. Al Coholic says:

    He probably would have rather had a beer…

  28. Eleanor says:

    Mr. Dlubak — surely a God whose son Jesus Christ was the epitome of compassion would want us to follow in his footsteps and practice compassion for others. And as I recall Jesus Christ got in pretty big trouble for breaking the rules, so maybe breaking the rules is not always a bad thing.

    1. William A. Dlubak says:

      Eleanor, we are talking apples and oranges. But I see your point, Bless You…

  29. kristy says:

    william a dlubak – get a life. you’re a turd.

    GOOD WORK, “SON!” i would’ve done the same thing.

    1. William A Dlubak says:

      Kristy… I have a life, that turd you smell is probably your breathe. Come back next century when you grow up

      1. William A. Dlubak says:

        By the way you call me names is not very professional. All I am saying is to grow up, we are not in grade school. I apologize about my staement, but you made me angry. Let’s leave it at that. I DO NOT APPRECIATE BEING CALLED A TURD. God Bless, best wishes for the future…..

      2. TIMSTER says:

        William, now now, I received a tweet from God. He said you are falling from his graces by calling his children names. You mention biblical passages in these forums, but yet you call people names. Maybe you should read God’s Bible, not “The Bible for Idiots and Hypocrites”. Kristy I hope what I just mention will explain what kind of individual William A. Dlubak really is.

    2. Merideth says:

      Well said Kristy!

  30. timberonthesound says:

    Too many laws, not enough wisdom.

    Too many regulations, not enough compassion.

    Sometimes, “What the Hell”, is the best choice.

  31. Margaret De Vido says:

    I would have done the same thing,for this person…If that is all he’s asking for,before he passed..So be it!!!

  32. joyce says:

    i believe that was a wonderful thing you did with the dog. you took a risk just for your father not to mention the dog. good for you. i commend you. so sorry for your loss to you and your family.

  33. Bonnie Gray says:

    all i can say is God bless the family and dog, this story just moved me!

  34. Ann says:

    I would NEVER have my loved one in a UPMC hospital anyway! They get away with underpaying their employees and only care about profits. For those of you that work at UPMC…you do know you could go work at a hospital outside of western PA and make A LOT more with the same cost of living. UPMC Passaway is probably the worst in the area.

  35. John says:

    This is the reason I don’t want to die a Hospital. If dogs aren’t allowed then I want to die with my dog at home.

  36. Mike says:

    Amen to that john!!!!!

  37. William A Dlubak says:

    Good comment Connie-Kudos

  38. HH says:

    I hate the medical profession for reasons like this. They think they are God, and that our bodies and lives become theirs until they decide to “release” us. I never see them except as a last resort.

  39. Pet lover says:

    Nice ! That be my wish too probably

  40. Kerri Cook Halligan says:

    My 1 year old daughter GOT a new virus that complicated her recovery during her 1 month PICU stay when she was younger. It likely came from someone on her medical team because neither my husband nor I were sick. Let’s ban all people from hospitals. Oh wait….

  41. Red says:

    You have my condolences and that is a neat story. I bet he was smiling from heaven down at his son, wife and little dog 🙂

  42. Stephanie says:

    my daddy’s nurses in ICU helped us to bring his constant companion, Precious (a mini-dachsie) in to see him a week before we withdrew life support. she curled up on the bed with him. in his arms. he opened his eyes a bit and smiled around the ventilator tube… it was sooooo worth the trouble we all go into. 🙂 i’d do it again in a heartbeat…

  43. Da Ork says:

    Well I have a Hyena, yes a Hyena from Africa. I would rather die in my house in pain as long as I could sit one last time next to my beloved pup. Good for the family, he waited a lil longer to see his dog

  44. KAC says:

    I say good for you let the man have dignity and a little comfort in his last moments.

  45. Blondie says:

    Do you folks who are so against what this man did for his father realize that service animals are not specially bred to be antibacterial? They carry the same germs as any regular dog. So, it seems pretty obvious that there was NOT a rule strictly prohibiting animals in the ICU or even a service animal would NOT have been allowed in there. Do you think the staff didn’t know what they were doing when they allowed what they thought was a service animal in the ICU??

  46. kitzykatz says:

    Here’s a thought. Why couldn’t the hospital staff have placed this dying man on a gurney and wheeled him to a day room for a last visit with his beloved pet? It would be away from the ICU, the family would get their their request granted… win-win.

    Most ICU rooms are isolated, therefore protecting each patient from outside contamination as much as possible. I daresay a housepet carried into a room with a single patient is rather low on the list of ICU health risks. I’ve seen families break rules by bringing sick children to visit patients. I’ve seen grown adults coughing and hacking their way through the ICU to visit someone. Not to mention hospitals have to institute stringent regulations on employee handwashing (one would think handwashing comes naturally if you work in a hospital. Not for everyone).

    While dogs shouldn’t run the hallways of a hospital, a short visit to a dying man isn’t something to get all up in arms about.

  47. douglasson says:

    Have you ever considered the posibility that exposure to the dog hastened the death of this man? Could be a manslaughter case…

    1. TIMSTER says:

      You have to be a lawyer with a comment like this Doug. Did you really read or watch the story, it states ‘Dying Man”. There is no way you are human, you have to be from outer space. What if the dog has issues after this visit? would it be Dogslaughter? Quick call Jim Eckers

  48. Sara Fine says:

    This story brought tears to my eyes. I would want to see my pets before I die too. I’m glad this man broke the rules. I would do the same. I believe Hospice floors allow special visits–maybe even for pets.

  49. Kimberly in TX says:

    If it were me in the ICU, I’d want to be surrounded by my family, not a pet. I love my two kitties to pieces; they’re like my babies. But they’re still animals. If the man was in recovery, then yes, totally agree that the presence of his pet might be beneficial. However, this guy was completely unconscious. The wife and son did it for themselves, not for the dying man. I also believe that it doesn’t matter if they brought the dog in plain sight or not. Rules are rules. The man is dead, and the dog won’t remember that he got to see his owner for the last time. Puppy will still feel the loss of his human either way.

  50. William A Dlubak says:

    ANDI- Send another comment when people can understand that jiberish

  51. Jana says:

    You can bet your last dollar that I would have done the same thing too. I am very sorry for your loss.

  52. Tracy says:

    I have to wonder… Pretending a dog is a service dog has to violate some type of law, I would think. If not an actual law, they defiantly a moral code. Could I slap a vest on my German Shepherd and take her to the Walmart or any store/hospital and call her a service dog?

    I think it’s a gross misuse of the service dog resource.

    Yes, I understand that they wanted him to see his pet one last time and i do feel for the family, but the dog they brought in was NOT a service dog.

    Perhaps he should face a fine or have his service dog revoked

  53. William A Dlubak says:

    Timmo, I will pray for you if you like it or not. Best Wishes and God Bless

  54. William A Dlubak says:

    Dear Meredith,
    Thank you for correcting me, I would’nt know what to do without you. Hope your day and future goes well.


  55. kellyerusinack says:

    it’s interesting that people are arguing about dogs and hygiene – how about humans and their hygiene? they let any human being who wants to, to just stroll on it – they don’t check humans, for diseases, they don’t tell women who wear heavy perfumes – which can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks – to stay outside the place. there are people who carry parasites – if they don’t say anything, then they are let in. you can’t tell a person has lice or crabs just by looking at them. Yes, dogs have issues that are different from humans, but you can’t just go around assuming that all humans are more hygienic than a dog! especially if the dog was well-groomed enough to pass for a service dog! if service dogs are allowed in, then apparently dogs aren’t a huge issue. many people take better care of their pets than they do their children. you all don’t know how clean this particular dog was.

    by the way, when i lost my mother, i would have done anything in the world she asked of me. if she had asked me to rent a hot-air balloon and float outside her window i would have! let alone bringing in a pet. they don’t like to let little kids in, either, but if their mom is dying and they want to say goodbye, do you say to them, “oh no, the hospital doesn’t allow it”? i’ve asked hospital staff to bend a couple of rules in emergencies, and some will.

    i don’t know why people are passing judgment on anyone here – whether you think it was stupid, irresponsible, or kind and caring, what is done is done. this family felt it was important to do this, and they did it. should everyone do it? no. but its done. there are a LOT of people who do “irresponsible” things who end up being ahead of the curve and those things end up positively changing peoples’ lives forever. and there are people who play by the rules and their decisions negatively impact others forever. as the french say, “c’est la vie”

  56. kellyerusinack says:

    to you nurses out there: thank you for all you do! you are more in tune with the patients than the doctors are, you are the ones who are at the beck-and-call of the patients, their families, visitors, and other staff. you have to play nurse, mommy, daddy, friend, enforcer, boss, employee, etc., and expected to do it all with an attitude even the dalai lama might not be able to muster! my mother was a nurse, she would tell me stories – she worked in long-term care, all of her patients were going to die on her, yet she found the humor and levity in the situation and changed people’s lives. when she got sick, and when we knew she was going to pass, even her former patients signed cards for her! and i know the abuse she took firsthand – i heard the stories, and the few times i have been in the hospital, i have heard the way the nurses are talked to, by doctors, other patients, and staff! there have been a few times, when my mom was sick, that we had problems with the nurses. but those were worked out, and in the end, those nurses ended-up understanding where we were coming from and everyone got over it. you all have a hard job and sometimes you have bad days – but for the most part, you all do a great job and need to be commended more than you get! take care!

  57. JJ says:

    This was a beautiful story and I am so glad the family granted this wish.
    Yes, I would do the same for a family member. Pets are very special to those who love them and they truly provide love and comfort. I am so sorry for your loss.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Play It
Get The All New CBS Local App

Watch & Listen LIVE