Sick Labrador Pup Spends 28 Perfect Last Days In This World Before Going To Eternal Sleep


Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when you’re saying goodbye to your best friend.

It gets even tougher if that last goodbye means you’ll never ever get the chance to see that special someone.

Crossing the rainbow bridge is the moment every dog owner dreads. 

Frankly, I don’t know what’s scarier: the exact moment of the crossing or the constant fear pecking me in the back of my mind, knowing that moment would come, eventually.

When Kate Schakols, a woman from Texas, brought Rooster home, she was fully aware that their time together was already ticking off. 

Rooster was a senior dog, well into his golden years, and a dog with severe health problems.

So, why would a young woman want such an old, sick dog?

To give him the best last days he absolutely deserved, that’s why!

It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times

sick senior dog
Source: TikTok





Tired of life.

That all was Rooster – a 10- to 12-year-old chocolate Labrador found in Gulf Coast STARS shelter in Brazoria County, Texas. 

But, Rooster was also loved, cherished, and rescued, all thanks to Katie Schakols and her family.

“I fell so in love,” Katie told for PEOPLE magazine. “He is just one of the most beautiful dogs I’ve ever seen, inside and out.”

Katie saw past Rooster’s numerous health issues: cataracts that made him go blind in his left eye, worn-out elbow pads, missing teeth from scratching concrete to get food, lumps, bumps, heartworm, etc.

senior dog on the green grass
Source: TikTok

“The bond I had with Rooster was unreal,” adds Katie. “I’d never felt that specific type of connection before, and it was obvious to everyone that he had chosen me to be his person.”

There, an eternal connection was made. Katie and Rooster both knew their time was slipping through the cracks, so they decided to use it the best way they could.

Rooster came into a loving home with Katie, greeted by a younger canine sibling, Bailey. The poor senior pup was showered with love, quite overwhelmed with this feeling he never experienced before. 

A pup that used to dig concrete for food and eat dirt and grass was now eating real doggy kibble and stepping on the grass like he was stepping on a soft cloud. Everything around Rooster was sugary-coated. Everything was… nice.

sick senior dog with toy in mouth
Source: TikTok

But, good times have to come to an end. 

Katie knew Rooster didn’t have much time. Still, the way he left kicked Katie hard in the guts, feeling like someone ripped him apart from her. 

On day 28 of Rooster’s sweet new life with Katie, something unexpected happened. You never see it coming, and yet it takes so many dog victims each year.

Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus, snuck upon Rooster. His tummy started filling up with air, and it twisted. Rooster was in so much pain.

There was no way to save this brave trooper.

“It was time for us to say goodbye. I know my mom is sad, but I wish she knew these were the best 28 days of my life,” Katie added in the video she posted on her TikTok.

Bloat is treatable in some cases, but still, around 30% of dogs that get it have to be put to sleep forever. Rooster didn’t make it. It was too late for him to have a gastropexy – a survey preventing GDV. |1| 

The vet’s hands were tied. 

dog laying on the table with woman next to him
Source: TikTok

Due to safety measures, Katie couldn’t be there for Rooster’s one last breath. They wheeled him away into a room where he stopped feeling any pain and where he saw the rainbow. 

“She whispered in my ear that she’d always love me and is so sorry she couldn’t save me,” says Rooster in the video.

Oh, dear Katie… I hope you know you DID actually save Rooster. Your time together was brief, but you gave him more than he ever experienced in his entire life. You showed him what it’s like to be loved and have a home.

Our time on Earth is so short, and we never know when the end will come. That’s why we have to use the best of it. Let’s do good deeds! Let’s help others in need! Let’s save dogs from shelters and give them the lives they deserve!

Let’s be like Katie. This young woman did not care that Rooster wouldn’t be there for many years to come. She only cared about saving him and showing him life can be beautiful. 

The shelters are packed with senior dogs. Rarely does anyone want them. A rescued senior will worship the ground you walk on if you save him. They only need a little loving home and a cozy lap to hide in once bad memories of previous lives kick in.


Jerold S. Bell, DVM. Risk Factors for Canine Bloat. 2003. DOI