Dying homeless man reunited with dog - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Dying homeless man reunited with dog

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (KCRG/CNN) - An Iowa community worked together to fulfill a homeless man's final wish to see his beloved dog Yurt, one more time.

"When we first saw her online in the bio it said, has a very compelling story, but you know, at the time those were just words," Yurt's new owner, Eric Ung said.

Yurt, also known as Yurtie, used to live with a homeless Cedar Rapids man, 57-year-old Kevin McClain, in his car.

But a month ago they were separated when McClain was diagnosed with lung cancer.

"In the transition of moving him over from our ambulance cot to the bed, he told me, 'I have a dog,'" paramedic Jan Erceg said.

Paramedics rushed him to Mercy Medical Center and later to Hospice House. Yurt went to the animal shelter - the same shelter where McClain's paramedic, Erceg, volunteered.

From the day Yurt and Kevin were separated, he asked to see her.

The Hospice Home, Ambulance Service and shelter teamed up to fulfill his wish.

"And the moment he opened those eyes and saw that dog there was instant recognition and with Yurtie, she licked his arms, she licked his face," Erceg said.

McClain died a couple days after Yurtie's final visit.

In the end, this companion was there for his owner, even in death.

Copyright 2011 KCRG via CNN. All rights reserved.

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