Life as John Simpson knew it changed with one diagnosis.
"I've been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer as of Thanksgiving of last year. I believe if I'm not mistaken, they gave me four to six months at that time," Simpson said Wednesday.
His new home is a hospice room. Still, one thing kept the Vietnam vet's spirits high despite the circumstances: his dog.
"That's what I was living for, to go see him," he said.
But Sunday, that lifeline was severed. A neighbor was watching his rescue Chihuahua, Mr. Cutie, when the pup ducked out of his doggy door and dug a hole under the home's fence.
"John's been here for weeks. That dog that dog's never tried to dig a hole. Saturday was the first time I took the dog here to hospice. That next day, he got out. I really think he was looking for John," friend Ann Marie Gemmel said Wednesday.
Friends posted pictures of Mr. Cutie all around John's home in Holiday, but days later, the pup's whereabouts are still a mystery.
"When you're growing up you're asked, 'If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?' Back in those days, I used to say, 'As many wishes as I could wish for.' Now, my only wish would be for my dog to come home," Simpson said.
Doctors believe John has just days to live. He says he's hanging on to hold his dog one last time.
Mr. Cutie was last seen wearing a red collar, but he has no tags. John's now turning to the power of prayer and pleading to the public to help grant his one last wish.
"This is part of a project, that last honor I have to do. To make sure I get my dog back. Part of me feels like I can go in peace if that happens," Simpson said Wednesday.
The dog was last seen near Moog Road in Holiday. For more information or if you have a tip call 727-494-4059 or 727-848-8169.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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