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Stranger pays Knoxville woman’s vet bill on one of the hardest days

A South Knoxville woman said “an angel” donor took a heavy emotional and financial burden off her back, while she was saying goodbye to her beloved dog of 14 years, Shadow.
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 8:06 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2021 at 8:07 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A South Knoxville woman said “an angel” donor took a heavy emotional and financial burden off her back, while she was saying goodbye to her beloved dog of 14 years, Shadow.

“I made the hardest decision of my entire life, almost, that it was time to let him go,” said Donna Holbrook.

Holbrook got Shadow, a seven pound Yorkie, when he was 6-weeks-old.

“He told me when to get up and when to go to bed. And when he was wanting to play and when he was hungry. He was just the king of the house. And my king’s gone,” said Holbrook.

Shadow was in declining health, having problems with vision and hearing along with arthritis and difficulty going to the bathroom.

She chose November 6, to put him down because that’s the day her mom died suddenly from a massive heart attack last year. It was something that weighed on Holbrook’s mind for months.

“I thought I might as well have one hard day than two separate hard days,” she said. “He was ready to go.”

Holbrook and her family arrived at Dogwood Animal Hospital to say their final goodbyes to Shadow.

“And there was only one other woman in here. She was with her dog. I didn’t pay much attention, I was holding my dog,” Holbrook said.

Afterward Holbrook went to her car, to see her family. Her son gave her $285 in cash, the exact amount to pay for Shadow to be put down and cremated.

“He said there’s a woman in there that told the receptionist she knows what I’m going through. She paid, she paid the bill,” she said.

Holbrook had put the money aside months ago, but now with getting it back, it will help her pay for things like insulin for her husband who has diabetes.

“I don’t know what went through her head, but it was pure, pure goodness and kindness,” Holbrook said.

A stranger made her feel “very loved.”

If this woman sees this story, Holbrook wanted her to know, “You’re an angel.”

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