As soon as Mary and John Hall brought their newborn daughter home from the hospital, she had two instant best friends: the family's Basset Hounds.
The 8-year-old pups, Gracie and Grumpy, fell instantly in love with baby Nora and immediately welcomed her to the family. "Gracie, especially, took on the role as second mother," Mary told ABC News. "Whenever Nora would cry, Gracie would run to see what was wrong. She was always, always by Nora and kissing her and making sure she was OK."
That love didn't waver when the little girl suffered from a stroke at just 4 months old. Nora spent three weeks in the hospital, and before she passed, Children's Hospital in Minneapolis asked Mary and John if they had any final wishes for their daughter. Her parents had one request — and the hospital made a special exception that allowed Nora, Gracie, and Grumpy to reunite for the last time.
"I didn't want to go home and have them sniffing around for her and not knowing where she went," Mary explained. "They lowered the bed so the dogs could lay with her and Gracie ran up and licked her."
The stroke caused severe damage to both sides of Nora's brain, and it proved to be too much for the little girl. Nora passed away at 5 months old, but her parents appreciated having their dogs with Nora during her final moments. "It was really nice. It brought us a lot of comfort to have them [there]," Mary reflected. "But by the end of the first day, you could see they were stressed out and depressed. Normally, they're very happy-go-lucky. We knew they could sense there was something wrong."