Miniature schnauzer walks 20 blocks to find cancer-stricken owner recovering in hospital

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- There's no denying the bond that can develop between people and their pets. And a miniature schnauzer in Iowa proved that nothing -- not even distance -- can break that bond.

It was a surprise that no one expected -- a dog in a hospital. Security cameras caught it all.

"We looked up and there was this dog just running across the lobby," security officer Samantha Conrad said.

Just like anybody would, Sissy wanders through two automatic doors and strolls right into Mercy Medical Center.

"We started looking at the tags and we saw how far away the dog lived, as far as going about 15 blocks to get here," Conrad said. "So it was quite an amazing journey the dog made."

The security guard used the dog's tags to call one of the owners at home, Dale Franck.

"I thought she wanted to go someplace, but I didn't know where and had never run away before," Franck said.

That's when the security guard realized Franck's wife, Nancy, was recovering at Mercy because of complications of a cancer-related surgery. So far from home, Sissy found what she was looking for.

"She wanted to go see her mom," Dale Franck said. "She was on a mission, but she couldn't find the right elevator to take. Hah!"

"I don't know how she found the right door or did any of that by herself," Nancy Franck said.

Added Sarah Wood, the Francks' daughter: "She missed mom. That's all I can say. She missed mom and she knew to come see mom."

That's why the family believes Sissy ran away from home, to find the person who is home.

"I said, 'Did you sneak this dog in here?' She said, 'No she snuck herself in here mom,'" Wood said.

The family still can't figure out how Sissy knew where to go. But after a long couple weeks in the hospital, the surprise visitor brought a much-needed smile to Nancy's face.

"That was great just being able to see her," Nancy Franck said. "That was perfect. I'm glad she thought of it."

Family members say they had not taken Sissy to the hospital to visit Nancy Franck, who does work next door to the hospital and the dog has been in the car when the family dropped off Nancy at work.


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