Terminally Ill Man's Last Wish Is to Find a New Home for His Dog

Nevena Nacic
by Nevena Nacic
Gerald Mercier/Shutterstock

A Massachusetts man who is dying of cancer is spending his final weeks searching for a forever home for his canine best friend. 

Nearly 10 years ago, David Fine rescued his dog Babs, and they have been inseparable ever since. Babs, a Shar-pei boxer mix, had been given up twice as a puppy before Fine’s friend took her and asked him to keep her in his family’s garage. From that moment on, they become as thick as thieves, and Fine has been her dad ever since.

I had told myself I was never going to get another pet because it breaks my heart to lose them. Fortunately, she’s going to outlive me this time,” said Fine to local NBC affiliate WJAR.

For most of his life, Fine worked as a carpenter until he retired in 2020. His dream was to travel across the country to visit national parks.

It was my lifelong dream. I planned for 30 years or more. I was going to buy a truck, camper, and I’m going to see the national parks. In 2020 I pulled the trigger,” said Fine. 

Fine and Babs made it to South Dakota during bike week. They visited Mt. Rushmore, and while in Wyoming, almost 100 miles from Yellowstone, the number one place to visit on his bucket list, Fine started feeling sick.   

And I got sick. I started feeling bad, so sick that I couldn’t drive. I wasn’t comfortable driving,” said Fine. 

Years ago, Fine had undergone treatment for leukemia and was diagnosed with vascular disease a year later. Last August, when he started having problems, doctors told Fine he had stage four lung cancer and only six months to live. 

Fine decided to refuse treatment, telling the outlet “The chemo would make me so sick by the time I got better from one treatment it would be time for the next one, and I’d be sick all the time.”

“I choose quality over quantity,” he added. 

Now, Fine wants to use the time he has left to find Babs a forever home. He has never married and has no children, and his extended family can’t look after Babs as she needs a home with no other pets or small children.

She’s the most important thing at this point. My fate is sealed, but hers is not, I have to make sure she gets as many good years out of the rest of her life as I can,” he said. “I don’t want her to feel bad and she’s going to. We’re attached at the hip and when I don’t come home she’s going to know it, and I’ve got too much empathy and that’s what’s the hardest part.” 

So far, Fine has reached out to a local veteran program, published an ad in the local paper, and asked the public for help. Ideally, he would love for the new owner to be someone local so he can help transition Babs into her new home, which she would go to before he enters hospice care. 

Fine describes Babs as extremely intelligent, well-mannered, and housebroken, adding that she is the most loyal creature on the planet. 

Recently, Fine has begun feeling some symptoms and hopes to use whichever time he has left to tie loose ends. 

“Everybody dies, there are things I wanted to get done. I still want to see Yellowstone. I don’t think I’ll make it there at this point, financially it would be tough, other than that I need to do this for her. Then I can rest in peace when the time comes, but I’m not ready to go yet,” he said.

If you’re interested in adopting Babs or talking to Fine, email him at Dafine1960@gmail.com.

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Nevena Nacic
Nevena Nacic

Nevena is a freelance writer and a proud mom of Teo, a 17-year-old poodle, and Bob, a rescued grey tabby cat. Since childhood, she had a habit of picking up strays and bringing them home (luckily, her parents didn't know how to say NO). When she's not writing for her fellow pet parents, Nevena can be found watching Teo sleep. To her defense, that's not as creepy as it sounds!

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