A group of good Samaritans got together to grant a dying man’s final wish of meeting his pet dogs and cat.
Tupuai Arii, well-known as Pi, passed away on Tuesday at the Rarotonga hospital after months of illness … but not before saying goodbye to his beloved pets at his Avatiu home.
This was thanks to Dr Teina Rongo and his wife Jackie, who arranged the emotional reunion with support of the hospital staff, and Danny and Carol Tixier from the Creative Centre.
Pi had returned to Rarotonga after couple of months in New Zealand, where he had been undergoing medical treatment.
“His heart was too weak for surgery and chemotherapy. His limbs swelled from water retention and he could no longer walk,” Jackie said. “The decision was made to bring him home.”
Pi arrived Rarotonga about a fortnight ago and was admitted at Rarotonga hospital where he remained until his passing – but for one day.
He wanted to meet his animals so they got people together to grant his final wish.
“We managed to secure the Creative Centre van which is equipped to carry people on wheelchairs. Pi was not on a wheelchair so it was a mission getting him on one but we finally managed to get him onto the van and brought him home to see his animals.
“Bear, the dog was so excited to hear Pi’s voice and see him after his long absence. The dog managed to climb into the van and looked so excited and happy to see Pi.
“It was an emotional moment. There were tears in the eyes of those who were there and witnessed this moment of the warmth, loyalty and strong bond between human and dog.
“He really missed his pets. You would always find Pi with his dogs at the cement bench near Avatiu harbour, where they would spend hours.”
Pi worked for Rongohiva Waterpark which was run by Jackie and Dr Teina, as a security guard.
“Pi was employed as our security guard for after hours, keeping an eye on the inflatables to ensure they were not used when there was no lifeguard on duty.
“He took his job seriously and never failed to alert us when he had to, despite not knowing how to use the cell phone we equipped him with!
“He would flag down Ports Authority staff if need be to let us know what was up.
“We are extremely grateful and humbled for the time we had with Pi. He taught us much and we will miss his presence in our lives dearly.”
Pi will be laid to rest tomorrow at his family home in Ruatonga.