Two years ago, officer Dena Walker Pauly got a call to a local pawn shop which was run by Bob.
These days, people tend to freeze when they see a cop walking up or when they hear a siren in the distance, even if they’ve done nothing wrong. But we often forget that there are a lot of police officers out there who have sworn to serve and protect and officer Dena Walker Pauly of the Lawrenceville Police Department in Lawrenceville, Georgia, is one of them. But while her role required her to never set one of them above the rest and love all humanity instead, she formed a bond with an elderly man and showed him the kind of compassion that will touch everyone’s hearts.She got to meet the elderly man who had an aura of loneliness surrounding him. She decided to do something that would turn her into one of the most precious people in his life. But first, she had to hear his story.
Dena learned that Bob’s life hadn’t been much of a picnic and it had been this way since he was a kid.
He was alone since early childhood and had no friends or family. He had also been homeless most of his life. To make things worse, he had suffered a stroke that made it extremely difficult and nearly impossible to speak.
Although Dena had a family of her own and a job as a police officer, she decided to adopt Bob into her life.
Fellow policewoman Shannon Volkodav was so touched that she documented Dena and Bob’s story on Facebook so people could understand what being a cop was really all about. Shannon explained how Dena had taken Bob home “so he could show her what he needed.”
Dena taught Bob the sanitation basics, which is something most people learn when they’re young.
Then she checked up on him on a regular basis to make sure that he was okay. She also brought him supplies like food and even cleaned his apartment. But sometimes she would just go to keep the poor lonely man some company.
Then Bob got very sick, and Dena feared the worst for her friend, so she became his power of attorney.
This allowed her to make medical decisions for him. It was a tough decision, but Dena didn’t complain. Unfortunately, Bob took a turn for the worse, and she decided to put him in hospice. But she stayed by his side every step of the way.
Then she said those three words that are said too much but not often enough to the poor man.
“She held his hand and told him many times that she loved him,” wrote Shannon. Meanwhile, Dena stuck around while waiting for nature to take its inevitable course. But this special and heartbreaking moment would not be forgotten.
Shannon took a photograph of Dena and Bob’s final moments together before he passed away.
"I’ve never been more proud of any friend than I was today of Dena Walker Pauly. It’s hard for her to say goodbye to Bob. I told him he’s changed her life forever because I know it’s true," she said.
Shannon Volkodav / Facebook
She then shared this touching story with a nearby funeral home and they offered to do the services at no cost.
Dena also took Bob’s remains home so he could be with her forever. Although it was tough saying goodbye, both women are hopeful that he’s found peace and happiness after crossing over.
Shannon wrapped up her story with a reminder that the photo represents what cops are all about.
"This photo depicts the true nature of law enforcement officers,” Shannon wrote. The fact that Bob spent his whole life alone is a tragedy. But at least, he had a guardian angel named Dena who showed him and us that being a law enforcement officer isn’t always about writing speeding tickets or catching bad guys.