'Dog is man's best friend,' saying comes to life as dog attends owner's funeral

Wednesday, August, 7th, 2019

AUGUSTA, Ga. ((WRDW/WAGT)) -- As the saying goes 'Dog is man's best friend,' that's certainly the case with Tic Tac and his owner Bill Fogal.

A few weeks ago Tic Tac's owner could no longer take care of him. That's when Augusta Animal Services picked him up and shortly after CSRA Forgotten Souls started caring for him with the hopes of returning him to Fogal.

Unfortunately Fogal passed away. On Wednesday, Tic Tac attended his funeral.

Zachary Burgess with CSRA Forgotten Souls said, "He (Tic Tac) knew Bill was there, I don't think he quite understood that Bill's not coming back, but he definitely knew he was there."

Fogal was a homeless veteran living out of his car with Tic Tac, when Deputy Kelli Runyan responded to a call about a suspicious person; it was Fogal. She knew he was sick, but that night he refused any medical help. After leaving Fogal, Runyan could not stop thinking about him and the care he needed. The next day she went back to see Fogal with Deputy Patrick Brown

Brown said, "Deputy Runyan transported him to the VA hospital, he didn't want to go by EMS so she transported him to the hospital just due to his physical state."

Unfortunately Fogal didn't live much longer, and at the time deputies weren't sure if Tic Tac would either.

Brown said, "We didn't think that Tic Tac was going to be able to recover the way he has due to how malnourished he was at the time, so it's been a remarkable recovery for him."

Tic Tac is on the road to recovery. He even made it to Fogal's funeral. People Fogal never met packed Pierce Memorial United Methodist Church to honor Fogal, with the help of Forces United.

Deputy Director of Forces United Don Clark said, "We kind of went into action trying to find out who this man was cause they couldn't even give us a name."

Working with a few other partners in the community, Forces United was able to get Fogal's name. Once they had it, they were able to track down his biological son who only met him once. He drove up from Florida for the service.

Fogal's son Randall Rockefeller said, "I wanted to reach out and basically support him, I never had the chance to do it in life but at least this is a last opportunity I could come and support him for everything he did."

The service gave Rockefeller and Tic Tac a chance at a real good bye.