We all have that one friend that has seen us through the milestones of our lives. For Dr. Travis Stork, famous for his run on The Bachelor and the medical show The Doctors, that friend was a special girl named Nala, who had been with him for 17 years.
“She’s one of the best buddies in my life – maybe the very best. She is literally who I wish everyone can be,” Stork said of Nala. “She’s such a wonderful living creature. It’s not so much just about my attachment to her. I think about all of the people’s lives she’s touched because in the 17 years I’ve had her, she’s been through every single experience.… She’s just so sweet. It melts my freakin’ heart.”
Nala, a mixed breed shelter rescue, supported Dr. Stork through medical school, residency, marriage, divorce, and stardom. She is often featured in his social media accounts and was a frequent guest on The Doctors,.
The Emmy® Award-winning daytime talk show is hosted by emergency room physician Dr. Stork with co-hosts plastic surgeon and reconstructive surgery expert Dr. Andrew Ordon, Dr. Nita Landry, and Dr. Sonia Batra. The show highlights important news-making medical stories and the most up-to-date information on health and wellness.
When Nala fell ill, mostly due to health conditions associated with old age, The Doctors’ producers surprised him with a moving tribute to his best friend. Deviating slightly from medical issues commonly associated with the show, Dr. Stork and the other members of the show viewed photos and videos of Nala throughout her long and happy life.
The doctors discussed the difficulty of losing and grieving a beloved pet. They agreed that the death of a pet can be as crushing as that of a friend or family member.
Psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow advised “I recommend that you always keep that alive.” In coping with loss, he encouraged everyone to keep pictures and mementos of loved ones, whether human or animal. “That love will always be there.” Plastic Surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon knows how devastating it can be, having lost his bulldog Lulu the previous year.
“You know, she was like a family member, the kids grew up with her… the kids picked her out when we got her. She was on the show a number of times, and it really is like losing a family member.”
Dr. Stork struggled with his emotions and his tears welled up as he recognized that Nala’s days were growing short. He knows it will soon be time to say goodbye to her. “Preparing for the end, and yet not having their funeral until it comes – it’s a bit of an emotional roller-coaster,” he says. “I literally appreciate every single day that she has left.”
Some people spend half of their lives with a beloved cat or dog by their side, so oftentimes it is heartbreaking when the time comes to say goodbye. Sadly, Nala passed away shortly after the tribute was taped.
“To little Nala out there, love you, girl.”
Watch the video tribute to Nala as Dr. Travis Stork tears up looking back on his beloved dog: