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In September 2005, Nate Berkus traveled to the Gulf Coast days after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the area. There he met Patrick, a man who survived the catastrophe with his dog Rafiki. After Patrick learned that his beloved pet would not be allowed onto the rescue helicopter, Nate pledged to help by sending Patrick's dog—along with two other stranded pets—to a private home in Baton Rouge.
Patrick and Rafiki were eventually reunited, and they spent almost five more years together. Then, during the summer of 2010, Rafiki passed away. He was 18 years old.