If you’re lucky, you’ve had at least one dog that came into your life and changed it completely. Well, the couple in this story rescues senior shelter dogs in memory of their dog, so it wouldn’t be wrong to say that their dog has touched more than 300 lives so far!
When Mariesa and Chris Hughes first laid eyes upon their dog, Moses, he was in a very bad shape. The poor senior doggo had been passed from one adopter to the next. Luckily, the Hughes’ saw the doggo’s true colors right away and took him home with them.
“Moses was shared to me on Facebook when his time was up at the Seminole County shelter. His shelter picture was him in front of a white background wearing a tie. He looked like a perfect little gentleman and I knew we needed to save him.” They later wrote on Facebook.
Although it wasn’t their initial plan, Moses ended up staying with them.“Initially we took him into the rescue group I had started and had planned on him being adopted out. When he arrived at our house he melted right into my pack, it seemed like he had been their for years. A few weeks after he arrived I knew he wasn’t leaving.”
Despite being thrilled to have Moses, they knew their time with him is limited and will soon come to an end. On Valentine’s day 2014, the moment they’ve been dreading arrived.
Moses looked miserable and seemed to be out of balance. After a quick inspection from the vet, the couple got the news – Moses had old dog vestibular disorder, a condition that can have very minor effects that will disappear in a matter of days or devastating ones that will end his life.
The two did everything they could. “As newlyweds with 8 dogs we didn’t have the funds for an MRI, so we sold our hot tub for the exact cost of it and proceeded with the test.”
“That MRI confirmed what would become our worst nightmare. Moses had an inoperable spinal cord tumor, high up in his spinal cord. It was affecting his front legs but eventually, it would affect all of him. The signals from his brain would be unable to pass through such a large mass. They gave him 4 weeks to live.”
Despite having limited funds, the two weren’t going to give up. “In the next 5 weeks, we trialed every drug we could find. Acupuncture, herbs – we drove our neurologist crazy.”
Sadly, their efforts were in vain: ”In the end, Moses died at home, in our arms listening to us tell him what a brave and wonderful dog he was and how we would never let his life be forgotten.”
The next few months were hard for the Hughes, but they eventually came to acknowledge that Moses was gone for good. Then something incredible happened.
“So one day when Chris and I were driving down the road he said ‘we should start a senior dog chapter of the rescue and pay all of their medical expenses.’“
“This idea to me was a little crazy knowing how much money we had just gone through with Moses but he kept talking about it, saying that so many seniors are surrendered to shelters because their care becomes costly or they need vetting that owners can’t afford. So we should cover that cost and find them great homes without the worry of money. Again, lovely idea but how on earth does it make sense?! It doesn’t!”
In spite of the many difficulties they faced, the two managed to start a hospice for unwanted senior dogs at their home. Their hospice is 100% donation-based, so money is always short because the treatment of senior dogs is quite expensive.
Moses’s legacy inspired the two to rescue more than 300 senior dogs from shelters and giving them the best last days.
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