John is unable to imagine life without his dog close by his side.
Despite John needing a wheelchair to get around most days, he believed he was still able to give a shelter dog a home full of love.
So at the Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in California back in 2017, John met Pawpaw.
Pawpaw was 11 years old when the two met, but the seniors quickly made up for lost time, becoming fast friends — and the last few years have been full of love.
Throughout the course of his life, Pawpaw is the 13th dog John has lived with, and he could not imagine a more perfect companion.
While John suffers from the neurodegenerative disease ALS, he has treasured each moment he has had with Pawpaw.
But as John’s health has been rapidly declining, there is nothing else more important to him right now than finding Pawpaw a forever home after he passes on.
“Pawpaw is his family and it’s bittersweet, knowing that John may leave us soon,” founder of Muttville, Sherri Franklin, shared with The Dodo. “I am honored to help Pawpaw find his new family.”
When people die, it is common for beloved pets to end up homeless — so John’s forward thinking is not just considerate but sweet.
“When someone passes away their dog is usually brought in to a local animal shelter and if the dog is older they will end up getting euthanized if a home is not quickly found,” Franklin said. “Muttville gets dogs from all kinds of backgrounds, the ones that really pull at my heartstrings are the dogs that have had a wonderful home until their guardian passes away or goes into a care facility, [and] their whole life turns upside down.”
Muttville’s Seniors for Seniors program works to pair senior dogs with senior people.
“We find seniors that have lost their own dogs and want a seasoned companion,” Franklin said.
Despite Pawpaw now being 13 years old, he “acts like a puppy!” according to Franklin.
“He always is smiling … He loves other dogs and every human he meets!”
Pawpaw is an all around easy going dog.
“Pawpaw is super friendly and would be great fit for most homes, a family would be wonderful or a single person,” Muttville’s adoption manager, Kristin Hoff, shared with The Dodo. “He has a zest for life and will enjoy an active lifestyle! He does love to sleep with his guardian and live indoors.”
When Pawpaw finds a home, it will not only save his life but also give John the peace of knowing his dog has gone on to make another family happy the same way
“John wants to know where Pawpaw will go after he passes,” a board member at Muttville, Patty Stanton shared with The Dodo.
“The positive impact of the human-animal bond can be a great support for people with ALS and other individuals who are facing chronic and terminal diseases,” director of care services for The ALS Association Golden West Chapter, Jennifer Claxton, told The Dodo.
Three years ago, John was given only 6 months left with Pawpaw by his side — and he has lived far longer than expected.
It is also not too early to think about the future when it comes to your furry family members.
“The single most important thing a dog/cat guardian should do, is make sure to make plans for their animals, no matter your age!” Franklin said. “Not just writing it in your will but also have conversations with whomever will be your pet’s advocate. It would save so many more lives.”
If you would like to help John’s wish come true, you can apply here to adopt Pawpaw or share his story with people who could.
You can also make a donation to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue here.
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