Muttville's Danny Boy: Bringing "Bark-It" List Joy to Hospice Dogs
On a cool February day in 2013, a happy 11-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix named Danny Boy arrived at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco, California. Little did anyone suspect the adventures that awaited or the inspiring legacy that Danny Boy, with the help of his dedicated foster parents, would leave behind for the dogs of Muttville.
Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, a Grey Muzzle grantee organization, takes in senior dogs who, because of their age, don’t have much chance of adoption in a shelter. Since 2007, Muttville’s goal has been to change the way people think about older dogs and to create better lives for them through rescue, adoption, and hospice. They have recently reached an impressive milestone, with 2,500 senior dogs rescued.
Danny Boy was fortunate to become a Muttville dog when he was pulled from a shelter across the Bay in Oakland. At Muttville, Danny quickly became a favorite of everyone he met. Although seemingly healthy, it wasn’t long before he was diagnosed with terminal multiple myeloma cancer. Instead of adoption, he was destined for their fospice (foster hospice) program. In fospice care, the focus would be on giving him the best possible life for whatever time he had left.
As long-time Muttville fospice volunteers with a dog care business of their own, Danny Boy’s caretakers, Marie and Russell, were well-placed to give Danny Boy what he needed in the months he had left. Rather than dim Danny’s carefree spirit with chemotherapy just to eke out a little more time, they committed to keeping him healthy as long as possible and making every remaining day a celebration. …