Retired Nurse Opens Dog Hospice So Abandoned Seniors Are Loved In Their Last Days

Having a pet is a wonderful thing, but it also comes with sadness. Our animal family members simply don't live as long as we do and so by bringing them into our homes, we must also watch them grow old and eventually leave us.

And yeah, that sucks. So do the extra costs associated with caring for an elderly pet, but far too many people use those as an excuse to put down or even abandon their senior pet right there in the vet's office.

Nicola Coyle is a retired nurse in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, where she runs The Grey Muzzle Canine Hospice Project right out of her home.

When it was first established, the hospice was the very first of its kind in Britain.

Using her own funds and those of generous donors, Nicola gets the dogs the treatment needed for quality of life and makes sure their last days are the best possible.

The dogs are brought in after they have been abandoned due to age or age-related illness.

They specifically focus on dogs from the pound who have been given fewer than six months to live naturally. Often, shelters will schedule such dogs for euthanasia within seven days of their arrival unless they're re-homed.

Between her and a devoted group of foster families, all the dogs are given as much love and fun as they can handle before they pass away.

Regardless of the date, every dog gets a birthday party where they get to enjoy being the center of attention, with a dog-friendly cake and the gift of a toy of their very own.

They also get tons of fun outings, which vary depending on their health.

For some, it's a whole day playing on the beach and eating French fries straight from the bag.

For others, it's a calm walk in nature, carried by a loving human when the dog isn't strong enough to walk on their own.

Almost all get to enjoy an entire ice cream cone or Starbucks puppuccino.

The greatest joy is having a dog with a poor prognosis live longer than estimated, simply due to the power of being loved and cared for.

The longest a dog has lived with Nicola is about a year and a half, and the shortest was about two weeks. Every single one of them passed away with as much love as they could have.

If you'd like to learn more or donate, head to the The Grey Muzzle Canine Hospice Project Facebook page.

h/t: Bored Panda, Thinking Minds