Can you imagine being old and alone, not knowing that is going to happen to you in your final days? Sadly, this is an unfortunate reality for many sick and senior dogs living in shelters who’ve been given up y their owners.
But one beautiful soul – retired nurse Nicola Coyne – has decided something needs to be done for them. And that is how she came to set up The Grey Muzzle Canine Hospice Project. Through this project, Nicola adopts dying dogs who’ve been abandoned by their owners in order to make sure they are able to spend the remainder of their time on earth feeling loved and cared for.
Nicola is from Nottingham in the UK. She typically goes around to shelters in her area looking to adopt two ailing senior dogs at once. In most cases, she tries to find the ones that have prognoses of six months or less to live. The longest she’s had a dog was for a year, the shortest was for two weeks.
According to Metro, in the duration that they’re in her care, Nicola makes sure that these dogs get to “complete their bucket lists.” This can mean anything from pup-parties, beach trips, nice steak dinners, or McDonald’s ice creams.
The Metro writes, “One charity she regularly helps said they ‘couldn’t be more grateful’ to Nicola, who has given some of their most desperate pets ‘love and care as they have never received.’”
Nicola spends up to $610 on each dog. She uses her own money, as well as any donations that she receives through her nonprofit organization.
“I’m a complete animal lover and I just can’t bear the thought of them spending their final days, weeks, or months without the love they deserve. It can be really tough, but ultimately it’s so rewarding when you can make those times special,” Nicola said.
When the dogs do pass away, Nicola has them cremated and then buried in a special plot at her home in Nottingham.
She said, “It can be an utterly heartbreaking job, but someone has to do it.”
Joanne Snaith, with Helping Yorkshire Poundies, said, “Nicola does an amazing job, taking in dogs when they’ve been kicked out by their owners right at the very end of their lives — giving them the love and care most have never received previously in their lives. I absolutely admire the work of The Grey Muzzle Project.”
So far, Nicola estimates that she’s taken in about 30 dogs and helped them through the end of their lives. And we have no doubt that this amazing woman won’t be stopping any time soon.