The sad fact is that our canine friends are not here for very long. And it’s really heartbreaking when you hear stories about abandoned dogs and senior dogs dying without anyone by their side. That’s why Nicola Coyle, a retired nurse, founded The Grey Muzzle Canine Hospice in England.
Coyle runs the organization out of her own home in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, where she takes in dogs who in the last days of their lives. She usually only takes in two dogs at a time, so she can make sure the pooches live the rest of their days to the fullest, including ice cream and steak dinners.
Coyle said, “We’ll only take them in if the vet says they’ve got less than six months to live, so we’re focusing on end of life care. I think the longest I’ve had one is around one year and the shortest was about two weeks.”
And even though Coyle doesn’t know when the dogs’ birthdays are, she always throws them a big party.
“I don’t know when their birthdays are so we make sure we throw all of them a birthday party. If they’re well enough, we take them for a day at the seaside, they get fish and chips on the beach and ice cream.”
Obviously, the job takes a toll on Coyle. She said, “We all get very attached to them, it’s very emotionally intense and we do mourn and grieve for them. We do need to have breaks between them.”