Unconditional Love: The Couple Who Rescued Old Dogs from the Shelter

  • April 3, 2024

Many of us have been fortunate enough to have a dog enter our lives and transform them for the better. But a dog touching hundreds of lives? That’s very special.

Moses was a rogue dog like that. The first time Mariesa and Chris Hughes saw him, he was at the Seminole County Animal Shelter. Moses’ time was running out; as a senior shelter dog, he had been turned over by potential adopters time and again. The Hughes, on the other hand, recognised something special in the old man.

“When Moses’ time at the Seminole County shelter expired, he was shared with me on Facebook.” His shelter photo was of him wearing a tie in front of a white background. He seemed like the perfect little gentleman, and I knew we had to save him.”

They decided to take him in to rescue him in order to give him more time to find his family, but he found it much sooner than she had hoped!

“We initially took him into the rescue group I had founded, intending for him to be adopted. When he arrived at our house, he blended in with my pack like he’d been there for years. I knew he wasn’t going anywhere a few weeks after he arrived. He was a really special dog who never met a person he didn’t like or a bed he didn’t want to hump. He was quite the character!”

Moses fit in like a puzzle piece, and they spent the next few months carving out a special place in their home and hearts for him. But, only two years later, his health began to deteriorate, and Mariesa and Chris knew that their time with Moses was coming to an end.

Couple who built a giant bed so they could sleep with their many dogs.

Moses felt out of sorts and was losing his footing on the night of Valentine’s Day in 2014. They quickly rushed him to a veterinarian, who diagnosed him with old dog vestibular illness, a condition that, if not worsened, can clear itself in a few days. However, Mariesa and Chris had a suspicion that there was something else going on.

Chris took Moses to the Cornell Companion Animal Hospital the next day, where they recommended an MRI.

“As newlyweds with eight dogs, we didn’t have the money for an MRI, so we sold our hot tub for the exact cost of the test and went ahead with it.” That MRI verified our greatest fears.Moses had a high-up spinal cord tumour that was incurable. It was harming his front legs first, but it would soon impact the rest of him. His brain messages would be unable to travel through such a dense mass. He was given four weeks to live.”

Mariesa and Chris were adamant on keeping Moses. Their finances suffered as they struggled to save him, but the expense was insignificant in comparison to the loss of a family member.

“Over the next five weeks, we tested every drug we could find.” We drove our neurologist insane with acupuncture and medicines.”Moses died at home, in our arms, listening to us tell him what a courageous and beautiful dog he was and how we would never forget him.”

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