In 2017, John met his fur-ever animal companion Pawpaw at the Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in California. He and 11-year-old Pawpaw instantly made a connection on the first day they met and became a family.
However, John has been suffering from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. This led John to be on wheelchair every day.
In the recent years, John’s health has been declining rapidly. According to a report by the Dodo, that was the turning point for John to plan the future for Pawpaw and find him a new home when John passes away.
“When someone passes away, their dog is usually brought in to a local animal shelter and if the dog is older, they will end up getting euthanized if a home is not quickly found,” told Sherri Franklin, founder of Muttville, to the Dodo.
Though Pawpaw is now 13 years old – a senior in dog years, Franklin still describes him as a baby, because he acts like a puppy.
“Pawpaw is his family and it’s bittersweet, knowing that John may leave us soon,” added Franklin to the Dodo. “I am honored to help Pawpaw find his new family.”
“The positive impact of the human-animal bond can be a great support for people with ALS and other individuals who are facing chronic and terminal diseases,” told Jennifer Claxton, director of care services for The ALS Association Golden West Chapter, to the Dodo.