Most dogs spend their final days in a comfortable environment with a family that loves them by their side. Unfortunately, the final days of dogs living on the street and those living in rescue shelters are often rather different. One dog who faced a sad end to his life was a dog called Coco who was living in a rescue shelter when he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I Heart Dogs tells the story of rescue dog Coco, who veterinarians said had no more than 40 days to live. The staff at the shelter did manage to find him a home in which he could end his life, but his new owners returned him due to the complications of his illness.
As if it isn’t sad enough that he was returned to the shelter in Argentina, this was not the only time that it happened. Three more families were found to care for the dying dog, but he was returned every time because of his illness. In total, he lived in four homes before being returned to the shelter each time, says Diply. Coco had originally been rescued by rescue worker Griselda Herrera in Berazategui, a town in Argentina. In a bid to find him an owner, the staff at the shelter posted the dog’s story, along with accompanying pictures, on social media. In their online appeal, the rescue shelter staff asked for a loving family to care for him in his final days. However, they did not have too much hope that someone would come forward and they had begun to accept that he would end his life in the shelter.
#Coco y @Luciano_karosas ya son familia 👏👏👏. Gracias por abrir tu corazón, aún sabiendo que se vienen tiempos difíciles ♥️ Y gracias a mi amiga Gri por hacer lo imposible para que este gordo pueda tener un final feliz pic.twitter.com/7v8KlZDJ8X
— MarcelaSifuentes (@ILoveOutis) April 2, 2019
Everything changed when a 21-year-old man called Luciano Karosas heard that Coco was suffering from terminal cancer and needed a loving home where he could stay until he passed away. The sick dog’s plight tugged at Luciano’s heartstrings, and he wanted to do everything he could to help Coco end his life as comfortably as possible. While others had found the idea of caring for a sick dog daunting, Luciano was not afraid to take on the task. He immediately contacted Herrera to put himself forward as an adoptive parent for Coco. Luciano decided to change Coco’s name to Thanos when he took him home. By that time, cancer had spread to Thanos’ lungs and head. This led to the dog having a significant deformity to his head and nasal passages, which gave him an unusual appearance. Despite Thanos’ illness and his appearance, Luciano bonded with him straight away.
When he first took Thanos home, Luciano found it difficult to accept that he would have very little time with his new canine friend. He even tried to find out if there was any hope for Thanos by seeking a second opinion from several veterinarians. One of the veterinarians he took Thanos to see is an expert working in stem cell treatments, so Luciano hoped that this vet would find a solution. Sadly, neither this vet nor any of the others that assessed Thanos could give him any hope. They all agreed that his cancer was inoperable and that there are no treatments available that could extend the dog’s life. Luciano said that this news left him feeling like he had a piece of his heart in his hands.
The type of cancer from which Thanos was suffering was a severe form of metastasis, says News24. With this form of cancer, there is a primary tumor and then cancerous cells break away from this and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system. This causes cancer to spread to other areas of the body. This is extremely difficult to treat, especially once it has spread to several areas of the body. Luciano had to accept that there was nothing he could do for Thanos as the prognosis was so bad, so he began to make sure that the terminally ill dog’s final days were as happy as possible instead. All he wanted to do was to give him lots of love in the short time he had left. Fortunately, Thanos was still physically well enough to enjoy some exciting times with his new owner. Other than the visible tumors on Thanos’ head, he was no different from any other dog.
Luciano described him as a playful dog that lit up his home. He says that they have had some great fun together, enjoying activities such as car rides, playing fetch, and cuddling up together at the end of the day. As they were having so much fun together, it is hardly surprising that Luciano fell in love with the terminally ill dog, and this love was reciprocated. So far, this story sounds happy, but it has a bittersweet ending. Sadly, Thanos passed away just two weeks after Luciano adopted him. While this is terribly sad, he was able to spend his final days in comfort with a loving owner who was willing to care for him properly to the end. It made the end of his life so much more pleasant than if he had died alone in a shelter.
Luciano does not regret adopting a dog that had only weeks to live, and he has said that he will always remember the time he spent with Thanos. He posted about Thanos’ death on his Facebook page using heartwarming words extracted from a song from a musical. This story is a wonderful example of the difference people can make to a dog’s life when they adopt a dog from a rescue shelter. It also shows that it doesn’t matter whether the dog is a young and healthy pup, or a dog nearing the end of its life. The positive impact it can have on a dog to have a comfortable environment and loving owners is significant. Hopefully, this heartwarming story will encourage more people to offer terminally ill animals a home.