The fate of senior dogs can sometimes be tough. Most of them spend a good part of their lives in a warm home, only to be left in a shelter by their owners when perhaps they need them the most.
On top of that, even though they have a chance to be re-adopted there, most potential adopters focus on puppies or younger pups.
This fate, as well as many other difficulties that senior dogs face, was one of the reasons for the Hughes family to start helping older dogs.
Although their beginnings were everything but easy, today, this pair of dog lovers owns a small industry of good deeds.
Moses, The Pittie
Even before Chris and Mariesa Hughes met each other, their lives were filled with canine joys, as they both owned many dogs throughout their youth. However, when they met and got married, they could not have guessed that man’s best friend would mark their lives forever.
The beginning of this beautiful story is related to the day when this pair adopted their first dog – a Pit Bull named Moses. He was a senior dog, and as such, there was little chance that anyone would notice him at the shelter, let alone adopt him.
That changed one day when Chris saw him in his kennel and felt sorry for his fate. At that moment, he decided that the last years of this dog’s life would be filled with the greatest joy.
For a year and a half, Moses made Chris and Mariesa happy with every day spent in his new home. Their whole world revolved around him as well as his around them.
It was like that until one fateful day when Mariesa noticed something was wrong.
“Valentine’s Day of 2014, Moses started just to look real wobbly and I said, “You know what, I don’t feel good about this at all.”,” Mariesa said for The Dodo.
They had to sell their hot tub for the exact amount of money they needed to get the MRI done. Unfortunately, that same examination brought them only more pain and sorrow – Moses was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor and the vets gave him only four weeks to live.
“We did all sorts of acupuncture, herbs, and oil, and love until he passed away five weeks later,” Mariesa said through tears in an interview for Rachel Ray Show.
These were the moments of the greatest pain in the lives of this young couple, but also the birth of something much more beautiful.
Birth Of The Mr. Mo Project
A few days after Moses passed away, while they were driving down the road, Chris looked at Mariesa and said: “We should start saving senior dogs and pay for their medical expenses.”
Those words from Chris were like a bolt from the blue. Even though Mariesa thought it was an awful idea at first, the pain she still felt for her beloved Moses gave her no other choice. Thus, a beautiful story was born from one sentence spoken in the car.
The beginning was not easy at all. At first, they just visited shelters and handed out packages containing certain necessities for senior dogs. But, after that, they slowly started adopting them from shelters in Clifton Park, NY, where they lived.
Although, at the start, they had some problems with finances, where sometimes they had to sell things from their home to pay all those bills, they did not stop. Little by little, they started furnishing the house and getting certain devices for the dogs they adopted.
“We started to outfitting the house to do what was necessary for the dogs that we have,” Chris said for Rachael Ray Show. “We put ramps on the front and the back of the house, we have these black agility titles that go throughout the house for dogs that have issues with traction.”
Mariesa stated that they also bought oxygen tanks for the kennels, as well as a suction unit and hydrotherapy unit, which are very important for some seniors.
Although they had countless problems and challenges, they overcame them all and their house became a real paradise for old dogs. Little by little, a serious project was born from all of this – the Mr. Mo Project.
The highlight of this positive story was when they created a network of foster homes where hundreds of seniors they rescued throughout the years were able to find their refuge.
To date, they have managed to save more than 500 senior dogs not only from shelters in Clifton Park, NY, but across the U.S. as well as some other states located on the American continent.
From Passion To Life Mission
Although the road to their success was a difficult one, today, this couple is living their dream, which has now become their life’s mission.
“Seeing them from when they come out of the shelter, you see the picture and then when you see just how much life they have and how much love they have to give, it’s incredible,” Chris told The Dodo.
Mariesa also added: “I feel we’re very lucky, like, it’s our passion, but it’s also such a pleasant thing to be doing.”
Nowadays, when shelters are full of dogs of all ages, especially older ones, they have no easy task. But, when a person does what he loves and what fulfills him, no obstacle is too difficult to overcome.
That is why this couple of dog lovers do not regret a single decision made in their lives and are looking forward to all the new challenges.
“We’re just blessed to be able to do this,” Mariesa happily concluded.