Many of the dogs that come to the Grey Muzzle Canine Hospice in Mansfield, England, have led a rough life. Many have been abused or overworked and then abandoned and left to die on their own.
Now, as these neglected pups live out their final days, Nicola Coyle is working hard to give them the love and affection they deserved all along.
Coyle has been taking care of dogs in need for many years. She used to be a nurse and worked in dog rescue. Once she retired, she channelled all her energy into dog rescue, and last year she officially started the Grey Muzzle Canine Hospice.
Coyle takes in rescue dogs that are expected to only live another six months or less and makes sure that their lasts days on earth are as comfortable and filled with love as possible.
The dogs come from dog pounds, and without Coyle they would need to be put down. Instead, they get to live out their last days in comfort.
Coyle usually has 2-3 dogs in her care, and she does everything in her power to give them the love they deserve. If they are well enough, Coyle will take them out on adventures, such as bringing them down to the beach for some fish and chips or to the pub for a nice steak dinner. Some even get to ride in a police car!
Coyle also throws every dog a birthday party, complete with a birthday cake. It doesn’t matter that nobody knows when their real birthdays are. Everybody deserves to have their lives properly celebrated at least once.
She spends approximately 500£ per dog, and while she has provided all the funds herself for a long time, she has recently started accepting donations to be able to continue her important effort.
The donations are also put towards a new initiative called ‘friends before the end’ that helps owners with vet bills and cremation fees to make it easier for them to care for their old friends in their final days.
For many of the dogs that come to the Grey Muzzle Canine Hospice, it’s the first time in their lives that they experience true comfort and affection.
It is heartwrenching work, and Coyle grieves every dog that passes through her home. She needs to have short breaks between the dogs to be able to work through her emotions.
However, the pain of saying goodbye is worth it, because Coyle knows that without her, these dogs would not have receive the love and comfort that they deserved.
Instead of spending their last days abandoned and heartbroken, the dogs are showered with love, affection, and yummy food.
They fall into their final slumber safe in the knowledge that someone who loves them is looking over them.
Coyle makes their last days warm and bright, and that knowledge makes it all worth it. You can learn more about the Grey Muzzle Canine Hospice and Coyle’s important work here.