Ailing dog makes trip of a lifetime
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – When Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux learned his beloved dog, Mura, had just months to live, he knew he had to make the time count.
"With chemotherapy, I have about a 50 percent chance of six months, I have a 10 percent chance of one year (left with Mura),” Heroux told NBC 10 News Thursday.
On October 28, the two embarked on a cross-country road trip, visiting 24 states, historic landmarks and taking plenty of photos and videos along the way.
"Several people that have gone through the same situation, losing their dog to cancer, said, 'Just make sure that you give her the best few months of her life left,'" Heroux said. “And I took that to heart."
Heroux and Mura, a 10-year-old Japanese wolf dog, even stopped in Canada, Mura’s birthplace.
"We went down to San Francisco, took a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge right behind us,” Heroux said.
Mura also walked around Hollywood. Heroux has been sharing stories from their adventure on Facebook and has received thousands of comments in support of the trip.
Among the more popular posts, Heroux wrote, “Filling up my gas tank: $40. Staying in a sketchy hotel: $60. The look on Mura’s face after she just ate a nasty freeway gas station hot dog: Priceless.”
The mayor and former state representative is used to Mura stealing his spotlight: she is a familiar guest at Attleboro’s animal-friendly City Hall and she’s joined her owner on the campaign trail.
“We knocked on doors together, went to schools together,” Heroux said.
Heroux is also a big animal advocate. Working with the police department, he began a “zero tolerance” policy for people who leave their pets in hot cars.
Heroux said Mura has been in and out of surgery, but has been in good spirits during the trip. As the trip wraps up, he said he is grateful for a decade of unconditional love he has received and the 8,500 miles of memories he made with his girl over the last 12 days.
"I feel that she bonded with me in a way that we haven't ever been able to before,” he said.
Heroux and Mura returned home early Friday morning. He hopes to write a children’s book about their adventure.
"She is family,” he said. “She is the most precious thing in the world to me and she always has been."