(NBC News) — Hippo the dog came into the shelter as a stray with tumors all over his face, along with other indications of a rough life that was going to be ending very soon.
But Sophiane Nacer, the 19-year-old founder of Cayleb’s Kindred Senior Dog Rescue, was determined to make sure this sick and elderly dog would get the chance to enjoy this earth before his time here was done.
“Even if it was just for a day,” Nacer told TODAY.
When Nacer picked him up from the shelter, Hippo began wagging his tail right away and set out with enthusiasm.
She took him on car rides, to Starbucks for a special puppuccino, and to a park where he made friends and ate some delicious food.
After about five hours, Hippo seemed very tired.
“You could tell that he had enjoyed the day but he was done,” Nacer said. “It was time and he knew it.”
Nacer brought Hippo home. A veterinarian who specializes in at-home euthanasia came over, bringing along some roast chicken.
“He gobbled it, then fell asleep,” Nacer said. “He passed very peacefully.”
Nancer says she believes every dog should have the opportunity to leave this world knowing what it is like to be loved so well.