Spanky the dog loved to play in the snow more than anything else in the world. The big dog was born in the north and could play in the snow for hours straight. Having moved south, Spanky was deprived of his favorite pastime. And after a visit to the vet, it became clear that he was unlikely to see snow again...

Upon returning from the vet, Ashley Niels, an animal shelter employee and Spanky's owner, felt devastated. There was little hope that her 12-year-old dog would live. The vet had diagnosed him with hemangiosarcoma, a deadly type of cancer. Spanky was to be put to sleep.

Ashley had already picked a day for the procedure when she suddenly remembered that she didn't keep a promise she had made to Spanky years ago. When they were leaving snowy Wisconsin for Texas, she had promised the dog that he would definitely see snow again.

Ashley told her colleagues at the shelter about it, without much hope of coming up with anything. But they succeeded. The shelter staff, along with other volunteers, made what seemed to be absolutely impossible: they made a real snow show in Ashley's backyard. They had to rent an artificial snow machine and reschedule the date of the fatal shot.

Spanky was unrecognizable. Looking at the dog jumping and playing in the snow, no one would have guessed that just a few days ago the doctors had sentenced him to death. "I think all he noticed was the cannon blowing snow and me. He was happy, and he was making me happy," Ashley says. The snowstorm lasted about an hour. It was a real miracle. But the love and attention with which the volunteers surrounded the sick dog and his owner were even more important.

When it was time to put Spanky to sleep, Ashley could no longer do it. The dog had behaved differently since that memorable evening: the illness seemed to have receded, even if only temporarily, and there was no need to give the shot then.

Ashley still didn't know how long her dog would live. But she devotes all the time left to her pet, and in return she receives love and gratitude.

She explains her decision not to rush to put her dog to sleep: "I would give anything for the love of the dog. That's my dog. My Spanky."

Source: novochag

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