Sparkle, a dog dying of cancer in Somerville, Massachusetts, was already a “celebrity” within her community. But a photo of her went viral on social media, turning her into an internet sensation. And while her grim diagnosis may make this seem like a sad tale, it’s actually such a positive news story thanks to the way this beautiful fur angel brought so many people together!
11-year-old Sparkle always loved sitting outside her home in Somerville, Massachusetts. She was content watching the comings and goings of the neighborhood. And the gentle dog was even happier if a kind passerby stops to give a pet.
Over the years, Sparkle essentially built up a kind of fan club. Neighbors enjoyed briefly stopping by to say hello and give her a quick pet. These visits became even more frequent and meaningful with lockdown during the global COVID-19 pandemic. And once word got out that this friendly pup didn’t have much time left, Sparkle started getting even more visitors each day!
Community Rallies Behind Dog Dying Of Cancer
When Sparkle’s mom, Melora Rush, took her fur baby to the vet for a jaw infection, she received some heartbreaking news. The veterinarian discovered an incurable tumor in Sparkle’s jaw.
“My reaction was profound sadness coupled with a determination to enjoy every minute I had with her and to keep her as comfortable and happy as I possibly could,” Melora said. “And to share her love with the neighborhood as much as she is able.”
Melora knew she needed to share the devastating news with the pup’s fans. So, she put up a sign letting everyone know this beloved dog was dying of cancer.
"I just wanted the neighbors to be aware of what was happening because it's going to be a big loss for Somerville and this community," she explained.
As news spread, more and more people came by to visit the dog dying of cancer. And most of the visitors teared up knowing Sparkle would soon be gone.
“Sparkle has been such a gift to the community of dogs and people, and they have been such a gift to her,” Melora said.
Sparkle Goes Viral
One visitor, Boston photographer Eric Magnussen, shared a photo with Sparkle on social media. And as his post went viral, Sparkle’s fan club expanded from the Somerville community to all over the world!
Made a new friend on my walk today 🥺 pic.twitter.com/TwDiAbm1qc
- Eric Magnussen (@EricMagnussen) November 9, 2021
Of course, Sparkle didn’t care one bit about her “celebrity” status. All that mattered to her was that she continued getting (and giving) all kinds of extra love. And what a beautiful way to spend her final days — spreading joy and love.
And that’s just what Sparkle did. The sign she frequently sat beside encouraged people to “continue to love her (gently).” And the love just continued pouring in for this sweet dog dying of cancer.
Eventually, Sparkle’s battle came to an end.
It is so hard to share this news with all of you who have sent so much love to Sparkle … She is no longer with us … She is at peace…
Thank you for the love..🐕💗
- SparkleMayorOfSomerville (@MayorSparkle) November 18, 2021
And though her passing broke so many hearts, she left behind a legacy of love that continues to inspire today. Her story is a beautiful reminder to make the most of the time we have here on earth.
“The world is passing away with its lusts, but he who does God’s will remains forever.” 1 John 2:17
WATCH: Sparkle, A Dog Dying Of Cancer, Steals Hearts All Over
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Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Eric Magnussen