16-Year-Old Shelter Dog With Cancer ‘Totally Reborn’ After Foster Gives Him New Lease On Life


All dogs deserve to spend their twilight years in a loving, comfortable home, but sadly that isn’t always the case. Many senior dogs are left waiting in shelters because many people don’t want to take home an older pet.

But thankfully, there are some people willing to open their hearts to old dogs, giving them a chance to live their best life in their final months and years.

Like one man, who fostered a senior dog and gave him a completely new lease on life.

Zach Skow, the co-founder of California non-profit Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue, often fosters dogs in need of homes. But when he crossed paths with an old dog named Henry, it was the beginning of something special.

Henry had been surrendered by his owners, likely because, as a senior dog about 16 years old, he had a number of health issues. He was deaf and partially blind, and had cancerous growths on his body.

Zach decided to take the dog in as an end-of-life foster, initially believing the old dog only had weeks or even days to live.

However, Henry settled into his new temporary home, and after getting a little love and kindness, he suddenly transformed into a happy, playful dog.

Henry had a surgery to have his cancer removed, and after that continued his “radical turnaround,” filled with more life and joy every day.

It goes to show the impact that pet foster care can have, especially on a senior dog. Without Zach interfering and giving Henry a home, he probably would’ve been euthanized or died alone in a shelter. Instead, their love truly brought him back to life.

As weeks went by, it became clear that Henry still had plenty of life in him, and Zach realized it was time to find his foster dog a “forever home.”


To his surprise, he soon got a number of adoption requests. One came from Caro Aguilar, who fell in love with Henry.

After seeing Henry in person, she adopted him for good, even though she knew the senior dog wouldn’t have much time left.

It took some time for Henry to adjust to his new home, but just like he did with Zach, Henry proved he still had plenty of life in him for an old dog.

Henry settled into his forever home, and was greatly loved by his new family. They made sure Henry had lots of fun adventures in his last days, and set up an Instagram account, @seniordoghenry, to share his journey with the world.

Sadly, Henry passed away in June. In a final post, his family shared the news of his passing with his followers. They took comfort in knowing the dog had a loving family by his side in his final hours.

“He passed peacefully with myself, and our family by his side,” the statement reads. “He passed in my arms and in my lap with love, ear rubs, boops, and loads of kisses from me and the girls.”

“I am a mess and my heart is broken. He was a joy in my life that I cannot explain; he brought sunshine on dark days and unconditional love each and every day… I know he brought joy to so many, and to my family you have all brought in light and love like we could not comprehend.”