Richard Ewers has fostered 27 rescues and managed to find most of them a forever home. However, 11 still need to find a home, and time is running out for Ewers ever since he was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and was given only a week to live.
Dying wishes are seldom selfless but not for this Texas-based man. Richard Ewers has been taking in stray dogs in the San Antonia area for the last couple of months reports CBS-affiliate KWTX-TV. This 71-year-old man has made it his goal to provide these dogs a forever home. However, Ewers was recently admitted to the hospice where he was diagnosed with stomach cancer and doctors gave him a week to live, leaving the dogs fate in a disarray, or so it would seem.
After the news of his illness broke out, several animal lovers and volunteers stepped up to help him. One such volunteer was Mary Oyler from Save Our Strays San Antonio. Along with her and other volunteers, they've visited Ewers' home to feed and care for the dogs every day. They have kept these strays company while providing them clean water to drink reports ABC-affiliate KSAT.
They assisted him in building a fence and providing vaccination shots for every stray in his care. Some helped him get these friendly animals spayed and neutered, and others made the kind decision of adopting them. With the help of this group, a Facebook page, Helping Mr. Richard and His Dogs, was created to find owners who were interested in giving these furry four-legged friends a new home.
The page clearly states its purpose: "Mr. Richard took in dumped strays in south San Antonio, but with limited resources and a serious illness needs community help." Since last year, sixteen of the twenty-seven strays have been adopted and the rest are waiting to be rescued. Mary Oyler who got in touch with Ewers last year told KSAT, "We are all very saddened by this, of course, and we want to make that last wish come true for him."
She also warned, "They can’t be here much longer." While the volunteers are trying their best to care for the pooches, Oyler thinks that these animals would be more stressed if they were unable to see their beloved Richard around. "It would add a lot more stress to what they are going through already," Oyler added. "Not having Mr. Richard here, there’s confusion, loneliness. There’s depression."
While the dogs currently have a place to stay, Oyler's biggest concern is them being all alone without their trusted companion to take care of them. She further explained that besides Ewers absence, the conditions of his home were not exactly conducive for the pets. "There’s no one to give them attention and love. There is no running water. There is no electricity. The conditions are just not ideal," she said.
While the strays have either been neutered or spayed, they would definitely require regular check-ups at the vet which cannot be possible unless someone comes forward to adopt or foster them. Listing the criteria for the perfect home for Ewers' furry friends, Oyler told KSAT, "All they’ve ever known is Mr. Richard. So, it’s going to require a family that will have a lot of patience." She also said people could simply help by reaching out to them through their Facebook page.
This is not the first time that this has happened. A similar request had surfaced in 2017 when John met an 11-year-old Pawpaw at the Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, California. According to the Dodo, it was love at first sight. The two were inseparable until John's ALS got worse. In the hopes of securing a better future for his best friend, he started working with Muttville to find for a suitable home, preferably a senior who could love Pawpaw the same way he did.
Muttville's founder Sherri Franklin told Dodo, "Pawpaw is his family and it’s bittersweet, knowing that John may leave us soon." She also added, "I am honored to help Pawpaw find his new family." Pawpaw helped John to live longer than he expected to. The doctors gave him a period of six months to live and John defied these odds and lived for three more. John's wish did come true when Bernie and Tim offered to provide Pawpaw a home with them in Los Angeles. John passed away three days after knowing that his companion was in the loving care of another.