Indy man adopts dog with terminal cancer to keep her ‘comfortable and happy’ in her final days

Local

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A dog with advanced cancer and likely just months to live has a new home. Her new owner tells News 8 he wanted her to have the best life she could with the time she has left.

Enoc Lopez says he hopes it’s a lesson he can teach his son. But perhaps the best part to this story is this isn’t the first time he’s stepped in to help in a big way.

There’s a new member in the Lopez household on the south side and her name is Mocha, and she is still getting used to the doggie door. She was out enjoying her new yard Thursday, less than 48 hours after seeing it for the first time.

“Something in me triggered,” Enoc Lopez said. “I just couldn’t leave her.”

Lopez was “triggered” after hearing his friend’s story on Saturday about a dog that had been at the humane society since April. The pup, now named Mocha, was turned over to the shelter after her owner died earlier this year.

Mocha is already 10 and a half years old, about 70 in human years. She has malignant melanoma and vets believe she likely only has six months left, a year at the most.

Most would pass at the chance to adopt a terminally ill dog, but not Enoc and his 8-year-old son Allen.

“I’m kind of sad and happy at the same time,” Allen said. “I’m happy that I have tears in the inside.”

Some might say Enoc Lopez doesn’t need Mocha. But Mocha most definitely needs Enoc Lopez.

“We always expect to leave other people to do it, but sometimes you have to take matters in your own hands and just do it,” Enoc said.

So he did, meeting Mocha Monday, introducing her to his other dog Amy on Tuesday before bringing her home.

Now it’s Thursday and Mocha is living her best life.

“I hope so,” Enoc said. “She might not live for a long time but at least she’ll be able to live in a big yard surrounded by people that will love and pet her and where she doesn’t need anything until that day comes. But until then, make her comfortable and make her happy.”

Allen has similar feelings.

“Very happy because she’s here because there’s so much life here,” he said.

Mocha’s not Enoc’s first rescue.

His dog Amy is deaf. He found out after he’d already fallen in love with the pup 11 years ago.

As for Allen, Enoc adopted him one year ago as a single dad.

“A lot of dogs out there need a good home,” Enoc said. “There’s a lot of kids in the foster care system that need a good home.”

Dr. Stacey Shore, Enoc’s vet at South 31 Veterinary Clinic guesses two or three out of 100 animal lovers would take on the commitment, knowing the clock is ticking.

“I admire him greatly. He has got the biggest heart,” Dr. Shore said. “He is not just a pet lover, he is a pet enthusiast that we don’t have enough of in this world.”

Enoc knows that day is coming. But he also knows when it comes, there will be comfort knowing Mocha’s last months will be here in his home and yard, not in a kennel.

He tells News 8 he’s doing it for Mocha, he’s doing it for himself, but most importantly, he’s doing it for Allen.

“It’s a life lesson that I want to teach my son,” Enoc said. “Everything dies but at the end, it’s the quality of life that you live that really matters.”

Enoc said Tuesday was nerve-wracking as Mocha and Amy got used to each other, but for the most part, it’s gone really well.

When it comes to the cancer, it certainly is one of those cases where everyone hopes to prove the vets wrong, including Dr. Shore herself.

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