FINAL UPDATE: Sweet Senior Dog Finds A Loving Home To Spend His Last Holiday Season

Richmond Animal League in Virginia is hoping to find a special senior dog a home for what might be his last holiday season.

Griswold is eight years old and was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. Chemotherapy is usually the recommended treatment for this common canine cancer, but a long-term solution doesn’t seem likely due to the severity of Griswold’s condition.

The ailing Beagle also suffers from chronic dry eye and is recovering from a skin condition. Despite his medical condition, Griswold is full of love and loyalty. Life at the shelter is no place for him to spend his last few months of life, and RAL staff members are determined to find him the perfect family. They’re looking for someone to open their heart and home to give a senior dog a last chance at a comfortable life.

Kacie Robertson, the special events coordinator at RAL, told WTVR

“We do understand with his prognosis, it will be a special home, but he is a special dog and we are confident that there is somebody out there who will love this guy, for however long he has.”

Veterinary staff predicts Griswold has up to a year left to snuggle with family, eat yummy treats, and do all the things sweet dogs like him deserve. Robertson explained his new family would be responsible for palliative care to keep him happy and comfortable. He needs a soft place to sleep and lots of love.


Griswold is a mellow, well-mannered dog who would make a wonderful addition to any family. He’d be happy to lay in your lap and eat Cheese Whiz straight from the can. He’s waiting for a compassionate person to come find him before he’s forced to spend his last Christmas without a family to call his own.

If you think you can make Griswold’s holiday wish come true, contact RAL to bring him home. If he isn’t adopted, the shelter is also open to sending Griswold to a foster family to keep him out of the shelter. He deserves to spend his last few months surrounded by love and comfort.

Update 1 (December 2017):

Griswold has been adopted!

When Jill Anderson heard this senior Beagle’s story, she knew she could give him the perfect home. Anderson told iHeartDogs:

“I saw Griswold’s story posted on a Facebook Group called Beagle Parents. Since I live in Richmond, Virginia, and I love senior doggies, I knew I couldn’t leave Griswold at the shelter. So I raced down to the shelter before it opened to fill out the adoption application.”


Now, the pooch is getting comfortable in his new home, with the company of his new sister, Maddie. She’s a 14-year-old Puggle who Anderson rescued two years ago.

“Griswold is settling in nicely. He has been busy finding his favorite spots in the house, checking out all the toys, and visiting the neighborhood dog park with Maddie. His favorite thing so far is to put his front paws on the tv stand and watch television!” Anderson told us.

Image Source: Jill Anderson

Now, Griswold’s new family can’t wait to show him the best Christmas of his life.

“Griswold and Maddie will of course have their photos taken with Santa. We will also be heading to the Delaware Beaches for the holiday where Griswold will get to meet and be spoiled by his new grandparents!” Anderson said.

Image Source: Jill Anderson

Thank you Jill Anderson for being an angel – we couldn’t be happier for this lucky pup!

Final Update:

We here at iHeartDogs sometimes like to check in on dogs we’ve covered before, and we were very late in checking up on Griswold. It has been a little over three years since he finally went home for his final Christmas – but he had a lot more left in him than originally thought. Not only did Griswold see one more Christmas – he stunned everyone and saw two. Furthermore, his family checked a number of firsts off a sweet bucket list thinking Griswold would not be around much longer – but he had more life in him than anyone expected!


“Griswold had a family. And while he was loved and gave love from the second he arrived at RAL, absolutely nothing beats the love of a family.“Once home, Griswold had a new bucket list. Jennifer said, ‘When I adopted Griswold, I just wanted to make sure he had the best Christmas ever, as I was not sure how long I was going to have him for given the fact he was so sick. As time went on, and he started doing so well, I just wanted to make sure that everything we did was super special for him.’1. Get Christmas jammies to match his sister Maddie2. Have a picture taken with Santa3. Get a Christmas stocking with presents under the tree4. See Christmas lights5. Run leash-free on the beach6. Go for a ride in a convertible with the top down7. Gave a pupaccino from Starbucks8. Sit in Santa’s sleigh9. Fall asleep in front of the fireplace


“Griswold has now done so much more than his original two Bucket Lists. With the love and determination of his mom, Griswold has beaten cancer! A special thank you to Dr. Arthur and Tyrone at Triangle Veterinary Referral Hospital in Durham, NC for taking such good care of him! He is in remission with no evidence of swollen lymphnoids to date.Since going home last December, he’s been celebrating a lot of firsts: his first visit to a dog park, his first Easter including an Easter basket and bunny ears, trick-or-treating on Halloween, visiting Grandpa at Thanksgiving. He’s even made it out to RAL’s Woofstock and Calendar Contest Party!“Jennifer says, ‘Watching him experience new things that we did not know he would have the chance to do has been such a special experience and I couldn’t love him more! We are so excited that we get to spend another Christmas with him.’


“Griswold found a family to love and to love him in return because of you. He received TLC and medical care at RAL, had his story nationally told, and found the best mom and sister ever because of a generous and caring community of animal lovers and advocates. May Griswold have many more Christmases and firsts.”

Griswold did eventually pass when he was good and ready, a year and a half later in the summer of 2019. He took his time soaking up all the love his family had to offer and left this world a happy pup.

“Many of you may recognize this sweet pup as Griswold, an RAL Alum, whose story touched so many hearts when all he wanted for his last Christmas was to find his family. Last week, on July 18th, we were sad to hear that Grissy had crossed the rainbow bridge. In his memory, his loving mom decided to enter him in the calendar contest one last time:…/RAL2020CalendarContest❤️


“Griswold came to RAL during the holidays in 2017 and was in rough shape – he had patches of hair missing, yeasty skin, goopy eyes, fleas, a heart murmur, and was underweight. And, on top of it all, he was fighting cancer. Griswold was in our care during Operation Silent Night that year and his bucket list consisted of one thing: Finding his forever family to spend the holidays with. When CBS picked up his story, calls started pouring in from all over the country. It wasn’t long before this handsome boy found the perfect family to call his own, just in time for the holidays. His human, Jill, adopted him knowing very well he didn’t have much time left. She wanted to shower him with love, kisses, and all the kindness in the world. However, with the love and determination of his mom, he beat cancer and got to experience a lot of firsts: his first visit to a dog park, his first Easter including an Easter basket and bunny ears, trick-or-treating, visiting Grandpa at Thanksgiving, and so much more. We are so thankful he got to experience the joy of love, family, and happiness.

“In the words of his mom, ‘Mr. Handsome touched the lives of everyone he met and lived his best life over the past two years.” Sweet Griswold, you will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts.’”


Featured image via Facebook/Richmond Animal League

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