The Tale of Smoke the Dog

Published on August 16, 2018

Screen-Shot-2018-08-15-at-10.36.46-PM-e1534435005961.png Back in June, Smoke, a 10-year old hound mix, came through the doors at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Everything seemed like a normal shelter situation — until suddenly, it wasn't.

On July 25, Smoke was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Without knowing the exact prognosis, AWLA set out to ensure he experienced the fullest life possible, creating a Bucket List for Smoke. While the ultimate goal was adoption, or even finding a "fospice home," the bucket list represented a chance for Smoke to celebrate some of his favorite things in and around Arlington. "Smoke deserves to live the rest of the time he has left in a home, with a family that loves him," wrote AWLA. "We are hoping that someone will come and adopt this big, goofy boy and give him as much love as they can during his last weeks and months."

As you can imagine, the response from the community was fast and friendly. In fact, Smoke crossed off the first item on his bucket list in just a few hours, as one of AWLA's supporters brought him a cheeseburger (AWLA reported Smoke "wanted to do this Bucket List item again").

Shortly after that, the Arlington County Fire Department showed up to take Smoke on a ride in one of their trucks.

Related: ACFD's Operation FirePaws

Then Smoke got his day with the Arlington County Police Department.

The response was overwhelming. In fact, AWLA received so many offers to take Smoke on outings that they had to create a sign-up schedule for him. Meanwhile, Smoke was quickly becoming a TV star, and was featured on the local broadcasts of ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC.

In early August, Smoke got to visit the biggest dog park of his life when the Washington Nationals gave him a special tour of Nationals Park (complete with ice cream in a mini Nats helmet, of course).

[caption id="attachment_18184" align="aligncenter" width="550"]dog eating ice cream Safe at home.[/caption]

And then, Smoke was able to check off the most important item on his bucket list: A new home.

After a successful trial night, Smoke had found his new forever home, officially getting adopted by Arlington County resident Amy Childers.

[caption id="attachment_18185" align="aligncenter" width="518"]dog on leash Smoke, with his new adopted mom, Amy Childers.[/caption]

"We're so happy Smoke found his forever home," said Samuel Wolbert, president and CEO of AWLA. "He can live out the rest of his life like all dogs should — with a family that loves him."

"I went in there Monday and visited him. I brought my dog in yesterday to meet each other and it was a wrap," Childers said.

While Smoke has found his new home, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington continues to shelter all kinds of animals, including dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, rabbits, birds and more. See all of their dogscats, and small companion animals for adoption.

Not looking to add an animal to your home, but still want to help? AWLA created an Amazon Wish List of items "we think Smoke would like for himself and his doggie friends here at the shelter."