No Ordinary Day at the Beach

A happy dog smiles with its tongue out as the ocean water washes over its paws

It’s 8:00 in the morning, do you know where your dog is? Well, I can tell you twenty-five happy dogs are strolling or rolling down the beach at the Jersey shore. These are not your ordinary dogs, but hospice dogs that were let down by their families in their time of need. These pups are the lucky ones that found their way to a little heaven on earth at a place called Monkey’s House, a Dog Hospice & Sanctuary. 

Waggin' One, the bus for hospice dogs is parked on the sandy beach of the Jersey Shore.

You might be thinking to yourself “how can hospice dogs go on a trip to the beach, especially those with additional challenges such as mobility issues, being blind or deaf, or all the above.” “We have a bus called Waggin’ One for the pup’s special adventures to places like the New Jersey beaches or the state forest,” Jeff Allen, co-founder of Monkey’s House says. “The pups are as excited as a class of screaming second graders hopping on the bus going on a field trip.”

In running a dog hospice most of the dogs that make their way to Monkey’s House have some sort of disability to go along with their terminal diagnosis. However, they don’t let that get in the way of giving these dogs special moments and helping them live their best final chapter. For many of these pups, they experience love, compassion, and adventures for the first time in their lives.  

Many owners and their dogs on leashes walk and play along the beach

On the beach volunteers, known as aunts & uncles, accompany the dogs as they take in the sights, sounds, and smells. Oh the smells, we all know the multitude of scents there are at the beach, imagine a dog’s delight! The dogs that have trouble walking are in strollers, a wagon, or in our handy K9 Sport Sacks. The dogs like being chauffeured around by their favorite person.

A blind cocker spaniel is led along the sandy beach on a leash by its owner

You’ll notice a few of the dogs dipping their paws into the ocean or smelling a big clump of seaweed. The wind is blowing through Tequilla’s hair, a handsome cocker spaniel, standing like a proud show dog ready to receive his ribbon. He has no eyes and a heart condition, yet enjoying a walk on the beach. The shelter had him slated to be destroyed, thankfully he was rescued and brought to Monkey’s House. I’m sure it’s hard for you to even imagine that being old, neglected, and slightly imperfect carries a death sentence! 

As Tequilla walks on the beach, we are reminded that having a disability doesn’t mean inability. He has the ability to LIVE life to the fullest. Many of us have disabilities, don’t let it stop you from taking your “walk on the beach.” 

The full chapter of No Ordinary Day at the Beach can be found in the recent bestseller Where Dogs Go To Live!.

A special needs dog propped up on wheels to support its hind legs chases after a tennis ball near the ocean water

The book introduces you to some of the 120+ furry family members who are living or have lived out their final chapter at Monkey’s House. Share in their journeys, laugh at their crazy antics, and shed a few tears while witnessing miracles of transformation. Rejoice along with these dogs, knowing they experienced the greatest gift of all, the healing power of love.

About the Author: Jeff Allen is the cofounder of Monkey’s House a Dog Hospice & Sanctuary and a bestselling author of Where Dogs Go To Live!: Inspiring Stories of Hospice Dogs Living in the Moment.