After finding out his beloved pup had just months to live, a Massachusetts mayor took the dog on a memorable road trip.
Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux has had his dog, Mura, since he adopted her from a backyard breeder when she was just 8 weeks old. Now 10 and a half, Mura was recently diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, a fatal form of blood cancer.
The diagnosis came a week after a three-pound tumor caused Mura's spleen to rupture on Sept. 21.
Heroux canceled a trip he was planning to the Middle East and decided he wanted to travel with Mura instead. At first, his initial plan was to visit her breeder in Canada. But the trip quickly ballooned, spanning 8,500 miles as they drove around the U.S.
"I did it when I did it because she was doing so well," Heroux told InsideEdition.com. "Her cancer is a very aggressive cancer and once it hits her, her downfall is going to be very quick."
From the New York side of Niagara Falls to California, the best friends embarked on a two-week cross-country journey on Oct. 28 with stops in between in Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, Missouri and Illinois, to name a few.
Heroux documented the heartwarming journey on Facebook, including snapshots in front of each state sign and pictures with popular landmarks. Mura quickly amassed a group of fans, who cheered her on throughout the voyage.
"I treat her like I would if she were a regular kid," he said. "I got to hang out with her and it was awesome."
With over 20 states and a pit stop in Canada under their belt, the two finally returned home on Nov. 9.
In an emotional Facebook post, Heroux thanked well-wishers for all the support they have received, noting it was his first vacation in three years.
“I had no idea that my trip with Mura would turn into what it turned into,” the post read. “So thank you everyone for being so kind to her.”
Heroux said Mura has been a part of his political identity from the start, working alongside him as he read to school children, visited senior homes and campaigned.
"There's a real special connection that we have," he said. "I'm attached to her."
The mayor said his next project is to create a children's book based on their trip to help teach kids about the process of animals being diagnosed with cancer.
For the remainder of Mura's life, Heroux wants to make her as comfortable as he can.
"I am going to make sure she is as healthy, happy and safe," he said.