NEW ORLEANS - If you only had one year to live, what would you do? Meatball, a 5-year old American bulldog with DCM, is living his best life with his new owner.
"DCM is Dilated Cardiomyopathy, and what that means is he has an enlarged heart that will keep enlarging, and eventually it will fail on him," Meatball's owner, Steve Grad said. "He takes five pills every 12 hours. He's on prescription dog food. So far, so good. It's helping extend his quality of life."
Grad decided to help Meatball live a little more adventurously, cruising with him around the country in his very own sidecar.
Meatball is originally from Colorado.
"He's a guard dog that got returned. That's how he ended up back at the shelter, because he wasn't very good at guarding. I tell everyone he's equal parts love and slobber," Grad said.
Grad decided to move Meatball from Denver to New Orleans where he said the locals know how to live life to the fullest.
He knew Meatball would be shown more appreciation and attention in the Big Easy, and hoped people would forget about their own troubles when they see his pup riding in the sidecar.
"It doesn't matter if you're old, young, left, right, Democrat or Republican, everyone comes together around this and just sees how much love that it is and how much joy he brings," Grad said.
He said his goal is to encourage others to adopt shelter dogs and love them unconditionally in sickness and in health.
"In my whole life I've never done anything that reached more people than this," Grad said.
And don't worry, Meatball is enjoying his rides in safety.
Grad said he straps him in with a three-point harness and puts a pair of safety goggles on him.
If you want to follow Meatball's journey, check him out on Instagram.