No one knows how long an old dog has left when he arrives at the shelter. They're often abandoned with little to no information, their age anyone's guess.
But Melvin? He was old. At least, his body said so: severe heart murmur, a mouthful of rotten teeth and a litany of other health complaints.
And everybody knew how much time he had left. Because he was scheduled for euthanasia.
In fact, Melvin was slated to be put down the day Christina Hackett of the Animal Foundation of America (AFA) showed up at the Los Angeles shelter.
"I got there two minutes before five, when they were going to close," she tells The Dodo.
Then suddenly, Melvin had all the time in the world.