Upon learning that his beloved 10-year-old Japanese wolf dog, Mura, was dying from an aggressive form of blood cancer Paul Heroux, the mayor of Attleboro, Massachusetts, decided to take her on an adventure of a lifetime.  With Mura only having a few months to live, Heroux canceled his upcoming vacation to the Middle East, packed Mura in the car, and set off on a road trip across the country.

Within 12 days, the pair traveled over 8, 500 miles together and visited 24 states.  But despite the great distance, they covered in such a short amount of time, their journey was filled with even greater meaning.  Heroux and Mura made their first pit stop in British Columbia, where they met up with the breeder who introduced them, followed by layovers at the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood, Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore, Niagara Falls, and the University of California, where Heroux went to college. 

In an interview with Lonely Planet, Heroux said that the highlight of the trip was not all the wonderful sites and amazing people they encountered along the way; for him—and he suspects for Mura, too—the best part of the trek was the time they spent together.

“’Mura is my family,’” he told Lonely Planet, “’and the most precious thing in the world to me. . .  She has campaigned with me and goes to work with me and has been with me through the best and worst times in my life.’”

Heroux eventually hopes to use the plethora of photos and videos he shot during the road trip as inspiration for a children’s book. For now, however, he is focused on making the most of the time he and Mura have left.

Photo Credit: Paul Heroux

Join the conversation