NEW ORLEANS, LA (WGNO) -- If you only had one year to live, what would you do?
In this case, we are talking about the lifespan of Meatball who is a 5-year old American bulldog with DCM.
"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," says Meatball's owner, Steve Grad.
"He takes 5 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 extend his quality of life in more ways than one by hitching a sidecar to his motorcycle, and letting Meatball cruise with him around the country.
Meatball is originally from Colorado.
He was rescued from a shelter in Denver after he failed at his doggie job.
"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," jokes Grad.
Grad decided to move Meatball from Denver to New Orleans where he says 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 wishes that people will 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," says Grad.
Grad says his biggest hope 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," says Grad.
So, if you see Meatball cruising around the city, just know that he is enjoying his rides in safety.
Grad says he straps him in, in a three point harness and puts a pair of safety goggles on him.
If you want to follow meatball's journey, then look up @sidecarmeatball on Instagram.
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