Anthony Lyons is a 16-year-old with three dogs, which he loves and misses terribly each month when he checks into Phoenix Children’s Hospital for his chemotherapy treatments. Fighting lymphoblastic leukemia is a miserable experience for him, to be sure. The only bright spots are the occasional visits from the hospital’s therapy dogs.
“When the dogs come, that’s the one thing that makes me smile,” Lyons said. “The dogs are so happy. They come in, and they are already happy. They just want to see you.”
Inspired by those four-legged volunteers, his family started a Facebook event called “Photo Doggies for Anthony,” where people from all over the world could post pooch pics along with words of encouragement.
And boy, have the doggies delivered. As of New Year’s Eve, the Facebook page had just under 10,000 friends. By Monday, the page had hit nearly a million. From far and wide, every kind of dog you can imagine showed up on that Facebook page. Big dogs, little dogs, happy dogs, playful dogs, fancy dogs, rescue dogs — soooo many dogs mugged for the camera to send their love to a sick boy in Phoenix.
“This has gotten so viral that it is making local and soon national news… One thing I have to say is, make yourself smile too by looking at these beautiful animals that God gave us. I can’t stop crying from tears of happiness,” said Roberta Lucero-Koron, creator of the Facebook event page.
On Monday, the original Facebook page was spammed with what was reported as an image of a dead, roasted dog. Eeesh. The photo apparently got the whole page pulled down. It has since been started back up with a corresponding Instagram account.
So log on to your social media accounts, share your best pooch pics with Anthony, and send him your love. You’ll be glad to be a part of something so lovely.