SOMERVILLE, Mass. (CBS Boston) -- Meet 11-year-old Sparkle. If you live in Somerville, Massachusetts you probably already know her. "She's known as the Mayor of Somerville. A lot of people talk about her that way," says her owner, Melora Rush.
Rush put a sign outside of her house last year, introducing the pup that just loves to be outside. "She loves it. She usually sits right out by the sign. And just waits for her fan club," said Rush.
A fan club that includes frequent visitors, like neighbor Alison Pirie who says she visits Sparkle, "about once a day. I walk back and forth."
They even get fan mail, with Rush showing WBZ-TV a few of the letters. "This is a note that was left a couple days ago that says 'We love you Sparkle. The goodest girl,'" said Rush.
It's also fan club that is growing thanks to a recent social media post that went viral by Boston photographer Eric Magnussen:
In the post, an update to the sign explains Sparkle has cancer in her upper jaw, and it cannot be cured. "I just wanted the neighbors to be aware of what was happening because it's going to be a big loss for Somerville and this community," said Rush.
"I heard the news online that Sparkle was diagnosed with cancer and after having a good cry with my partner I just thought, just say hi, it felt like the right thing to do," said Joe Szafarowicz, a neighbor who stopped by to pay a special visit.
Sparkle's friends, old and new, are encouraged to continue to show her love but are reminded to sanitize your hands beforehand, be gentle while petting her, and avoid touching her face. "I'm hoping she stays healthy enough for a while to continue to be outside. I'm hoping she gets all the love in the world and, as our vet said, that people spoil her rotten," said Rush.
No matter how much time Sparkle has left, it's clear it will be spent the way it has been for over a decade. "This is the way she'll spend the rest of her life, giving love to the world and having it come back. It's just beautiful," said neighbor Kathryn Leann Harris.
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