Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is a horrible tragedy. Through that tragedy many people find a strength that they never knew they had. They begin to see the excitement and joy in life that they’ve taken for granted for so long. Dogs don’t take things for granted. They live each day to its fullest and enjoy the small things that bring so much joy. So what is a dog to do when he has a terminal disease? Check things off his bucket list of course!
King, the adorable pit bull pictured above, has an inoperable tumor on his spine, which his doctors say will soon spread to other parts of his body. His veterinary team has given him three to five months to live. Making this story even more heartbreaking is the fact that King was abandoned by his original owners.
The tumor has already taken control of the dog’s hind legs, leaving him paralyzed. He gets around with the help of a canine wheelchair. Despite the upsetting news, King now has a new foster family, and they are not letting the pooch live his last months in misery.
King’s foster mom is Liz Fratea and she has teamed up with Stephanie Paquin, founder of Passion 4 Pits, to plan a lifetime of adventures for the dog with a bucket list that can be found on the King’s Facebook page. They are hoping to let the dog live like a celebrity during his final few months. When asked why she chose to help Fratea, Pauin stated:
“I would not have hesitated. Even knowing how sick he is; he did not deserve to die alone.”
King’s foster family is hoping to make some incredible memories during the next few months, and they have been documenting their experiences on social media. Some of the items on the dog’s bucket list include:
- Dog pack walk
- Puppy play date
- Beach day
- Visiting the park
- Chowing down on a steak
- An ice cream trip
- Visit a fast food restaurant
- Party with puppies
Earlier this year a New York man also took his dog on a bucket list adventure across the United States. Poh, a mixed breed dog from New York City was diagnosed with a terminal illness, but his owner refused to let him sit at home and suffer. They began traveling the country, crossing off many destinations from their bucket list along the way.
The 15-year-old dog visited 35 cities and rode over 12,000 miles on his seven week adventure. Beginning on March 6, 2015, Poh, his owner and his owner’s fiancé hit the road. His owner said that the initial goal was to make it to the Pacific Ocean. He wanted Poh to be able to swim in it. They made stops in North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Oregon and many other states along the way.
Poh’s owner crossed some things off his own bucket list too. He said, “We even stopped by Walter White’s house in New Mexico. We went to The Goonies house in Oregon. There were some dog parks to go to. In Austin we went to a great dog park where he actually swam.” The trip was documented on Instagram via an account created specifically for Poh’s adventure.
I love the idea of a doggy bucket list, but I prefer to let my dog’s enjoy the life they have while they are healthy. We take our dog’s quality of life very seriously. They come for rides any chance they can, we take them swimming all the time and they love to go for hikes with us. Our family takes our responsibility as pet parents very seriously, and with that comes the responsibility of giving them the best quality of life possible.
Don’t get me wrong, canine bucket lists are a great idea. In fact, if one of our girls was given only a few months to live, I would certainly spoil her a lot more. I just think it’s equally important to focus on your pet’s overall happiness throughout her entire life. So many pets sit at home alone all day while their owners are at work. Make sure that the time you do have to spend with your pet is meaningful and provides you both with enjoyment.