Animals

Family Creates ‘Bucket List’ For Dog With Terminal Cancer

The dog's many adventures are giving folks a much-needed boost during a tough time.


Riding in a convertible, meeting a pony dressed as a unicorn, checking out a drive-in movie. While these items might not top your bucket list, a 12-year-old Golden retriever in Crystal Lake, IL has been "living his best life" after he was abandoned in a local Walmart parking lot.

After he was found, it was discovered that the elderly pup had cancer – but that didn't stop Jenny Leech and her husband from adopting him. When Leech took the dog (who they named Theo) to the vet, they found out he has testicular and pancreatic cancer along with lumps on his tails and toes.

Because of his advanced age, surgery isn't an option, so the Leech family pledged to make Theo's remaining time with them as enjoyable as possible. The couple, who have two other foster dogs as well as several pets, started taking Theo on adventures and documenting them on social media.

Check out a few clips of Theo taking part in some of his bucket list activities...

"It was clear that despite everything crappy that had happened to him, he was happy. So we wanted him to experience everything in whatever time's left," Leech told the Culpeper Star-Exponent.

Theo's bucket list included small pleasures at first, like getting a burger at a drive-thru and swimming in a lake with his toy octopus, but once word got out people started contacting Jenny and suggesting for more elaborate activities for the pooch to enjoy.

One of Theo's bucket list items was seeing a drive-in movie with his pals. Jenny Leech/Facebook

"People started offering bucket list ideas; someone offered to take him on a boat ride, another took Theo for a ride in his Mustang convertible. It was just amazing," Jenny said.

Now, two months later, Theo is crossing off a new item from his bucket list almost every day, and while his condition hasn't improved, he appears to be happy and comfortable with his new life.

People have been reaching out with suggestions for new bucket list adventures for Theo, and some have made donations to help with the costs. Jenny Leech/Facebook

Some of the pup's most recent adventures include going on a blind date with a German shepherd named Sasha, sitting in a sky-diving plane and getting sworn in as an honorary K9 officer with the Crystal Lake Police Department.

He also had a birthday party recently complete with presents, guests and a dog-friendly cake.

Theo's birthday party was a big hit. Jenny Leech/Facebook

Jenny says Theo's story is giving people some much-needed hope during a dark time.

"He came for some purpose. I think people are looking for things and ways to feel good, and he's giving people that chance," she said.

Theo's family says there are a lot more items to cross off the list, and they're encouraging his 'fans' to continue making suggestions. Jenny Leech/Facebook

We couldn't love this story any more. Kudos to the Leech family for making Theo's last days the best ever. If only all dogs (and humans) got such royal treatment!

How can you start something good?

You can keep up with Theo's bucket list adventures by following his mom's Facebook page.


Theo's family is also encouraging folks to donate to B.A.R.K Dog Rescue in Theo's honor.


Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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