When many people look to adopt a pet, they gravitate toward the cute and fluffy puppies and kitties they can spend years creating memories with, filling their Instagram and Facebook feeds with adorable pics of a perfect life with a furry friend.
Nicole Elliott of Columbus, Georgia, did just the opposite: She’s giving one lucky shelter dog a second chance at life with his limited remaining days.
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In April, Elliott became a foster parent to Chester, an adorably scruffy dog who was rescued from a high-kill shelter by another shelter. You have to see his radical before-and-after photo to believe it:
After removing all the matted hair, the animal shelter that saved him found a large tumor on his side and had it removed, but soon it, and more tumors, returned all over his body. The sweet dog—whom the shelter guesses to be around 13 or 14 years old—has terminal cancer.
“I saw a post about him needing a hospice for his remaining days. I had to consider it for a while and decide if I could handle it,” Elliott wrote in the first post for his Facebook page, Chester’s Final Journey. “I decided it would be an amazing experience to take on. It will be so tough to lose him shortly, so I decided to take the time he has left and make it as happy as I can. Today he has many cancerous lumps all over his body. He is also heart worm positive. He is still so sweet and as perky as he could be. I am wanting to do a sort of bucket list for Sweet Chester and give him an awesome final ride.”
Since then, the 24-year-old mom has made it her mission to help Chester make the most of his remaining time. For their first adventure together, Elliott took him shopping for toys and other doggie delights. Since then, she told local news station WTVM, he’s taken a fun car ride with the windows down, eaten a Nathan’s hot dog and a dog-friendly sundae, relaxed in a special oatmeal milk bath, and enjoyed all the treats and toys a dog could possibly want.
She told WTVM she has other plans for Chester that include “a dinner at a nice restaurant, a day at the beach and a birthday party at the animal rescue with his four-legged friends.” As they go about their bucket list, Elliott will be posting photos of their fun on Instagram and Facebook. We’ll be watching to see what amazing things Chester gets to experience next.
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