A senior dog with cancer is proving bucket lists aren't just for humans by crossing off one list item at a time with the help of his new owner.
Loren Cazan of Groveland Township, Michigan, is helping Buddy, a 14-year-old Labrador mix that has been diagnosed with cancer, complete a bucket list. Cazan volunteers at A Rejoyceful Animal Rescue in Mount Clemens, Michigan, where Buddy ended up after his longtime owner died unexpectedly in February.
"He had nowhere to go after that and that is when he made his way to our rescue," Cazan told The Huffington Post. "I said that I would foster him."
When she picked up Buddy, Cazan noticed tumors of various sizes on his body. It was later determined that the senior dog has mast cell cancer. She has since come up with a bucket list for him and crossed off the first item: going beyond fostering and adopting Buddy as her own.
"I didn't want him to spend his last days or weeks bouncing around," she said. "I wanted him to have a place where he felt he belonged and was home."
So far, Buddy has had a pup cup from Dairy Queen, stuck his head out of a car window, played with chickens and gone on a date with another senior dog from the rescue center. Other things he has yet to cross off include going to the beach, having a steak dinner and visiting a nursing home or a school.
Cazan has started a Facebook page called "Buddy's Bucket List" to share his adventures and hopes that Buddy will inspire others to rescue animals, especially senior ones.
"Often times these pets are overlooked at the shelter and euthanized as a result of limited interest and no space, and can add years and months of joy to a family or person," Cazan told HuffPost.
How much time Buddy has left is unclear, but Cazan is positive Buddy will let her know "when it is his time." While crossing off items on his bucket list, Cazan has one touching and important goal.
"I made a promise to him that I will not let him suffer," she said. "I hope that whenever he leaves this life, he will know how loved he is by so many people."