Dying dog ‘depressed’ over owner’s sudden death is adopted, treated to bucket list

Posted at 10:37 AM, Mar 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-29 10:38:48-04

A dog in Michigan who was diagnosed with terminal cancer after his longtime owner suddenly passed away is being treated to a bucket list in the final days of his life.

Buddy, a 14-year-old Labrador mix, became “depressed” following the recent death of his owner, said Loren Cazan, a volunteer at A Rejoyceful Animal Rescue.

“He was kind of left with nowhere to go,” Cazan told television station WXYZ in Detroit. “I saw his picture and I couldn’t say no to that sweet face.”

Cazan picked up the broken-hearted dog and took him to a veterinarian to be checked out. That’s when she found out Buddy was terminally ill with cancer.

By the time of his diagnosis, the cancer had spread all over his body, she said.

“We’re not sure how much longer he has left. But we just want to make sure that, whatever time that is, he has the best life possible,” Cazan told the station.

In order to make that possible for Buddy, volunteers at the animal rescue made a bucket list for him.

The list contains “all of the items we think a pup should experience before he crosses the ‘Rainbow Bridge,'” according to “Buddy’s Bucket List,” a Facebook page chronicling the dog’s adventures.

Among the items completed: a day at the beach; going to Dairy Queen for ice cream; getting a kid’s meal from McDonald’s; meeting the Easter Bunny; becoming an honorary firehouse dog; and going on a “pup date” with another senior dog.

Cazan also didn’t want the dog to spend his last days looking for a home, so she helped him check off the most important item on the list.

“I said, ‘You’re not leaving my house,’ and I adopted him” she told WXYZ.

Cazan hopes that sharing Buddy’s journey will provide a platform to spread the word about the importance of rescuing older dogs, and ensuring they have love and compassion in their senior years.

“He’s just a completely different dog now, and it’s absolutely the most rewarding thing, and worth the heartbreak that I know is coming with him, just to see him happy,” she said.

CNN contributed to this story.