Foster Mom Helps Terminally Ill Rescue Pup Fulfill His Bucket List

Christina Peden
by Christina Peden
We hope you have your tissues handy, ‘cuz this one’s a real tearjerker! But don’t worry – it’ll also make you smile and help restore your faith in humanity.

Animal lovers know there are few things in life more painful than losing a beloved pet, so you can imagine how difficult it must be to take in a new furry friend knowing that their days are limited. However, that’s just what Georgia resident Nicole Elliott did a few short weeks ago, and she hasn’t looked back since.

Chester, an adorable little scamp who is estimated to be around 13 or 14, was saved in April from a high-kill shelter by Georgia-based rescue group Animal Ark. His fur was long and extremely matted; the poor guy wasn’t in good shape. To make matters worse, once Chester had his haircut, a large, cancerous tumor was discovered on his side. The tumor was removed by veterinarians, but a short time later, more tumors began cropping up and it was also discovered that Chester was heartworm positive. Knowing his time left was limited, Animal Ark put a call out on its Facebook page for a hospice foster home for the diminutive pup.

Related: Why You Should Consider Fostering a Dog

Nicole Elliot’s love of animals has been with her since childhood, so when she came across Chester’s story on Facebook, she knew what she had to do, despite the fact that she has a young daughter to care for and recently lost her grandmother.

“I knew that it would be my responsibility to make his final days the best I could, to mine and his ability. I arrived before the shelter opened, and they let me in to get him. I fell in love the moment I saw him,” she says.

Upon bringing Chester home, Elliott decided to make a Facebook page to celebrate Chester’s remaining time and focus on making his days the most joyful they could be, fulfilling a ‘bucket list’ of activities any pooch would over the moon to complete.

Related: Man And His Dog Walk 1200 Miles For Cancer

So far, Chester has gone on a shopping spree for a comfy new bed, toys and treats. He has also been pampered with an oatmeal and milk bath at the spa, had a doggie sundae, eaten a famous Nathan’s hotdog and gone for lots of car rides with his head hanging out the window. Apparently, Chester’s favorite things so far have been the food and treats since he still has a huge appetite, which we all know is a good sign!

Right now, Elliott’s other plans for Chester include dinner at a nice restaurant, a beach day and a birthday party at Animal Ark with all his other doggie friends.

For now, Chester is doing relatively well – he’s not in pain and is still often quite perky, even finding the time to “terrorize” Elliott’s two cats, as she puts it.

When the time comes, Elliott and veterinarians will make the decision that’s best for Chester, but until then, we wish him many more treat, toy and loved-filled days.

Since its launch on June 28, Chester’s Final Journey has garnered more than 35,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Head on over if you’d like to follow along with Chester and his family.

[Source: WTVM Georgia]

Christina Peden
Christina Peden

Christina Peden is a lifelong animal lover and avid wordsmith. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Ryan where they are proud pet parents to puppy, Matilda and cat, Oscar. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying Toronto, Canada's all-too-short patio season, taking advantage of the city's numerous parks or curled up with a good book.

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