Owner Makes Awesome Bucket List for Terminally-Ill Dog

In late 2013, Romeo, the 8-year old boxer, was diagnosed with untreatable bone cancer, osteacarcoma. His number one human, Riina Cooke of British Columbia, cried for days after receiving this horrible news, but then she decided to make the best out of a bad situation. “I cried and felt sorry for him, and then I just snapped out of it and said, ‘ok, let’s make this a positive, fun experience,’ and then I just kind of came up with the bucket list.”

She penned what she thought Romeo would love to experience in the next four months before his inevitable departure to doggie heaven.



First on the list were delicious culinary delights normally off limits to dogs – they included a cheeseburger, sushi, breakfast in bed with his doggie-dad and steak at a candlelit picnic in the park.



The 22-item list extended beyond new food experiences and included sight-seeing at the beach, visiting loved ones, riding shotgun in a police and a firetruck, making a donation to an animal shelter, having a blind Valentine date with a cute boxer named Pearl, enjoying a fireside massage and having a big blow-out birthday party with all of his doggie friends for his 9th birthday.



When his bucket list was complete and the cancer overwhelming, Romeo was put to sleep. “It was bittersweet,” Cooke recalled. “I had to let Romeo go, we had so many great memories together, but it wasn’t fair to keep him alive when he was in so much pain. Everyone loved him; he was such a kind-hearted dog.”

Cooke made a Facebook page for Romeo and his bucket list to inspire others. “He’s all over the world now,” she told Life With Dogs. ”I have thousands of messages from people saying he’s helped them with their grieving process and that they’ve now given their dogs bucket lists. I’ve had people tell me it’s changed their perspective on their dying animals or even family members, and how they want to stop hurting and instead enjoy every last moment.”



Photos for this post were supplied by Riina Cooke from Romeo Facebook page.  R.I.P. Romeo.

Next page – A video of Romeo enjoying his last days.


Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing, RIP Romeo

Jayasri Amma
Jayasri Amma4 years ago

Thank you!

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson5 years ago

My "Awe" moment was satisfied.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe5 years ago

I knew I shouldn't have watched the video, because now I can't stop crying!!
Riina, you made a great bucket list for your baby!
Rest in Peace, sweet Romeo!!

chris luyten
chris luyten5 years ago

this is just how the world should be :-) it's like love story , whitin the sadness of losing a dear friend you thinked about others to by making that bucketlist public have faisth that romeo is now looking down to see how his owner and friend still think and love him

nice to read in a worl full of animal cruelty ...

matt gowty
matt gowty5 years ago

Really lovely idea. Sounds like it brought a lot of comfort to the both of them.

Tanya W.
Tanya W5 years ago

Blessings to all.

Anne K.
Anne K5 years ago

Thank you!

Pets Ware
Pets Ware5 years ago

What a adorable dog.

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Bethany Bekolay
Bethany Bekolay5 years ago

oh my god that is amazing