Chester is a senior dog with terminal cancer. Although his days are numbered, the pup has lived more life these last few months than most animals do in a lifetime.
That's because his adoptive mother, Nicole Elliot, rescued him from the Animal Ark Rescue in her Georgia town. The rescue had saved the dog from a high-kill shelter in Columbus and was looking for someone to take him in despite his condition. The 24-year-old told ABC that while scrolling through the shelter's Facebook feed, she fell in love with Chester at first sight.
"He had a huge tumor on the top of his head and they wanted someone to take him for his final days. The next day, I got there right before they opened," she said.
The shelter wanted to give the dog to someone who would make his final days as comfortable as possible and that's exactly what Elliot vowed to do. How? With a doggy bucket list.
On June 28, she began a Facebook page called Chester's Final Journey that documents the adventures the two go on. It now has more than 35,000 likes.
The first excursions included new toys and a nice bath, but now Elliot is cooking up new ideas, which she posted to her and Chester's page:
I don't know anything about his past. I don't know when his birthday is, so I would like to try and set up some sort of birthday party for him. Maybe like a play date at a park for anyone to join. I have had several people ask to meet him, and set up play dates ... Also another thing I would like to do is for Chester to make people smile. If anyone knows of any children's homes, or any place I could take him to visit people and put a smile on their faces let me know.
"I am taking it a day at a time and trying to give him normal doggy experiences that he may have never had the chance to do before, and a ton of spoiling," she told WTVM.
Elliot also makes sure to post pictures of Chester and his fun ... including eating Nathan's hot dogs.
Elliot says that since Chester's condition is terminal, he doesn't need any extra care, but vets aren't sure how much time he has. So until he's in too much pain, or goes naturally, she's going to give him the best life possible.
"So far he took a ride with the windows down, he had a famous Nathan's hot dog, he had a doggie sundae, he had a milk and oatmeal bath (spa day), he went on a shopping spree where he got a cozy bed, bandannas, lots of treats and toys. Out of all of that his favorite part has been any of the food and treats — he still has a HUGE appetite!" she told WTVM.
But she isn't stopping at Chester. She helped set up a YouCaring crowdsourcing fund with Animal Ark rescue to raise money so the rescue can afford to take care of other senior animals like Chester. So far it's raised more than $2,000 of its $10,000 goal.
'I think all animals should have a chance to have a happy life,' she told ABC.
Indeed they do.