When Riina Cooke found out her beloved boxer, Romeo, had an inoperable bone cancer, she was in shock. On April 7, 2014, Cooke told Today.com that after taking time to let the devastating news sink in, she decided to make a bucket list for Romeo.
Cooke and her family put off grieving, as they did not want their final days together to be sad. They created the bucket list by picking something fun for him to do everyday until he was gone.
Romeo was eight-years-old when he was diagnosed in December 2013, he turned nine on February 27. Romeo lived twice as long than the veterinarian expected him to and Cooke believes that is because Romeo's bucket list was completed.
"He was just such a happy dog right up until the end, sitting there with a bum leg," Cooke said. "we had a huge party in the park for his birthday."
Romeo was able to do everything on the list before Cooke had to make the heart-breaking decision to have him put down on March 16 due to the amount of pain he was in.
Romeo's bucket list included watching the sunset, riding in a police car, getting to eat a McDonald's cheeseburger and even having his first beer at a bar with his dad. He had a professional massage and "pawdicure" before going on a blind date with another boxer. Cooke created a Facebook page to share their story with her friends, but she now has several thousand followers.
"People are saying, 'It inspired us to live out the last days with our cherished family members, four legs or two, and end happy,'" she told Today.com.
Cooke said Romeo's bucket list has also inspired other pet owners going through similar situations to create a bucket list for their pets.