Chester may be in his last days, but he's living the dream. Little is known about the terminally ill dog's life before April, when he was rescued from a high-kill shelter in Columbus, where his previous owners left him. "He wasn't in the best shape," says Nicole Elliott, who found Chester on nonprofit Animal Ark Rescue's Facebook page. "They bathed him and shaved away all of the matted, dirty hair. They found a very large tumor on his side, and had it removed. Since then they have shown up all over his body." But despite his health problems, Elliott is helping him get the most out of his last days. "I slept on it, and woke up knowing it was the right thing to do," she tells WTVM. Chester, likely 13 or 14, now has a Facebook page and is checking off a "bucket list" to ensure he has an "awesome final ride," Elliott tells the New York Daily News.
So far, Chester has had a spa day with a milk and oatmeal bath and a shopping spree for new toys. There have also been plenty of treats, like "a famous Nathans hot dog" and a sundae. "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," says Elliott. Next on the list: dinner at a restaurant, a day at the beach, a boat ride, and a birthday party with other rescued animals. "There is no estimate on time that I will be blessed with Chester," Elliott says. "He doesn't seem to be in much pain, but he is slow due to his age." She adds "he still has very perky moments and he loves to terrorize my kitties." Elliott hopes Chester encourages others to adopt from shelters with hospice programs, ABC News reports. Other animals "deserve a chance at a great final journey too!" she writes. (This dying dog took a "bucket list" trip to the Pacific.)