When Nicole Elliot saw a photo of a senior dog with terminal cancer on her local animal shelter’s Facebook page, she knew she had to do something.
The Georgia woman decided to not only provide a home for Chester the terrier, but also to make sure his final days would be the best ones of his life.
"Before I went and got him, I decided to do a bucket list," she told ABC News.
Elliot adopted Chester on June 27 and learned that the senior dog had undergone surgery to remove some of his tumors, but more had turned up. The dog's owners had surrendered him to a high-kill shelter, and Animal Ark Rescue took Chester in before he could be euthanized.
In addition to cancer, Chester is also tested positive for heartworm, and veterinarians aren’t sure how much time he has left.
But regardless of how many days or weeks remain, Elliot is determined that Chester enjoy them.
Since his adoption, Chester has been to parks, eaten hot dogs and gone on a shopping spree for toys and treats.
"I also want to take him on a boat ride, to the beach, and to have a professional photographer take pictures of him,” Elliot said. “I want to have them after he's gone."
She recently started sharing Chester’s escapades on Facebook, and the page has already amassed more than 35,000 followers. Elliot says she hopes the photos and stories she shares there will inspire other people to adopt animals that are often overlooked in shelters.
"There are so many people that say animals don’t have souls like humans, but I feel like anybody who met Chester would see he does have a soul,” she said. "I think all animals should have a chance to have a happy life."
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