LIFESTYLE

Dying Dog's 'Bucket List' Includes Steak, Riding In A Police Car And Meeting A Celebrity

04/04/2014 11:08 BST | Updated 04/04/2014 11:59 BST

When Riina Cooke's boxer dog Romeo was diagnosed with inoperable bone cancer, she was heart broken.

But rather than mourn the inevitable death of her companion, she decided to help him live out his last moments in style - by creating his very own 'bucket list' before he sadly had to be put down.

The 32-year-old from British Columbia, Canada, was so upset that she decided to write a list of things for him to experience before he died, to fill his last four months with happy memories and adventures - including eating a steak dinner and riding in a police car.

She captured every moment in a heartbreaking set of photographs.

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Dying Boxer Dog Romeo's Bucket List

Riina said: "I was just so upset for the first few days, I needed to do something to occupy my mind.

"Osteacarcoma is not treatable. The only treatment is amputation and the rest of his body isn’t strong enough as he was too old."

She added: "I decided to put together a list of fun thing for us to do together, for example, riding a police car and fire engine, having a steak dinner, professional massage, try sushi and to go on a blind date with another boxer.

"We were able to complete them all and Romeo even visited the USA."

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Riina said: "I hope by sharing Romeo's bucket list on Facebook that it will bring light to other people who are going through something similair.

"It gave my dog the chance to experience things most will never get chance to.

"His favourite thing on the bucket list was definitely the steak dinner.

"I enjoyed spending so much time with him, I loved seeing him really happy."

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Sadly, when Romeo returned from the USA his conditioned declined.

"I made the heart breaking decision to put him down as he was in horrendous pain with his back legs."

Riina doesn't have any children, and despite being petrified of losing her companion, she wanted to make his few days count.

But four months after being diagnosed, vets had to put him to sleep on March 16 - but not before he had ticked everything off the bucket list.

She said: "It was bittersweet, 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."

After years of having a boxer dog in her home, Riina hated not having a dog and decided to get another one in Romeo's memory - Elvis.

She added: "I'll never forgot Romeo, he will always have a place in my heart, he was like my first child.

"Elvis will grow up knowing how brave his big brother, Romeo, was.

"I will also be documenting his adventures on Facebook too.

ROMEO'S BUCKET LIST

1. Trip to the first park where he had walkies as a puppy

2. Have breakfast in bed with dad

3. Have his first beer with dad at the pub

4. Meet a celebrity

5. Watch a sunset

6. Candle lit massage from mum

7. Have a ride a fire engine

8. Have a ride a police car

9. Spend lots quality time with my family

10. Have a great birthday party

11. Help out at an animal shelter

12. Eat a McDonalds cheese burger

13. Celebrate New Year in style

14. Enjoy a doggy ice cream

15. Have a steak dinner

16. Enjoy a full body massage

17. Get a pawicure

18. Go on a blind date

19. Eat some sushi

20. Find myself a Valentines

21. Have lots of doggy treats

22. Visit the USA