Rocko’s prognosis isn’t good.
The 8-year-old lab mix is suffering from an incurable form of cancer called lymphosarcoma, discovered after he was relinquished to Arizona’s Maricopa County Animal Care and Control for the third time in 15 months.
But a devoted group of shelter volunteers are making sure his last weeks are spent with as much love and fun as possible — and have created a bucket list for the pup.
“We don’t know how much longer he has,” says Melissa Gable of the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, adding that the dog had initially “responded remarkably well” to drugs before taking a turn for the worse. Now, he’s splitting his time between two foster families — and packing in lots of fun.
First up on the list was a ride on a Mesa Fire Department fire engine, checked off last Friday.
This Saturday, Rocko is the guest of honor at a brunch at a dog-friendly restaurant with his new family of loving humans, all of whom will bring tennis balls (his favorite!) to put into a kiddie pool in which he can play.
Other wished-for items include running the bases at the Chicago Cubs training facility in Mesa, an honorary degree from the local community college and walking the beat with police officers as an honorary K9.
Gable promises Rocko’s life will be filled with as much fun and love as possible as he makes his way through his bucket list. Says Gable of the volunteers’ efforts to help: “It’s bittersweet.”