When the realization of one’s mortality strikes, it brings with it a self-evaluation of one’s own life. In this evaluation, we ask ourselves many questions but one stands above the other, and that is, “what do I want to do before I die?” We all have desires for certain experiences before we pass away but so do our pets. Dexter is a 13-year-old white and brown pit bull rescue who, along with his guardian, has decided to celebrate the end of his life by putting together a bucket list.

Not much is known about Dexter’s past before his rescue four years ago from a high-kill shelter in California, but the external scars he carries tells a story of abuse and neglect, reports Dogster. From his various injuries, including a permanently damaged spine, it is believed that Dexter may have spent his early years as a bait dog before being abandoned. Bait dogs are used in bloody dog fights as a chained up practice round for the game dogs, where they are bit and mutilated.

Luckily, Dexter was given a second chance at a happy life when he was rescued in 2010 by his now guardian. His guardian says Dexter may be physically scarred but his heart and spirit are completely intact. They have been making great memories over the years as Dexter has finally been able to trust his human friends, as well as other dogs and he has even entered into a contest for American Dog Magazine this past August.

The day after entering the contest, Dexter received some bad news from the veterinarian. Dexter was diagnosed with Mast Cell tumors. Due to his age, his guardian decided to proceed with the surgery to remove the cancer but has opted out of the chemotherapy and radiation. His guardian wants Dexter “to live peacefully & comfortably for as long as we have together.”

Dexter received surgery in early September and again in early November to remove tumors. However, according to his Facebook page, he is doing great and is looking forward to Thanksgiving.

Although Dexter and his guardian are no where near giving up the fight against his illness, they figure they might as well make as many great memories as possible in the time they have by using a bucket list. Some of the activities on the list include:

  • Pass Canine Good Citizen (which he did on 5/30/13)
  • Be a cover model for American Dog Magazine (He placed first!)
  • Have an ice cream sundae Sunday
  • Go to work with his guardian
  • Camp over night with a BBQ, bonfire, and of course friends
  • Become a therapy dog
  • Take a boat ride
  • Learn the “sit” command in a different language
  • Receive postcards from all over the world

Dexter has truly found a place in this world where he can be comfortable and happy. From his pictures posted on his Facebook page, he looks like he’s having a great time with his guardian and even seems to be a big Chicago Bears fan. Keep up with his page to catch up with what Dexter’s doing and how his bucket list is coming along.

Image source: Dexter’s Bucket List Facebook Page