Chester, now known as the “bucket list” dog, has passed away, but his final days were filled with love and treats because of the generosity of one Georgia woman, according to People Magazine. Nicole Elliott learned of Chester after an ad was posted by a shelter. The shelter was seeking hospice care for the 14-year-old little dog. He was dying of cancer.
Nicole decided to take the dog home with her, and she went one-step further. She decided to make Chester’s final days the best that she could. She created a bucket list of things for him, and she shared his final days on Facebook. After his Facebook page and story went viral, many followed Chester on his fun-filled last days. Over 70,000 people followed Chester’s Facebook page at the time of his death on Friday.
Nicole shared the sad news on his Facebook page.
“I have written and erased this post several times, because I feel like once it’s up it makes it feel so final. I am so sad to tell everyone that my sweet baby Chester has left this world. I am heartbroken, but at the same time I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I held him until his last breath and then some. I told him it was ok to let go, and how loved he was. I know without a doubt Chester died knowing that he mattered. He knew love. Even though my heart hurts now, the pain is eased by the legacy this sweet boy is leaving behind. He has inspired, and brought together so many people. He showed people how amazing he was despite his age, or the horrible illness he had. He is now pain free and running around with all of your babies that have gone before him. Chester’s journey with us was too short lived, but his presence with us will never be forgotten. Thank you all for loving him. He will always hold a special place in my heart.”
— CNN (@CNN) July 11, 2015
After Nicole shared about Chester’s passing, the condolences and tributes started to pour in. Others left messages and created personal tributes to honor Chester.
Rick Wilson commented Nicole’s Facebook post and said, “SAD News, Indeed… I’m truly sorry to hear he’s now made his final journey. Thank you for giving him a REAL home and showing him love and compassion during his final days. I’m sure the little guy felt that love immensely.”
— i Still Love Dogs (@iStillLoveDogs) July 11, 2015
Nicole began to document Chester’s final days on June 28. She bought him special treats, gave him oatmeal milk baths, and she even took him to work with her when it was clear that he was not feeling well. Nicole spoke with CNN about Chester, and she revealed why she decided to adopt the little dog and her plans for his final days.
“I think he deserves it. He seems to have been neglected in his past life. He is such a sweet boy. I have been trying to get a feel for what he is capable of, and most of the things are general doggy things like going to the park and eating tons of treats. He follows me everywhere, and when I walk out the door, he is usually right behind me. I can tell he has been enjoying all of the love he has gotten. And the food is his favorite part. It all depends on him, though. We don’t want to make him do anything that makes him uncomfortable.”
Nicole adopted Chester from Animal Ark Rescue in Columbus, Georgia. Sabine Stull, the executive director of the shelter, spoke out about the act of kindness Nicole showed Chester.
“It’s absolutely wonderful what she’s doing for him. It’s really something. This is not an easy thing to do.”
Chester is not the first shelter rescue in Nicole’s life. After she shared about Chester’s passing, she posted another photo of her and a cat. She revealed that the cat was another senior animal abandoned by its owners. She adopted the cat at age 18, and she had him for two years before he passed. Nicole is willing to share her home and love with another animal that needs it in the future, according to the post on Chester’s Facebook.
She said, “Losing Chester hurts badly, but it makes me want to pour my love into another unfortunate animal even more. The pain will never stop me from doing what I feel I was born to do. Nothing makes my heart feel quite as whole.”
Nicole’s actions for Chester are rare, but there are others who will go above and beyond when it comes to saving or helping an animal. A previous Inquisitr report shared the story of a man who faced down a cougar that attacked his dog. Shawn Hanson punched the large cat in the face and rescued his year-old mini dachshund.
If you are willing to take home an animal from a shelter, call a shelter in your area. Many animals are abandoned every day, and they all need the love and support of a good person. Older animals are often overlooked. What do you think of Nicole and Chester’s story?
[Photo: Chester’s Final Journey Facebook]