Dying Dog Encourages Others To 'Live Like Roo'

Annie Keller

Six-year-old Roosevelt, the pit bull, was left at Chicago's Animal Control in April, but not for long. A member of the rescue group One Tail At A Time, Sarah Lauch, helped spring him from the shelter and to his new foster home with Kelly Michael. Unfortunately, a vet visit revealed that Roo was dying from bone cancer. Not to be deterred by this, his rescuer and his foster mother decided they were going to make sure Roo's last months were good ones. They even started the "Live Like Roo" hashtag to encourage others to make the most of their time here.

Roo's time may be limited, but his spirit is not. Roo has a formidable bucket list, but also has already done a number of great things. He paid the Chicago School of Canine Massage a visit before going to the nearby Nosework Instruction class. He's taken the new 606 trail in Chicago, visited Starved Rock State Park, been swimming and kayaking in Bangs Lake in Wauconda, and has plans to visit the Indiana Dunes and a lake house in Michigan. He's even stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for a night (specifically invited by the management), and on Saturday will take a Chicago River cruise. He's had hot dogs at a softball game. Fans have sent him toys and treats. His favorite treat so far is ice cream. Roo loves it so much that his fans on his Facebook page keep sending him gift cards so he can regularly indulge. (His favorites are Dairy Queen vanilla cones and vanilla Frosties from Wendy's.) He's even being fostered with the famous Fifty, a pit bull with two legs. (Fifty got to stay at the Waldorf too, and is going on the Saturday cruise as well.) But most important of all is that he has a loving family which he can live with for the rest of his days. All of us should be so lucky.

For those in the Chicago area, they have a chance to meet Roo on August 16, when he'll be at Chicago Party Animals, 1133 W. Fulton Market. Roo and Fifty will be there at 4 p.m. Tickets are cash only at the door, $10 for children, $20 for adults, and $30 for VIP access. RSVP on the Facebook page. The money will be used to pay for a "Live Like Roo" plaque in the One Tail at A Time adoption center. For those not in the area, Live Like Roo shirts are available online. Twenty percent of the proceeds go to Roo and his care.

[Photo via Live Like Roo Facebook page]