Couple Wants To Give Their Terminally Ill Dog A Gift So They Turn To Strangers On The Internet

Owning a pet means taking care of them no matter what. It means still rubbing their bellies after they’ve torn through a second pair of shoes in as many weeks, and it means cleaning up their messes and rubbing their heads when they’re ill.

In 2012, one dog owner from Vermont adopted a puppy and made the ultimate commitment to take care of him no matter what. So when the dog faced a serious medical issue, she devised a heart-warming way to provide her beloved pup with as much comfort and love possible…

When Cynthia of Burlington, Vermont, adopted the most precious little Golden Retriever puppy, she fell in love immediately. He was just weeks old, and curious about his floppy ears, new home, and new mom — his name was Finn. 

@finnandyogi / Instagram

For years, it was just Cynthia and Finn. They were each other’s best friends, and Finn was a huge support system for her when her father lost his fight with cancer. He was her rock throughout her 20s.

@mightyfinnstagram / Instagram

Eventually, Cynthia met Robert, and her little family expanded from two to three. The dynamic never changed between her and her pooch, though. wherever Cynthia was, Finn was right there next to her — and now Robert, too.

@finnandyogi / Instagram

Together, Cynthia and Robert decided Finn needed a little brother or sister — a four-legged brother or sister, of course. So in late 2017, their family grew from three to four when they adopted a “little brown bear” named Yogi.

@finnandyogi / Instagram

Everything was going perfectly with the family they’d created until they received terrible news from the veterinarian in the spring of 2018: At just six years old, Finn had cancer in his lymph nodes.

@mightyfinnstagram / Instagram

To make matters worse, the cancer was terminal. Cynthia and Robert were devastated by the thought of losing their Finn but resolved to spoil Finn for the rest of his life. For that, they had a plan.

@findandyogi / Instagram

They ordered a care package from the Live Like Roo Foundation. The organization helps and supports, both financially and emotionally, families whose pets have been diagnosed with cancer.

Live Like Roo Foundation / Facebook

The Roo Cancer Care Packages contain items their beloved Roo used to love and find comfort in during his battle with cancer. Items include a handmade blanket, plush toys, treats, a McDonald’s gift card, and tennis balls.

Live Like Roo Foundation / Facebook

Seeing how happy these items made Finn, Cynthia and Robert decided the best way to make sure Finn would have the best time of his life was to give him more of the things he really loved. So they created a bucket list.

@finnandyogi / Instagram

Some items on the list focused heavily on things Finn already loved to do, like go for hikes in the woods or walks along the beach. The couple knew he loved doing these things in his health, and he would love them even more in his sickness. 

@finnandyogi / Instagram

More importantly, they wanted Finn to be a part of every aspect of their life, more now than ever. In August, 2018, Cynthia and Robert became Mr. and Mrs. Peterson. The day would’ve meant nothing to them if Finn wasn’t there to celebrate with them.

@finnandyogi / Instagram

Walks and weddings were just the start of Finn’s epic bucket list, which contained 50 things Finned loved and had never done before. Next on the list? Finn, along with his best friend Yogi, rode in a tethered hot air balloon.

@finnandyogi / Instagram

When his four paws were on the ground, the pooch ate like a king. Steak dinners were cooked and prepared especially for him, and, even as exciting as this was for Finn, he still patiently sat and waited for his dinner like the “good boy” that he was.

@finnandyogi / Instagram

To fulfill any Golden Retrievers career aspirations, Cynthia and Robert enlisted the fire department to give Finn a tour of the local firehouse station. Police officers let him ride in the front of the cop car (and not because he was a bad boy). Everyone wanted to help make Finn’s life one for the books.

@finnandyogi / Instagram

However, as much fun as Finn was having, internally, he was a wreck. He wasn’t responding to the chemotherapy that was supposed to help treat the T-cell lymphoma. Cynthia stated, “We [knew] he [was] dying, but we [tried] to make him happy.” So they threw him a party.

@finnandyogi / Instagram

In Finn’s last couple of months, he hiked to the top of the highest mountain in Vermont, where he watched the sunset and enjoyed his favorite bully stick with his favorite humans by his side.

@finnandyogi / Instagram

Because steaks were no longer cutting it, Finn enjoyed his first ever cheeseburger with his brother. After that, he finished his first 5k race to burn off all of those calories he was consuming. He was getting so close to finishing his bucket list.

@finandyogi / Instagram

Sadly, Finn’s condition worsened. On November 3, 2018, surrounded by Cynthia, Robert, and Yogi, he passed away peacefully in the comfort of his home while wrapped in blankets and hugs. 

@finnandyogi / Instagram

In Finn’s six short years of life, he was able to cross off 49 out of 50 items from his epic doggy bucket list. Unwilling to let the list go unfinished, Cynthia and Robert worked hard to make the last item on the list come true…

@finnandyogi / Instagram

They started writing a children’s book about Finn’s story of “courage and adventure.” They wanted to help raise awareness for pet cancer and hoped this book could be a resource for children and families dealing with pet cancer and pet loss.

@finnandyogi / Instagram

Completing the last item on Finn’s bucket list was expensive though. They created a GoFundMe page to help with the cost of creating, publishing and promoting Finn’s legacy book. As of December 2018, they are halfway there.

@finnandyogi / Instagram

Any excess funds after the book is published, they promised, would be donated to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, the Live Like Roo Foundation, and Emma’s Foundation for Canine Cancer. And as an added bonus, this would continue with Finn’s bucket list (#42) to help other dogs with cancer.

@finnandyogi / Instagram

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