When Finn was diagnosed with cancer in May, Cynthia wanted to make sure his last weeks were his best.
She and her husband Robert Peterson made a bucket list for six-year-old Finn and those final adventures have been shared with dog lovers everywhere on Instagram.
Finn, who lives in Burlington, Vermont has been on a hot air balloon ride, eaten a steak dinner, been apple picking, swum in the ocean, and there is yet more planned.
“We’ve turned a devastating experience into an empowering one. We’ve made friends with people globally whose dogs also have cancer,” Cynthia, 29, told the BBC.
Cynthia, an intensive care nurse, found Finn on an internet forum in 2012 when he was just six weeks old and she says he supported her throughout her 20s.
“He helped me through the grief when my dad died and now he’s dying of cancer, too.
“It’s a hard blow but really powerful to look back at how he got me through those times and now I’m going to help him,” she explained.
The idea for Finn’s bucket list came from a care package they received from Live Like Roo Foundation, an organisation that supports families whose pet has cancer.
The list focuses on activities he would enjoy, like hiking, but they also visited a fire station, made homemade dog treats, and he made a new friend.
Finn hasn’t responded well to chemotherapy to treat the T-cell lymphoma, and after his upcoming final treatment, he will have just two-to-four weeks left.
As well as writing a song about Finn, Cynthia plans to write a children’s book in his memory.
“He’s a very enthusiastic, loyal dog who really lights up at anyone. He would have been an amazing therapy dog.”
Connecting with other dog owners using the hashtag #CanineCancerWarriors is helping them feel less isolated.
“There are thousands of posts. It’s really beautiful. There are 40 or 50 dogs in one group with their stories shared.”
Cynthia also hopes that using social media to document Finn’s last weeks will raise awareness of canine cancer and how it affects many families globally.
The bucket list is helping them pre-grieve for their pet.
“We know he’s dying, but we are trying to make him happy.
“We will look back on this and think we made his final days the best we could. We’re making the most of what we’ve got,” she adds.
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By Georgina Rannard, UGC & Social news
Source BBC News