When Bobbie Jo Ledford adopted a St. Bernard named Odin in November, there was no way to know that in five months a veterinarian would deliver a crushing prognosis: Terminal cancer. Instead of wallowing, Ledford wrote a final bucket list for her beloved pet, and set out to make the best of his last time on earth.
New Jersey-based Ledford, and her husband Jeff, adopted 4-year-old Odin from a foster home and are his fourth family. "I connected right away. He is such a good puppy, so I can’t understand why [he had so many homes]" Ledford said.
Bobbie Jo noticed something on her pet’s front paw in March and took him to the vet. Odin was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, and was given months to live. "When I found out I was devastated," Ledford told CBS News. "I couldn’t stop crying."
The veterinarian offered treatments including amputation and chemotherapy, but they would only slow down the cancer, not cure it, reported CBS affiliate WTSP. The couple ultimately declined the treatments, but they still felt they needed to do something for their beloved pet.
"My husband told me not to be upset, that I should make memories. That’s when I decided to make a bucket list," Ledford told CBS News. In early May, she created a Facebook page called, "Odin’s Bucket List," and that’s when everything took off.
"In less than two months we had over 5,700 members from all over the country," Ledford said. "I asked people for some ideas and I kept added to the list."
And bucket list items kept growing, with the list totaling 38 "to-dos" for Odin to complete. The family has already helped the dog complete most of the items, including snagging a photo with a Hooters girl, drinking a "puppicino" at Starbucks and hearing a mariachi band sing. But there are still quite a few bucket list items left.
Next week, Odin will ride in a police car and also head over to Newark, New Jersey, to visit firemen. The family has only gotten one "no" so far, from the New York Yankees. Ledford hoped that the pup could meet the team, but the stadium has a strict no dogs policy.
Regardless of how many items the family checks off, the most important thing to Ledford is that "the world to see how amazing Odin is. He lights up everyone with a smile. Odin could have a bad day and still want to go out and see places and meet people."