Family Is Helping Ageing Dog With Alzheimer's Complete His Bucket List
Featured Image Credit: Caters
A dog shelter is ensuring an ageing pooch makes the most of his retirement by helping him complete his bucket list before it's too late.
Staff at the Dogs 4 Rescue sanctuary in Eccles, Greater Manchester have been helping the 16-year-old to achieve his dreams quickly, as they fear doggy heaven nears.
And the elderly staffie, affectionately known as 'Grandad' Zach thanks to his trademark cardigan, has been enjoying burgers and steak dinners because of it - what a beautifully spoilt pooch. We love it.
He was rescued by the sanctuary from a pound where he was due to be put down in 2018 and has never been re-homed due to his ailments, which range from Alzheimer's and spondylosis - a spinal cord condition.
Sadly, his dementia causes him to blank out and means he forgets where to go to the toilet sometimes.
Whilst the home for dogs has no idea how long he has left, they can tell he's recently taken a turn for the worst.
So, staff at Dogs 4 Rescue drew up a bucket list, of all the things they thought this cute fur-baby might enjoy.
This ranged from enjoying a puppucino from the Starbucks drive-thru three times a week, to enjoying a double cheeseburger from Macdonald's (with no onion or gherkin), a "big fat steak dinner" and having "afternoon tea somewhere posh wearing a bow tie".
He's already ticked so may off, feasting on his favourite foods, but Grandad Zach has also enjoyed a snooze in front of a log burning fire, starred in his own photo shoot and enjoyed daily cuddles with his supporters since beginning the bucket list.
Dogs 4 Rescue founder Emma Billington, 41, said: "Grandad Zach's bucket list is about enriching the last few weeks of his life.
"We don't know exactly how long he has left, but we can see he's slowing down and getting more tired.
"The bucket list is a way of preparing for his passing - we wanted to cram all the things he loves into it.
"Grandad loves getting out and about and going new places. He watches out of the window; he gets really pumped up.
"And as soon as we put a rare treat like a cheeseburger in front of him, he is filled with joy.
"We took him out to a restaurant in Manchester recently and people loved meeting him in the flesh. He is a true character."
Zach will spend the rest of his doggie days at the rescue centre, but he is yet to complete his list and now the open plan dogs' centre is looking for donations to help him complete it.
Activities left to tick off include: seeing the Blackpool lights and having fish and chips, going to the beach for a paddle and eating more fish and chips, and enjoying a holistic massage for doggos.
And once the sad day comes to say goodbye to Zach, the money left in the fund will serve as his legacy and will help other old doggies in future to fulfil their dreams - which just also happens to be the most 'impawtent' thing on his bucket list.
Emma explained that Grandad Zach is popular with all the other dogs at the sanctuary, curling up with them to sleep frequently.
She said: "He takes great comfort from snuggling and his favourite buddy is a big Kangal dog, Jessie who is blind."
She continued: "Zach has had an incredible life here and we love caring for him.
"He could have a week; he could have a month. He could surprise us all!
"One thing is for sure, it won't be the same without his pitter, patter up and down here and there will be many broken hearts when the time comes to say goodbye."
You can donate here.