A doting pet owner has created the ultimate doggy bucket list for her pooch after vets diagnosed her with cancer.
Dolly the Border Collie is “living her best life” after the heartbreaking diagnosis – and its all thanks to her owner Samantha Stanley.
The 30-year-old office manager was told last April that her beloved Dolly had incurable stage four cancer after spotting a lump in the dog’s mammary glands.
Vets found an invasive tumour which was removed via surgery, but the cancer had already spread into the the pup’s lymphatic system, reports Teeside Live.
Devastated but determined to make the most of the time they had left, Sam created a bucket list full of things that she had always wanted to do with Dolly but had never found the time.
From a canoe ride in the Lake District to a road trip across the Scottish highlands, the memories she has made will stick with Sam and her partner Danny Wragg, 30, for a lifetime.
Sam said: “We were told that chemotherapy wouldn’t really do anything other than slow down the spread of cancer.
“It was hit or miss as to whether that was going to happen, so we’ve just decided to let her live her best life.”
Vets have told the couple, from Darlington, County Durham, that dogs with this form of cancer have a life expectancy of around eight months.
Sam continued: “From the bucket list, we did most of the big things thinking that we wouldn’t have her by Christmas last year.
“So it is just the little things that we have to do now, that we need to add to it, because she is doing better than we thought.”
Although still very poorly, Dolly hasn’t let this diagnosis stop her from being her normal happy self.
Sam describes the Collie, who she has had since she was just a tiny puppy, as “very loving and cuddly” but has her moments of being quite sassy.
“She’s slowing down a little bit, I think she has moments of being tired but she goes out with a dog walker on a Monday and it sounds like she does backflips,” Sam said.
The cost of Dolly’s medical care was a shock to both Sam and software manager Danny.
While they were fortunate enough to have pet insurance, despite Dolly’s treatment wiping out her annual policy, it dawned on Sam that pet owners in a similar situation to their own may not be so lucky.
As a result, Sam decided to join forces with her aunt, Julie Bell, and sign up for the London Marathon in April to raise money for the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA).
To coincide with the marathon, Sam has set up a JustGiving page where she has already raised around £1,300, with hopes of hitting her £2,000 goal.
All the money will be donated to the PDSA, the UK’s leading veterinary charity.
Sam added: “Dolly’s vet bills were awful, but luckily we were able to pay the remainder of the bill and we had pet insurance to cover a bulk of it – but not a lot of people do.
“It was quite upsetting to think ‘oh god, what would we have done if we didn’t have that’.
“So I decided to get a charity place to run with my auntie, and we’re both raising money for the PDSA just because nobody should be in that position of worrying whether they can afford their vet bills.”