Terminally ill dog fulfills bucket list

FRANKLIN, Ind (WISH) — A terminally ill dog is having the time of his life, for as long as he can.

A veterinarian diagnosed Howard with cancer four months ago. He was given less than a year to live. Since then, the cancer has spread to most of his body. A worker at the Humane Society of Johnson County took him in as a foster dog. Now, they are working to make sure his last days are his best days.

Howard is kind of like a rock star at the Humane Society. He even has a girlfriend named Gwen Stefani, a platinum blond pooch.

“They do share a bed in the office on occasions,” joked Executive Director of the Humane Society of Johnson County Anne Sutton.

Howard was a stray taken in about four months ago.

“Howard is a dream dog. He is easy going, gentle, never meets a stranger, tolerant of cats, tolerant of dogs. He’s great,” said Sutton.

Which makes this next part more difficult. Howard doesn’t have much time left to live.

“Unfortunately, they found a mass in his abdomen and after a biopsy and an x-ray, it was discovered that it was a fast growing cancerous tumor. It was devastating news to us,” said Sutton.

So, they are trying to make the most out of the situation Sutton explained, “We decided that Howard gets to kind of do what he wants for the rest of his time.”

They created a bucket list for Howie. On Sunday, he crossed off Honorary K-9 Officer with the Greenwood Police Department. A title that came complete with a swearing-in ceremony and a badge.

“He did awesome. He loved being there. He loved sniffing around the grass and just hanging out with us for a little bit and getting some extra love,” said Officer Kortney Burrello.

Although it wasn’t on his bucket list, WISH-TV decided to surprise him with a little treat too; a juicy cheeseburger from McDonald’s.

“We had just planned it for one week,” Sutton continued, “But then we realized that to pack all of those things into one week might be a little much for Howard.”

So, they’re going to try and cross as many things off that list as possible. So far, Howie has been named Honorary Police Dog and Firefighter, he got to go swimming, have doggie ice cream from Mrs. Curls in Greenwood, and ride in a convertible as Grand Marshal in a local parade.

They’re hoping to take him out for professional massages and a gourmet dinner at a dog friendly restaurant. They’re also trying to raise money to treat animals that need extra medical care. You can contribute by making a donation to the Humane Society of Johnson County or by going to Howard’s Go Fund Me page; Howard Gives Back. 

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