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Pet owner creates 'Doggy Bucket List'

Chase passed away after battling terminal cancer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Life is short, but that's true too with man's best friend.

A dog owner created a "Doggy Bucket List" after her beloved pooch was diagnosed with cancer. 

Cristie Ashe loves her dog Chase unconditionally. Her cocker spaniel is like a child to her, but a recent visit to the vet changed everything.

"About a month ago, he was diagnosed with lymphoma, which is a cancer that affects the lymph nodes and it's terminal, so there is no cure," Ashe told News4Jax in March.

Ashe wanted to make his last few weeks special. She wanted to give him a chance to experience all the good things in life, so she created his "Doggy Bucket List."

"He was a Christmas present and he was the cutest little puppy. Oh gosh, he was so tiny, the cutest little face," she said. "Oh, he was adorable. He was really the best present anyone could've gotten me."

News4Jax spent time with Ashe and Chase as he checked a number of those items off his list.

"He loves to chase a ball. That's how he got his name. He will play fetch with you until your arms falls off. He will not stop," said Ashe.

She's not kidding. And it made his diagnosis so difficult to accept.

"He's got about a month or two left with us. That doesn't seem like a long time, no, but it's never really long enough. He's 11 so he's had a long life and he's had a good life. But we're sad to lose him this soon," she told News4Jax.

How do you thank a dog that has given you unconditional love for more than a decade? Ashe believed a bucket list would suffice.

"Go to the beach," she said. "He loved the way the sand felt under his paws. Have breakfast in bed with Dad."

Another bucket list item, his first steak dinner.

"You can't have steak without mashed potatoes," Ashe said as she gave Chase the afternoon treat.

Ashe, like many other pet owners, feels as if Chase is truly a member of her family.

"I don't have children of my own and I feel like he's just like a part of me. He's an extension of myself. He's a dog, but he's very much a part of the family, and it's very rewarding," she said. "I can't imagine what it's going to be like without him. He's a big part of my life. I try to include him in everything. He's there when I wake up and when I go to sleep. It's going to be difficult."

Another bucket list item, create a masterpiece -- a painting, which will have a permanent spot on her wall.

"I feel like he's just like a part of me, he's an extension of myself. He's a dog but he's very much a part of the family, and it's very rewarding," said Ashe.

Also checked off the bucket list was taking a trip to Starbucks with Mamma, cruising in a police car and delivering a thank-you card to his veterinarian.

This isn't the first heartache for Ashe when it comes to losing a pet. Her dog Buster was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. Veterinarians tried to treat him, but where only able to extend his life a couple of months.

"I hate the disease, and I hate that I'm in this situation again, but I'm glad that I know, and I'm glad that I have this time to prepare myself and to make the most of our time together," Ashe said.

Ashe said she tried to stay positive because dogs are really perceptive and know when something is wrong. This bucket list is her way of giving something he's always given her.

"And the last thing on Chase's bucket list is to say goodbye, knowing that he loved us unconditionally and gave back to us," said Ashe.

It was not something Ashe wanted to do, but something she had to do.

"It is the kindest thing that I could ever do for him is to say goodbye," Ashe said.

That goodbye happened Tuesday, April 12. Chase lost his battle to cancer and also checked another item off his bucket list: Go to heaven.

There are three remaining items that didn't get accomplished from the bucket list. One, was to eat an ice cream cone; the second, to ride with the top down. For the third item, which is raising money for shelter dogs, Ashe needs help. The goal on the bucket list is $500. Anyone can help contribute in Chase's memory with his GoFundMe account.

To read more about Chase's life and his "Doggy Bucket List," you can read the blog Ashe created.