By now, you may have heard about the passing of Bretagne, the last search and rescue dog from 9/11. I had been following her story in part because she was a golden retriever but also because of the therapy work she has done. Not only did she serve in New York city, but also in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as well as locally in her hometown of Cypress Texas. A friend of mine told me I needed to watch the video of her being honored after she was euthanized. In my google search I came across a video of her birthday celebration when she turned 16, “Bretagne’s best day ever”. That got me thinking about my own pups and how I hope one day to celebrate Izzy’s 16th birthday. Golden retrievers are so prone to cancer, I think the average age is about 9 or 10 these days. Izzy turns 6 this summer, 16 seems a long way off, but 10, not so much.
It may sound silly, but I know a lot of people put together bucket lists of what they’d like to do with their dogs before they pass away after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. I’ve given it a thought only in passing, but while in tears watching Bretagne’s awesome birthday party, I decided I was going to do it. Now. But with a twist. I’m going to do a bucket list for the summer. I don’t know about you, but all winter long I can. Not. Wait. For. Summer. And before I know it, it’s dark just after dinner and I’m bundled up in sweaters and turtlenecks wondering where did the last 3 months go! So now that summer is just around the corner, I’m going to make my list and book time in my calendar. After all, she’s worth it!
- Drive through the Dairy Queen and order an ice cream cone
- Have dinner on a Monday night at Home D for their pooches on the patio event
- Attend Wiscoy’s ice cream social on a Friday night in August
- Go to a Bark in the Park game at the State College spikes
- Head over to spring creek park and wade in the water – she loves to swim here
- Hike Mount Nittany - we only live at the bottom of the mountain and have never taken her!
- Celebrate her 6th birthday (Huh, where did the time go?) with a party fit for the dogs (and her puppy friends)
- Find a new pond to explore and swim in – there are lots of water holes in the area that allow dogs
- Take a picnic lunch to one of the many wonderful local parks. Pack some watermelon and frozen yogurt treats to snack on after a long walk.