Family creates unique ‘bucket list’ after dog’s grim diagnosis

**Embargo: Troutdale, OR** So often we hear stories of the bond between us and our pets, many times our dogs and cats are more than just a companion, but rather family.

TROUTDALE, Ore. — So often we hear stories of the bond between us and our pets, many times our dogs and cats are more than just a companion, but rather family.

For an Oregon woman, she is making the most of a tragic diagnosis into memories that will last a lifetime.

Marci Johnson’s 10-year old lab-basset hound mix name Woody was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure and given months to a year left to live.

Johnson said Woody was a therapy dog for several years at Shriners Children’s Hospital before retiring. She said he touched many lives and helps so many get through tough and challenging times.

“It was very hard because he is my little guy, we have been through so much with the pet therapy and all the stuff that we did,” Johnson said.

The question for Johnson after the diagnosis was how to cherish and remember what little time they had left. She thought no better way than putting together a doggy bucket list.

On the list there are things like go to the beach, visit Shriners one last time, run off leash at the on-leash dog park, get ice cream at the DQ.

But perhaps the most touching of Woody’s last wishes was to meet the man he’s only seen from the window, back and forth from a brown truck delivering packages, the neighborhood UPS driver.

“I said I would like you to meet Woody, and he was like what do you mean meet Woody, well Woody’s got a bucket list and he was like your dog has a bucket list? I said yeah he is in congestive heart failure,” Johnson said.

One afternoon, when his shift was over, the two met, only knowing a passing glance and a bark of each other.

“You could see on his face, I don’t know who enjoyed it more, Woody or the UPS guy,” Johnson said.

In his time left Johnson said they plan to cross as many things off the list as possible, creating memories along the way.

“It is going to be very hard for me when he passes on but for me maybe this will help, we will have some good memories, we’ll have really good memories to put together for him,” Johnson said.