Cooper, a terminally-ill Labrador, has been checking items off his bucket list.
Sadly, the 14-year-old black Labrador was diagnosed with terminal cancer. A cancer diagnosis is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a dog lover. Cooper’s owners, Brittnet and Corey Lampert, decided to focus on the positive and make the most of what little life their beloved Labrador had left. They wanted to make sure the dog’s last months were filled with all of his favorite things.
Brittney and Corey adopted Cooper when he was 5 years-old. As an older dog, no one else seemed interested in adopting him, but he was exactly what the couple wanted.
“We thought he was the perfect dog,” Brittney said. “We just made eye contact and I knew.”
And he turned out to be perfect!
“He’s a lovable dog,” Lampert said. “He’s not aggressive at all.”
No surprisingly, Cooper suffers from separation anxiety as the Lamperts were his third family. This made Brittney and Corey love him even more. The pooch waits daily at the door for the Lamperts to come home and goes everywhere with them.
The couple spent eight wonderful years with Cooper and were distraught at the bad news they received early this summer when the black Lab was diagnosed with cancer in his leg. The cancer was removed and Cooper given a clean bill of health.
“He was cancer free,” said Lampert.
But later in the summer, Lampert took Cooper camping – one of his favorite activities. When Cooper jumped out of Lampert’s Tahoe, he broke his foot.
Dr. Michael Norton at Best Friends Animal Hospital put the dog’s foot in a cast. When Cooper kept falling over last week Norton thought it might be a heart problem.
“They took X-rays of his chest and it was just full of cancer,” Lampert said.
Cooper was given only three to four weeks to live. It’s a heartbreaking news for the Lamperts but they thought of a way to make the sendoff a happy one.
“I was just thinking of things I needed to do with him before he passed away,” said Brittney.
Just like any dogs, Cooper finds happiness in simple things like going to Petco, playing ball, and drinking out of cold mountain creek.
Brittney thought about the movie The Bucket List, where Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play two men with cancer. In the movie, the two men come up with a list of things they want to do before they die. So they decided to do the same for Cooper.
The family made a list of 10 of Cooper’s favorite things to do. They’ll check them over the remainder of his life.
Last week, Brittney made Cooper a steak and potato dinner and served it to him on a plate and place mat.
“I cut his steak up a bite at a time and fed it to him,” she said.
A few days later, she gave him a candle-light massage.
On Friday, she took the Labrador to Dairy Queen for a hamburger and ice cream.
“He loves hamburgers and ice cream,” Lampert said. “I used to get him baby cones.”
She also ordered a maple bar from Albertsons with the name “Cooper” written on it.
The list includes lots of fun and thoughtful things like breakfast in bed, a photo shoot and a road trip to drink out of a creek.
“He loves creek water,” Lampert said.
Lampert also plans to take him to Petco – his favorite store.
They are also celebrating Christmas, Cooper’s favorite holiday, in October. The Lab would often break into his stocking to get his treats before Christmas Day.
“He is my kid,” Brittney said.
The Lamperts are devastated but they are trying to keep a positive attitude when Cooper is around.
“I made a promise to myself that when I was with him I wouldn’t cry,” she said. “He’s very emotional.”
The sweet Labrador can sense people’s emotions and always tries to comfort people when they’re sad.
The couple wants to make sure Cooper’s last days are happy ones, whether he’s eating steak or just enjoying time with his favorite humans.
Source: USA Today