Dog Spends Final Days Fulfilling Bucket List

Riina Cooke and Romeo the boxer

Courtesy Riina Cooke

updated 04/10/2014 AT 4:30 PM ET

originally published 04/09/2014 AT 2:00 PM ET

Romeo the boxer had never eaten a cheeseburger, gotten a pedicure or traveled in a cop car before.

So when he was diagnosed with inoperable bone cancer, his owner Riina Cooke created a bucket list for him. This way, Romeo could spend his final days living out his hopes and dreams (and, of course, bond with his owners).

“When I found out [about the diagnosis], I was in shock,” Cooke, of British Columbia, Canada, told Today. “He watched me cry, and he would get upset when I got upset because he was a very sensitive dog. It took a couple of days to digest, but then I took him to the park, and we started putting together the bucket list.”

Riina Cooke and Romeo the boxer

Courtesy Riina Cooke
He crossed off 22 items from his list – including a U.S. visit, a ride in a fire truck and a blind date – before his March 16 death. “We were able to complete them all,” Cooke told the U.K.’s Express.

“It gave my dog the chance to experience things most will never get the chance to.”

The bucket list has made the grieving process just a little easier for Cooke, who ultimately made the difficult decision to have Romeo Put down due to his painful condition.

“I think it kept him alive longer because I believe it kept him happy,” Cooke told Today. “He was just such a happy dog right up until the end.”