Family creates canine bucket list for dog with cancer

Marsha and Judy. Image via Judy Jaros

A Colorado family knows their days with their best friend are numbered but instead of sadness, they're making the dog's days the best possible by creating a canine bucket list. Marsha is a 5-year-old American bulldog mix with a type of skin cancer that has progressed to Stage 3. Rather than give up on their pup, Judy Jaros and her husband have created a "canine bucket list" for Marsha, so that each of her days will be filled with adventures. "We've taken her camping, fishing. She loves to play in tall grass," Judy said. "We go fly fishing, the only trick with that is every time my husband casts the fly, she thinks my husband is throwing a ball so she goes trying to run in the river." Chasing mice in the field, she's blissfully content though she may not realize that every day she's here, is a gift. Judy calls herself a cat person but this Humane Society volunteer had a change of heart when she met Marsha. "I just fell in love with her," Judy said. "She has a personality plus." Marsha had spent six months at the shelter, recovering from a former life that had left her battered and nearly broken. "She had so many problems when she came in. She had an infection, she had a broken toe, she had a bullet in her elbow." None of that mattered to Marsha. And soon, it didn't matter to Judy, either. "So we adopted her, plus she had stolen our hearts so thoroughly- my husband's too." But the day they were set to bring her home, the Jaros' found out Marsha had another battle: stage three skin cancer. "So what could we do? We had to adopt her then!" The couple didn't give up. They gave Marsha a 'canine bucket list' and make sure that each day is a gift filled with her favorite adventures. "She doesn't act sick so we don't think 'Oh poor Marsha, she's a victim of cancer.' We just think it's another day with Marsha let's do something fun..." When it's time to say goodbye, Marsha will have left the Jaros' rich. Not in their pockets, but surely in their hearts. "She had a really hard life, she deserves a chance. And yeah, it might break the bank, but it's money - whatever- she's brought us more Joy. She's just priceless to us, so it was worth it," Judy says. Marsha's family gives her a special diet and supplements to slow the cancer development. So far, surgery has been unsuccessful to remove all of her cancer. Now, it's spread to her lungs. "We're just giving her one fun day after another."