Bone cancer won’t stop pup from making the most of bucket list
SUSSEX — When Bobbie Jo and Jeff Ledford laid eyes on the 4-year-old St. Bernard named Odin, they immediately fell in love. When he was diagnosed with cancer a few months later they decided to make the most of whatever time he has left to give him the best life possible.
Bobbie Jo said she first realized there was a problem with her pup in March when she noticed a bump on his leg. A trip to the vet revealed Odin had osteosarcoma. The doctors said he could either have the leg amputated, which he wasn't a good candidate because of his size, or chemotherapy which wouldn't give him much longer to live anyway.
"I just want him to be the happy puppy that he is," she said.
She said she was "heartbroken and devastated" when she learned of the diagnosis, but then they decided to make the most of it. It has been around three months since they started checking off the bucket list, and the parents said their dog is loving the new adventures he gets to go on.
"I feel like he's going to live longer than six months because he's going places and meeting people," she said. "He lights up everybody's faces."
The list includes eating foods like ice cream and a puppacino, going on a picnic, meeting a police officer and getting his picture in front of various places. They have checked off a lot of the items on the list, and the couple said they are looking forward to getting more items checked off in the near future.
Out of all the items on the list there seems to be just one item that may not be possible to achieve. The Ledfords said they would love to take Odin to Yankee Stadium, but they've been told the team does not let dogs in the stadium. Since Odin's story became public she said there have been efforts to get him to the Bronx, and they are hopeful they can make something work.
In the meantime, Bobbie Jo said he has loved doing things from having his picture taken with the girls from the local Hooters restaurant to going on a cruise on Lake George.
Jeff Ledford calls Odin an "inspiration" to others through his loving nature, and he has been glad to see that love shared with people who have followed his story on a Facebook page they created for his list.
"We want everybody to know special he really is and how much love he gives and brings to everybody," he said. "It has become a community where people are actually sharing their pets with us and people who have sick pets or lost pets. It's just so full of love and prayers, there's nothing negative on the Facebook group for him."
Whether he has six months to live or six years, the Ledfords said knowing their dog is happy and seeing how happy his story makes other people has helped make a difficult situation easier to work through for all of them.