Family Creates Bucket List for Dying Dog

Instead of sitting inside on a chilly, mid-December evening, Anna and Justin Carter are bundled up and headed out. They have to - it was Cane's idea.

"It was a way for us to cope and turn a tragic event into something positive," Anna Carter told NBCDFW about her and her husband's idea to start "Cane's Bucket List."

Cane is the Carter family pit bull, a 6-year-old they rescued from the Wylie Animal Shelter the day after Christmas, 2008.

"In the past six years, he's proven time and time again how incredibly resilient and loving and unconditional this breed is," Carter said. "All they really want is to love and to be loved."

So that is exactly what the Carters have done since.

That love lead them to trust their gut and get a lump in Cane's throat checked out last month. And when the veterinarian told them it was Thyroid cancer, it was that same love that made the decision to begin expensive chemotherapy treatments an easy one. And it was love that convinced the Carters the best way to spend their dog's final days and months was to do so completing a bucket list of stuff Cane enjoys.

"Because it keeps us focused on keeping him happy, watching him be excited getting, anticipating his reactions to these experiences. Capturing those special moments," Carter said.

And the couple is dedicating as much free time as they can find to cross off the 15 items on the list.

Items like:

Number 3 on Cane's Bucket List - "Tuxedo and bow tie pictures by the Christmas tree."

Number 4 - "Parks. Lots and lots of parks all around DFW."

"And surprisingly I've been telling my family and friends it's been incredibly therapeutic and we truly believe that by doing this we'll be able to look back and know that we've done everything we can both medically, but more importantly emotionally," Carter said about the process. "For the sake of his happiness [to know] that we won't be looking back regretting that we didn't do everything we could."

So bundled up on this Tuesday night, the Carters are checking off list Number 10 - "Pictures in front of the Dallas skyline."

Justin Carter asked Anna to marry him while they were visiting Reunion Tower and the couple later married inside the Bank of America Plaza, so the two prominent features of the skyline have a deep meaning to the Carters.

The couple also has a deep affection for the pit bull breed, the inspiration for Bucket List Number 15 - "Paw it forward."

"By sharing his story, if it can lead to one additional person viewing the pit bull breed in a positive light, if it can lead to one additional pit bull in shelter death row from being rescued into a very loving family [then it is worth it,]" Carter said.

"I think we've succeeded in giving Cane a larger purpose and helping others see how incredibly amazing the pit bull breed can be if given the chance to be part of a very loving and cared for family," Carter told NBCDFW.

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