Dying Rescue Pup Spends His Last Days Ticking Off His Bucket List

Dying Rescue Pup Spends His Last Days Ticking Off His Bucket List

When Naliyah Kaya first met Zeus the Mastiff mix while working as a volunteer photographer at an adoption event in 2015, she and her husband were not planning to adopt another dog. They were already parents to Jasper and Captain, two large pups, after all.

But Zeus, then three-years-old, was extremely nervous at the event and was pulling another volunteer around by his leash in fright. Then, he spotted Kaya sitting on the floor and went to sit in her lap, effectively “choosing” her as his new Mommy. The rest was history.

In September 2016, devastating news washed over the family as Zeus was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and had to have his front leg amputated. Thanks to pet insurance, the family was able to shoulder the cost of the treatment, and things seemed fine for about six months.


Then, the cancer returned and attacked Zeus’ lungs. His Mommy and Daddy tried their best to do everything to help him, but they knew that there wasn’t much that could be done and that the pup would soon have to leave them.

So Kaya leaped into action and decided to make sure that Zeus lived out the rest of his life having fun, and all while being what he’d always been to his family – a hero. She got in touch with Virgil Ocampo, a rescue volunteer photographer who had recently lost his own 14-year-old Boxer mix pup, and asked him to take part in a photoshoot where Zeus ticked activities off his bucket list while dressed in a cape like the superhero he was. Ocampo even gave Zeus the cape that he’d wanted his own pup to have.


On the day of the photoshoot, they crossed as many things of Zeus’ bucket list as possible – eating ice cream and a snickerdoodle cookie, making pawprints with his siblings, going to a doggy beach, and even making a nose imprint to be placed on a necklace for Mommy.

The last item on the bucket list was done on a separate day – a cruise! Zeus wore his cape as they headed out to sea, and the pup was thrilled with all the attention he received while he was there.


That night, when Zeus and his family came back home, his health swiftly deteriorated and he passed away. He’d held out long enough to finish everything on his bucket list, and then he moved on to the Rainbow Bridge.

Rest in peace, precious Zeus! You’ll be the hero in Mommy and Daddy’s hearts forever.

Feature Image Source: Naliyah Kaya

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