Man takes dying dog on bucket list adventure

Posted at 11:50 AM, Jan 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-02 13:50:47-05

A Pennsylvania man is taking his beloved dog on bucket list adventures after receiving news that her life would be cut short due to cancer.

"Sometimes in life you get stagnant, but by me doing all of these things with her, it's kind of re-energized my life," Todd Burchanowski of Erie, Pennsylvania, told ABC News. "I hope people can do this for themselves, or with their loved ones as well."

Burchanowski, 36, a high school teacher, said it was the day after Thanksgiving when Reyes, his 8-year-old female poodle/beagle mix, was diagnosed with terminal lymphoma.

"I was absolutely devastated," he said. "I love her to death and she's my best friend. I count on her for a lot of things, not just companionship. To hear she's not going to be around, that really took a toll on me."

Since Reyes was given two months to live, Burchanowski decided he'd make the time she had left worthwhile by creating a bucket list of exciting things to do before she dies.

Reyes bucket list consists of 81 adventures including a trip to Niagara Falls, a sled ride, a feast of McDonald's french fries, a swim and a shopping spree.

Even Burchanowski's students at Fort LeBoeuf High School in Waterford, Pennsylvania, helped him cross another item off the list -- have Reyes marry in a mock doggy ceremony.

"Reyes is so important in my life, in my family life, the kids [I teach] at school...I always have a Reyes story to tell," Burchanowski said. "I thought it would be a good idea if all the people in her life came up with an item for a list.

"I want everyone to know how much people have given to me and Reyes in this time under unselfish acts of kindness," he added.

Burchanowski said he and Reyes are continuing to cross more items off the list today by taking a trip to PNC park to take photos with statues of baseball players.