Heartwarming story behind photo of dying dog's final bucket list wish

·3-min read

A young couple scoured their area for fake snow so their beloved dying dog could complete the last item on her bucket list – to roll around in the snow one last time.

Elijah Saltzgaber and Marianna Wilson, from Salt Lake County in the US state of Utah, learned their 11-year-old dog, Maggie, had cancer in July.

Aware her time with them was short, the couple compiled a bucket list for the dog to enjoy one last time.

After Maggie's diagnosis, the couple took her camping and paddle boarding among other activities.

Maggie the dog, who lived in Utah, lies in the snow, flanked by her owners.
Maggie the dog lies in the snow, one of the final items on her bucket list. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

But the one thing Maggie loved doing above all others was rolling in the snow, but she was not going to make it to winter.

Marianna said “she (Maggie) would just frolic and sled on her back like a little toboggan” before her cancer diagnosis.

Wondering how they could create a snow mound in September, Elijah and Marianna explained their plan on social media and asked for help.

"Does anyone have a shaved ice machine they have put away for the season? Our sweet dog is passing of cancer and Monday we want to build her one last snow bank to roll in," Elijah wrote.

"Saying goodbye to her Monday around noon so willing to pay and pickup Monday morning.”

Ice rink steps in to fulfil Maggie's bucket list

One person suggested approaching skating rinks and the couple called the Salt Lake County Ice Center to help tick off the last item on the bucket list of their dog who served as their ring bearer when they got married.

The ice rink director Tiffany King said they could help out.

Staff members gathered ice shavings produced by the rink’s resurfacer and delivered it to Elijah and Marianna’s garden for Maggie to play in.

Elijah Saltzgaber with his dog, Maggie, who died of cancer. She sits on a mound of makeshift snow.
Owner Elijah Saltzgaber with Maggie who died of cancer. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

"To see people from all walks of life come together for our dog, it’s amazing," Marianna said.

"She touched us, and now she gets to touch so many other people. That's the best way for her memory to live on."

Ms King said "the small acts of service can make such a big difference".

Images show Maggie sitting on top of the mound of artificial snow while playing with a tennis ball.

Hours later, Elijah and Marianna "said goodbye to her" about 12pm.

One Facebook user wrote: "Sending you the biggest bear hug. Love you guys."

"So sorry for your loss," another social media user said.

"Your story was on [the news]. I can’t imagine your pain as I know she has shared your life for a long time," a third person wrote.

"Brings back sad memories. Totally feel it all. Glad she went comfortably, sad she had to go," someone else said.

– Australscope

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