Dog owner helps dying pet tick off bucket list
A beloved pet dog suffering from cancer has been given a series of treats after his owners compiled a bucket list of experiences for him to enjoy before he dies.
Stephanie Malia, 24, compiled the heart-warming list after being told Ralph has a cancerous tumour four months ago.
The family decided to bring some happiness to the four-year-old Boxer's last days after being told he had less than six months to live.
They drew up 50 items on their bucket list which has already seen Ralph swim in the sea, eat his favourite burger and get pampered at a doggy salon.
He has also learnt a new trick, enjoyed pizza on the beach and a night in a hotel and even had his portrait painted by a Russian artist.
And the family managed to tick off their tenth last Saturday (19/11) when Ralph sat in a fire engine at Wellington Fire Station in Telford, Shrops.
Stephanie owns Ralph with her parents Julie, 56 and Edd Malia, 47, who are the licensees of The Wickets Inn pub in Wellington, Telford.
She said the dog, who looks just like Buster the Boxer from this year's John Lewis Christmas advert,"just loves" fire engines.
Stephanie, who also works at the pub, added: "He got to sit in the driver's seat of the fire engine.
"He was a little bit shy but the firefighters were really good with him. I would like to thank them.
"We got Ralph last year from a rescue centre. We fell in love with him.
"It was four months ago when we found out he had a tumour.
"We thought it was a little wart on his leg. It started to grow. We took him to the vet to find out it was a tumour.
"We got him back in for surgery. He had the tumour removed from his leg but it had spread, it was quite an aggressive one.
"He was given four to six months to live. We were devastated.
"We decided we would try to keep him as happy as possible and started this bucket list.
"He can now do high-fives with both paws."
Wellington Fire Station white watch manager John Pritchard added: "We are more than happy to help. Ralph is a great dog."
Ralph is the seventh Boxer in 30 years owned by the Malia family who decided to make his life "as full as possible" after getting the devastating news he had cancer.
Owner Julie said: "After breaking our hearts on hearing the news from the vets we decided that we wanted to make his life as full as possible and we began the bucket list and people have been adding to it."
Ralph still has to play in the snow, eat an ice cream and watch a sunrise and sunset as part of his bucket list.
The family also want him to wear a Christmas jumper to celebrate the festive season and star in a calendar for 2017.
Stephanie added: "He's honestly the happiest little thing you will meet. He couldn't be more loved."
IMAGE DOWNLOAD: Ralph the Boxer dog from Telford,ticking off a ride in a fire engine with Shropshire firefighters