Since Little Joe, or "L.J.," was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in March, his owners—Kathryne and Essam Shomali of Rodgers Forge—made a bucket list for him, according to the Towson Times, which reported the community has been rallying around the beagle ever since.
The couple put on the list items "that L.J. would really enjoy doing, or things that were just nice for the community," Essam Shomali told ABC News. “The whole point of this was ... [to] have great memories with L.J. and just to celebrate L.J."
L.J.'s Bucket List
- Eat a Big Mac
- Ride in a fire truck (completed with Lutherville Volunteer Fire Company)
- Candlelight steak dinner in the park
- Eat an ice cream cone (done at Uncle Wiggily's)
- Donate to shelter at church (done at Christ Lutheran Church)
- Donate to animal shelter (completed at Maryland SPCA)
- Go on a blind date (fulfilled with dog Jilly)
- Get pampered at the doggie spa
- Ride in motorcycle sidecar
- Meet a famous dog or police dog (in the works)
- Have a birthday party (may happen this summer in Rodgers Forge)
- Be on the news (fulfilled via ABC, Towson Times, Daily Mail and The Baltimore Sun)
- Donate to Beagle Freedom Project (completed and ongoing)
- Take a summer swim
- Meet baby Shomali
“I don’t want to think about the day that I’m going to have to say goodbye to him," Kathryne Shomali told ABC 2 News. "We want to take it day by day and have an awesome time doing this bucket list with him."
The Shomalis aren't the first to come up with a bucket list for their pooch. Earlier this year, Romeo, a boxer diagnosed with cancer in British Columbia, was featured on the Today show after his owner created a bucket list for him similar to L.J.'s, with a steak dinner and fire truck ride, among other activities, on the list. Romeo's story may evolve into a movie, according to his Facebook page, which his owners created to support others making bucket lists for their pets.