(St. Anne, IL) - An Illinois couple plans to give another stray dog whose days are numbered the time of their life but not until they’re done grieving the loss of their beloved “Marley”
The 14-year old pit bull with skin cancer when adopted by Jordan and Jen Chapman from a shelter in Michigan City went to Wrigley Field and did almost everything else on a bucket list for the dog before he was put down.
“Marley probably had the best seven months of his life,” Jordan Chapman said.
The dog treated to an occasional hamburger, ice cream cone and other junk food in his new home at St. Anne was euthanized September 1.
Jordan said the dog was just as happy go lucky even after the start of what seemed like a rapid decline.
The cancerous sores on his skin treated with antibiotic cream to prevent infection were becoming larger.
He still moved well on level surfaces but stairs became impossible for him to climb from his already bad arthritis getting worse.
Jordan said Marley seemed to be holding his own until about the final month.
“One week he looked really, really good and the next week we’re like, oh man, we should really have a conversation here,” she said.
In January, the Chapman’s came across a social media post containing a picture of the dog up for adoption at Michiana Humane Society.
The post also revealed the dog had six months to live but he looked so lovable they paid him a visit.
Marley acted so much like a puppy they decided his life should end feeling extra special.
The Chapman’s seemed up to the task since Jordan is director of an animal shelter while Jen is a massage therapist for hospice patients.
Donations from people hearing about their mission and following his remaining days on social media paid for nearly all of his medical related costs.
Their journey included placing Marley into a fire truck and taking him for a walk on the beach.
The couple’s three-year old son, Alex, also gave the dog the first bite of every snack he opened.
Marley ended up weighing a normal 90 pounds or about twice what he weighed after picked up as a stray.
The only item on the bucket list not achieved was taking Marley for a boat ride because of COVID-19 keeping watercraft docked for much of the season.
Jordan said they plan on being end of life caregivers for a second dog but will let fate decide the animal they choose and when it will happen.
“The satisfaction of knowing you basically gave a dog a life they never would have gotten is so much better than dealing with it after they’re gone,” she said.