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Romeo, the 9-year-old boxer who became national and international headlines after his owners posted his special story of fighting cancer online, has passed. He made it until Sunday, March 16 when the tumour inside the bone of his leg burst, leaving no other option but for Riina and Jon Cooke to put him down.
“This weekend we took him to another country, because he had never been outside of Canada,” Riina said. “We went to Birch Bay because my husband’s family has a cabin there. It was our last wish on the bucket list to get Romeo to another country, and we did it. But overnight, at 4 a.m., the tumour exploded.”
Last December Romeo was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a cancer that forms inside the bones and grows from the inside-out.
However rather than letting it keep her down, Riina and Jon made a bucket list for Romeo. One of the first things in the list was letting Romeo eat a McDonald’s cheeseburger. After that, Romeo had a ride inside of a fire truck, then a steak dinner gifted by The Keg and served at Lafarge Lake, up to meeting musician Bif Naked.
After announcing Romeo’s passing, Cooke has seen an outcry of support from people throughout the world.
“I have thousands of messages from people saying he’s helped them with their grieving process and that they’ve now given their dogs’ bucket lists,” she said. “I’ve had people tell me it’s changed their perspective on their dying animals or even family members, and how they want to stop hurting and instead enjoy every last moment.”