North Carolina

A dying pooch joins NC police force for a day, and crosses a line off his bucket list

Jack, a dog with terminal cancer, got to ride in a police car as an honorary K9 dog in Wilmington, N.C.
Jack, a dog with terminal cancer, got to ride in a police car as an honorary K9 dog in Wilmington, N.C. COURTESY OF THE MILLER FAMILY

A North Carolina family is making sure its dog’s final days are some of its best, and the local police department joined the effort on Sunday.

The Miller family created a bucket list for their 14-year-old Parson Russell Terrier named Jack after he was diagnosed with cancer on Oct. 1, Wilmington television station WECT first reported. The dog was given until around Christmastime to live.

The family posted the bucket list along with frequent accounts of his recent adventures on a Facebook page they made for Jack.

They hope Jack’s story helps others cope with the loss of a pet and that it “shows that being diagnosed with terminal cancer does not mean he’s dead already,” Jeremy Miller told The News & Observer.

“You can make the best out of even the worst situations in life,” Miller said.

The bucket list called for elaborate pampering for the pooch – trips to the beach, picnics at the park and a full course steak dinner. It also included a goal of getting Jack a ride in a police car.

Miller said Wilmington police Sgt. Lisa Kittrell was one of several members of law enforcement to notice that entry and reach out to him. The result: Jack got to experience a full day as a K-9 officer.

Photos posted to Jack’s page show him in a K-9 Unit uniform, checking out the inside of a patrol car, and going on a “paw patrol” with Kittrell at Hugh MacRae Park. He also visited the police headquarters and 911 call center.

After Jack passes, the family wants to start a foundation to provide happy moments for other dogs and owners facing similar hardships.

Miller also wants Jack to be an example that there are “tons of awesome rescue dogs out there that need homes, will love you unconditionally and have a great life with you.” Jack was a stray when Miller found him 13 years ago in Maryland.

“Jack is rare ... but proof that it’s 100 percent possible,” Miller said.