His name was Chester. He was about 14 years old. And he was dying of cancer.
"Hospice needed," the profile said. Chester had mast cell tumors spreading throughout his little body. The shelter was looking for someone willing to give him a home for the final weeks of his life.
The dog's story touched her. But who wants to foster a dying pet? Elliott stepped away from her computer, but she couldn't get Chester and his plight out of her mind. The next day, she went to Animal Ark Rescue
, signed some paperwork and brought Chester home.
"I only hope someone would do the same for me if I was terminally ill," she said.
Now Elliott, 24, has gone one step further. The Columbus, Georgia, woman has created a "bucket list" for Chester and is spoiling him with extra treats, oatmeal milk baths and outings to parks. It's all documented on a Facebook page, "Chester's final journey
," that has more than 50,000 fans.
"I think he deserves it. He seems to have been neglected in his past life. He is such a sweet boy," said Elliott, who works as an administrative assistant. "I have been trying to get a feel for what he is capable of, and most of the things are general doggy things like going to the park and eating tons of treats."
Over the past 10 days, Chester has been living like a king. He gets to eat pretty much anything he wants. He chews on squeaky toys and enjoys belly rubs. On road trips, he sits on the center console of Elliott's car, where he can snuggle against her arm and look out the windshield.
Although he is weak, Chester still wags his tail like mad when excited.
"He follows me everywhere, and when I walk out the door, he is usually right behind me. I can tell he has been enjoying all of the love he has gotten. And the food is his favorite part," she said.
In the near future, Elliott hopes to take him on a day trip to the beach and maybe to visit sick kids or hospice patients to help cheer them up.
"It all depends on him, though," she said. Elliott is sensitive to critics on Facebook who say too many bucket-list activities will tire Chester out. "We don't want to make him do anything that makes him uncomfortable."
Chester appears to be a mixed breed -- maybe part miniature schnauzer. When he arrived at Animal Ark Rescue in April, his fur was overgrown, and he had a large tumor under one leg.
"He had not been taken care of in a while," said Sabine Stull, the shelter's executive director.