OLATHE, KS (KCTV) — After a lifetime of loyalty, a Kansas couple created a “dog bucket list” for their ailing dog Abby who helped introduce the now husband and wife.
As fate would have it, Abby nudged her owner Aaron Starr toward Jennifer Starr and her dog Remington at an Overland Park dog park in 2012. They got engaged in the same spot about a year after they first met.
When Jennifer and Aaron Starr got married, of course, their dogs Abby and Remington were there. Abby wore a tutu and pearls. Remington was the ring bearer.
“She’s always been right there. No matter what,” Aaron Starr said. “She was our first baby, besides Remington. Our fur baby. We treat her like that,” Jennifer Starr added.
The Starr’s fur babies welcomed the couple’s baby girl Abrielle when she came home from the hospital.
Home videos show Abby’s unconditional love for the couple quickly included Abrielle, the tiniest member of the family’s “pack.”
As Abrielle turned two years old, sadly Abby could no longer keep up.
Kidney and thyroid issues and a Cushing’s disease diagnosis took a toll on the family’s “Velcro dog” who loves to lean against them.
“Watching her really fade is difficult. I’ve tried to imagine our family without Abby in it,” Aaron Starr said.
When Jennifer Starr, a professional photographer, compared one of the first photos she took of Abby to a recent pic, she decided right then and there their time together was short and Abby deserved a “dog bucket list.”
“To give her something that she can be excited about and want to stay with us a little longer,” Jennifer Starr said.
Abby dined on an unseasoned 12-ounce Kansas City strip for her “dog bucket list fancy steak dinner.”
She woofed down a few hamburgers for her bucket list “eating competition” that wasn’t a competition at all but instead a chance to enjoy another treat.
They celebrated what could be Abby’s last birthday with them.
Abby also checked marriage off her “dog bucket list.” Her big day included another dog friendly cake and a play date with her canine “groom.”
Abby then became a “mom” herself and “adopted” puppies to hopefully encourage humans to do the same for several pups who are in foster homes.
“I want to try and make her life as good as a pet parent can, knowing our time together is finite,” Aaron Starr said. “Try to get a little more pep in her step to have good days before it’s all over.”
Jennifer and Aaron Starr are saving a visual scrapbook of Abby’s bucket list filled with photos and videos to show Abrielle when she gets older.
When Abby’s time comes, they want Abrielle to be able to look back on their bond.
If you want to see more of Abby’s bucket list videos, click here.
Full KCTV5 video here.
Abby’s Bucket List
1. Celebrate her 11th birthday
2. Eating competition with Burger King cheeseburgers
3. Get a sweet new ride with personal chauffeur
4. Trip to Hawaii with her favorite stowaway
5. Fancy steak dinner
7. Take a gymnastics/aerobics class
8. Get married
9. Become a Mom/adopt puppies
10. Get a hot pink pedicure
11. Ice cream cone treat
12. New Momma spa day
13. 15 minutes of fame
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