An Awesome Final Ride

Chester, the terminally ill senior rescue dog whose final days were memorialized online, has died.

“He passed on Friday and he kind of went downhill pretty fast,” said owner Nicole Elliot. “I stayed with him all day and he passed in my arms. I just petted him and [was] telling him it was OK to let go.

To make his final moments worthwhile, Elliot planned little adventures for Chester and documented his experiences on a donation site for Animal Ark Rescue and his Facebook page. Chester’s journey included a hot dog lunch from Nathan’s restaurant, a visit to a water stream, a shopping spree, and a photo shoot to remember him by.

“That was about the last thing we did together,” Elliot said. “He also got tons of love and treats. I was expecting to have a little more time with him.”

“He was surrounded by love when he went,” she said.


Elliot left this final tribute to her pup on his facebook page.

I have written and erased this post several times, because I feel like once it’s up it makes it feel so final. I am so sad to tell everyone that my sweet baby Chester has left this world. I am heartbroken, but at the same time I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I held him until his last breath and then some. I told him it was ok to let go, and how loved he was. I know without a doubt Chester died knowing that he mattered. He knew love. Even though my heart hurts now, the pain is eased by the legacy this sweet boy is leaving behind. He has inspired, and brought together so many people. He showed people how amazing he was despite his age, or the horrible illness he had. He is now pain free and running around with all of your babies that have gone before him. Chester’s journey with us was too short lived, but his presence with us will never be forgotten. Thank you all for loving him. He will always hold a special place in my heart.

Posted by Chester’s final journey on Friday, July 10, 2015

Elliot, 24, brought Chester home from Animal Ark Rescue in Columbus, Georgia, on June 27.

“They rescued him from a high-kill shelter in April after he was surrendered over from his previous owners,” Elliot said July 6. “He had a huge tumor on the top of his head and they wanted someone to take him for his final days. The next day, I got there right before they opened.”

After she shared his story on Facebook, Elliot said, Chester’s Final Journey inspired people to adopt senior and terminally ill animals.”Chester’s legacy will live on. It really has,” she said. “I feel like Chester’s legacy is to help a lot of animals like him.

“I encourage anyone who wants to do the same thing to do it,” she added. “My heart is broken from losing him, but it makes me want to do it again because of how great he was.”