A woman quit her job to spend time with her terminally ill dog, fulfil a bucket list and make its final days special.
Megan Marshall, 31, welcomed labrador cross Sasha into her life more than a decade and a half ago.
Sasha, now almost 16 years old, was diagnosed with dementia and numerous health problems that would leave the dog unable to walk and eventually completely paralysed.
Ms Marshall, who previously ran a dog walking business, said: “I’ve always struggled with my mental health. I was running a business which made me struggle mentally and Sasha’s health was getting worse.
“I was finding it so hard to juggle the two, so I closed my business and decided to work on myself and give her the time she needs, and then the bucket list popped into my head.
“Even though she’s always had her own health battles – one of which is a degenerative condition which affects her hind legs – Sasha has always been my rock through my own battles.
“It’s a me-and-Sasha-against-the-world type of thing so I just felt that I wanted to give her back what she’s given to me while I had the chance,” Ms Marshall said from her Reading home which she shares with Sasha and a flatmate.
Ms Marshall’s bucket list came about after Sasha was diagnosed with dementia, also known as canine cognitive dysfunction. The dog was often left confused with severe separation anxiety. Sahsa also has a spinal condition that affected the nerves.
The labrador has already completed numerous items on the bucket list, including a visit to the beach, trying ice cream, entry to a dog show, a steak dinner and a birthday party.
Sasha also met Father Christmas, visited a care home, the zoo, Blenheim Palace and Kings Road in London, and had a professional photo shoot.
With Sasha’s final days approaching, Ms Marshall intends to tick off the unfinished items on the bucket list, which include visits to Windsor Castle, the butcher, and a nursery or school to meet the children.
Ms Marshall said: “There’s still a couple of things we want to complete. We ticked off ‘meet a doggy celebrity’ at the weekend when we met Good Boy Ollie who is famous from TikTok.
“I’d love to meet Mrs Hinch and her dog, Henry Hinch, as well. I will feel really happy and proud when the bucket list is completed, it’s been a journey. and one that’s helped my confidence massively too.”
She added: “Knowing we’ve done these things certainly will help make the bad days seem a little easier. I know losing her is going to be a big struggle for me so it kind of gives me a feeling that we did everything I could. I know she was so happy.”