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Former Marine Embarks on ‘Farewell Tour’ With His Terminally Ill Dog

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A former Marine has decided to do a “farewell tour” with his dog after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Robert Kugler took his chocolate lab Bella into the vet in May of 2015 thinking she has a shoulder injury. Instead, he was given heartbreaking news.

“They said this is the worst news I could give you; she had advanced osteosarcoma and it’s already in her lungs so you need to either take her leg today or put her down,” Kugler told WOWT6 of the cancer diagnosis. “I just didn’t want her to be gone one day when I came home.”

Related: TV Anchor Says Goodbye to Dog With Bucket List and Heartbreaking Tribute

After amputating her leg and given only three to six months to live, Kugler decided to have Bella join him in exploring the country. Beginning in Chicago, the pair has to Nebraska, Niagara Falls, Washington D.C. and many places in between. They have experienced many adventures including visiting the Grand Ole Opry, eating pie and swimimng

Now going on 14 months, Bella and Kugler are now in Florida.

“I feel like right now this is my purpose. It’s the chapter in my life right now is just exploring with my dog,” he told the news outlet. “I just saw firsthand what happens when you don’t do what you want to do in your life and that’s that you don’t get to do it,” he said.

Related: 90-Year-Old Forgoes Cancer Treatment to Enjoy Last Days With Dog on Road Trip

Here are some of our favorite parts of their journey.

Getting a bit of rock n’ roll in Nashville

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210120171863808&set=pb.1323309570.-2207520000.1468433547.&type=3&theater

Enjoying key lime pie in Key West, Florida

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210221006464610&set=pb.1323309570.-2207520000.1468433322.&type=3&theater

Doing what labs love do best: swimming in Key West, Florida

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210230939272924&set=pb.1323309570.-2207520000.1468433151.&type=3&theater

Hiking in Keene Valley, New York

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210230925712585&set=pb.1323309570.-2207520000.1468433152.&type=3&theater

Grateful for another day in Marco Island, Florida

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210242348038136&set=pb.1323309570.-2207520000.1468433134.&type=3&theater

Main image via Facebook/Robert Kugler

By Andrea Huspeni

Andrea Huspeni is the founder and CEO of This Dog's Life. Her mission it to help dogs live a happier, healthier and longer life. When she isn't working, she spends time with her two dogs, Lola and Milo. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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