Odin's Bucket List: New Jersey family helps terminally ill St. Bernard achieve dreams

ByKaylee Merchak via WTVD logo
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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New Jersey couple creates bucket list for their beloved dog diagnosed with cancer

SUSSEX COUNTY, N.J (WTVD) -- Man's best friend - it's a phrase commonly used to describe dogs but one family from New Jersey is showing the world just how powerful those words actually are.

Odin joined the Ledford family in November; his parents fell instantly in love.

But the 4-year-old St. Bernard was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in March and given just six months to live.

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After Odin was given six months to live, his family decided to make him a bucket list (Credit: Jeff and Bobbie Jo Ledford)
Credit: Jeff and Bobbie Jo Ledford

It was a diagnosis that hit Jeff Ledford and his wife hard.

"I lost my mom to cancer. My wife lost her parents as well. I think that's why God chose my wife and family 'cause she could give him the best of what life he has left."

And Odin felt right at home with his new family, creating bonds that no sickness could break.

"He has a bond with my wife that I've never seen," Jeff Ledford said. "My wife cried every day, every second for weeks. I said to enjoy the time with him, be happy with the time you have. She then said, 'I'll make a bucket list.'"

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And make a list they did.

To help Odin live his best life while he's still here, his family is helping him achieve a doggie bucket list before he passes.

So far, the lovable pooch has had his first taste of ice cream, met a police officer, went to the beach, and has even taken a picture with Hooters girls.

And now he's even hoping to hang with a Yankee.

Ledford said his wife Bobbie Jo created the Facebook group Odin's Bucket List to share his journey.

"People wanted to be my friend on Facebook because of Odin," Bobbie Jo said. "That's when I got the idea for a bucket list. This has helped with my emotions."

Once the group was created, they said it was nothing but an outcry of support.

"The support ... it's amazing," Ledford said. "It has become a community of people and their pets. People share their stories of their pets, post pics of them. It's awesome. No politics, no fights, no race, no religion; everyone is just being the way people should be ... kind, loving, caring people!"

"My heart just melts with all the love and prayers that we are getting," Bobbie Jo added. "Odin loves people and going to places. He really enjoys this, and I strongly believe he is going to live more than six months because of his bucket list."

And Odin's Bucket List has a deeper meaning for the world.

"The goal I guess it's just for the world to know how wonderful he is, but also it's a lesson to all of us if anyone has a loved one who has a limited time do all you can to make memories. Make a bucket list. Do that list with loved ones. Don't waste you last days months or years crying. Make those happy memories and share them."

You can also follow Odin's journey on Instagram.