When Robert Kugler found out his beloved chocolate lab, Bella, had cancer he knew what he had to do.
Robert adopted Bella as a puppy. She’s now 9 years old, or about 63 if you’re counting in human years.
In May, a veterinarian told Robert that what he initially thought was a shoulder injury was actually cancer and that it had spread to Bella’s lungs. The doctor had to amputate one of Bella’s legs and told Robert she had three to six months to live.
That was 14 months ago.
Determined to show Bella the same kind of unconditional love she had shown him throughout her life, Robert hit the road to give her the farewell tour of her doggie dreams.
He tells Upworthy it’s not everyday you get to just pack up, get behind the wheel, and go, but after losing two siblings in nine years, he began to look at time as being much more valuable than money.
As for Bella, he says, “She teaches me lessons every day, and I am so blessed to spend my time with her.”
Here are 27 of the most heartwarming photos from Bella’s farewell tour:
1. Bella running on a beach in Florida.
2. Taking in a sunrise in the Sunshine State.
3. Trying to stay cool in Tybee Island, Georgia.
4. Bella getting her “country on” in Nashville, Tennessee.
5. At Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky and Tennessee.
6. At the Mark Twain National Forest in southern Missouri.
7. At the Parthenon in Nashville.
8. At Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.
9. Bella making friends with a dog named Timber on a beach in Florida.
10. At Central Park in New York City
11. Visiting a fallen firefighter memorial outside the Arkansas State Capitol.
12. Making friends at summer camp in Missouri.
13. Posing outside an abandoned barn in Nebraska.
14. And letting her tongue hang out in Tybee Island.
15. Here, Bella cools off in a river.
16. And going swimming in South Beach.
17. Visiting Savannah, Georgia.
18. And Neptune Beach in Florida.
19. And the Southernmost Point Buoy.
20. Here’s Bella being a champion at the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia.
21. Bella and Robert at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
22. Outside the original “Cheers” bar in Boston. Do they make beer for dogs?
23. At Acadia National Park in Maine.
24. Taking in Niagara Falls.
25. Posing in front of “Jaws”-inspired street art in Detroit.
26. Posing with her best friend, Robert, of course.
27. And, most importantly, here’s Bella enjoying every second of the wind in her face on this amazing road trip with her favorite human.
You can’t put a price tag on the type of love, loyalty, and companionship a pet provides, and these incredibly moving photographs prove it.
The bond between Robert and his “Bella girl” is truly special. In spite of Bella having cancer and only three legs, Robert says, she begs to be in the car nearly every time she’s awake.
You can follow this dynamic duo’s road trip adventures on Robert’s Instagram, and he says they’ve got no plans of slowing down anytime soon because “right now … sharing the love of this dog with the world has become my new purpose.”
Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/