CLEVELAND, Ohio -- It's not every day that a dog is taken on a "bucket list" adventure but that's what happened to Lady, a 12-year-old boxer/lab mix.
Several weeks ago, Lady was awakened in the wee hours of a Sunday morning and whisked away to Myrtle Beach with owners Craig and Samantha Brackman of Ravenna.
The Brackmans wanted to take the adventure because they don't know how much longer their dog will live.
"Lady has tumors in her mouth, neck and other places. She's in her twilight years and we don't want her to have unnecessary surgery," said Craig. "She might pass away in a few months or it could be a few years. We wanted to do something special for her. So I told my wife as a joke, 'Let's take the pup to see the ocean.'"
The trio traveled across Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and finally South Carolina. In all, the round-trip road trip covered 1,360 miles in 36 hours. First stop, the beach.
Myrtle Beach was a convenient place to take Lady because Craig's best friend, Ben Wheedon, moved there six months ago. The Brackmans, who documented the trip in photos shown here, are happy they gave Lady an unusual, whirlwind experience.
"It was awesome," said Craig, 35, a chemical engineer by trade and the operations manager of a manufacturing facility. "Even though the trip was short it definitely was well worth it."
The Brackmans hit the road at 4 a.m. on Sunday, February 5. Samantha, 32, a behavioral therapist for special-needs children, was behind the wheel.
"When we arrived [at Myrtle Beach] at about 4 p.m. there was still a little daylight so we took her to see the water," said Craig. "As the tides rolled in and out, Lady was wondering where the water was going, and when the water came crashing back she jumped at it."
In the evening, the couple took Lady to see Wheedon, who was Craig's best man at his wedding in November 2010. After that, the Brackmans and Lady slept overnight in the minivan.
"It got down to 40 degrees that night," Craig recalls. "It was really, really cold. The dog was snuggling between Samantha and I. Our dog steals our comforter at home and makes a nest out of it with pillows. She was doing the same thing in the van."
At about 7 a.m. Monday, the Brackmans took lady to see the sun rise over the ocean and then headed back to Ravenna. They were home by about 10 p.m.
"The pup had her choice of anywhere in the house to rest from an exhausting trip and she picked her usual spot between the nightstand and our bed," said Craig.
More trips for Lady are in the works.
"We're planning to take Lady to Niagara Falls in the next couple of months," said Craig. "We're also talking about driving her out to Mt. Rushmore. It's our bucket list for her. We want to enjoy her while she's still around."
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