Johnson County dog with bucket list has passed away

Posted at 3:45 PM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-20 16:36:08-05

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. -- A Johnson County dog who lived out his last days by checking items off a bucket list has passed away.

Howard,  a senior Golden Retriever who was found as a stray at the Indianapolis Animal Care and Control last August, was taken in by The Humane Society of Johnson County. 

"We fell in love with his eyes," said Anne Sutton, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Johnson County. 

After taking Howard in to get checked out because he was so thin and malnourished, humane society officials found that he had a fast growing tumor in his abdomen. He was given less than 12 months to live.

After finding out Howard's cancer was terminal, the team at HSJC made Howard a "bucket list" and they made the most of the time he had left.

The Greenwood Fire Department made Howard an honorary Greenwood K9 officer. 

Complete with swearing in, his own badge and cheers from the crowd.

Howard also was made an honorary fire dog at the White River Township Station 51. 

He was the Grand Marshall for Humane Society of Johnson County at the Franklin Fall Festival parade. 

While there, he also crossed another item off of his bucket list – riding in a convertible!

Howard had been a local celebrity since the day he arrived at the shelter with people showing up to see and help raise funds for the shelter in his name.

"The senior dogs are passed up for the puppies, and the seniors have such amazing souls that are lost on their age and possible financial burden," said Sutton. "I have tried to tell everyone about Howard's story, that really in all trueness, we are the lucky ones to be able to give so much to him."