Man Takes Dog on Epic Road Trip After She Is Diagnosed With Cancer


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Nothing can come between a man and his dog, just ask Robert Kugler and his dog Bella.

After Bella was diagnosed with cancer and given only three to six months to live, Kugler knew he had to make the best out of the bad situation. Kugler decided to take Bella, 9, on the adventure of a lifetime during the last few months of her life and take her on the ultimate road trip.


Kugler first learned of Bella’s cancer in May of 2015 and was forced to amputate the chocolate lab’s front leg.

“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 shared with WOWT.

Kugler, a marine vet, had just finished school and figured it was an ideal time to take the road trip. The pair headed to Chicago, with a quick pit stop at the Marine Corps Ball, and then continued on to the Northeastern United States.

Water Dog #labrador #tripawd #lovethisdog #bella #water #alabama #explore

A photo posted by Robert Kugler (@robkugler) on

“I feel like right now this is my purpose. The chapter in my life right now is just exploring with my dog,” Kugler said.

While the trip is bittersweet, it has helped Kugler come to terms with other losses he has dealt with in the past years.

“I lost my brother in Iraq in 2007 and my oldest sister in a car accident two Easters ago. When you see lives end shortly before people get to do many of things they dream of doing, it changes your perspective on life,” Kugler shared.

Kugler was still able to make some happy memories with Bella, regardless of the sadness lingering over their trip.

“[We were] hiking in the Adirondacks when Bella insisted on coming up to the waterfall with me and a friend I had made in town,” he said. “Once she got up there she couldn’t make it down. I tried showing her a few options that I thought would be a good route and she looked at me like ‘Dad, I need help.’ Something about being scooping (sic) her up and carrying her off of the rocks and across the water really strengthened the bond at that very moment. As if I were telling her ‘I got you, and I always will.'”

#beautiful #bella #beach #tripawd #labrador #florida

A photo posted by Robert Kugler (@robkugler) on

Kugler and Bella are not showing signs of stopping their trip anytime soon, especially since “Bella is doing pretty darn awesome.”

Gettin some country on. #Tennessee #nashville #guitar #labrador #tripawd #bella

A photo posted by Robert Kugler (@robkugler) on

“I’d like to get my 4Runner geared up as a more organized camping rig, then go out towards the [National] Parks,” Kugler explained. “Taking Bella to each state really isn’t the priority, it’s more having her along to experience my own ‘hero’s journey’ and appreciate each other’s spirit and life on the planet.”

 You can follow their adventure on Instagram.

(H/T Mashable)


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