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Arlington dog with cancer, bucket list visits Nationals Park, rides in police car, finds forever home

WASHINGTON — Smoke the dog doesn’t have a lot of time left, but he’s making the best of it. On Thursday he checked off the biggest item on his bucket list — he got a forever home.

Smoke is 10 years old, and he had been living at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. He has cancer, and the shelter describes his time remaining as “six months, or it could be just a few weeks.” Last week, the shelter made a bucket list of great dog experiences for Smoke to have in his remaining life, and he’s been living it up since then.

Thursday was a three-fer: Smoke went to Nationals Park and walked around the field, getting a taste of ice cream in the process; he went to the Arlington County Police Department, where he got to ride in a police car and have a bite of a doughnut; and he went home with his new family, who guided him through the day’s excitement.

He’s still got his bucket list, and the shelter said his new family will continue the list. It includes a birthday party, a trip to the beach, a ride in a fire truck, breakfast in bed, a camping trip, a jump in a big pile of leaves and a whole lot more fun dog activities.

“We’re so happy Smoke found his forever home,” said Sam Wolbert, the president and CEO of the shelter. “He was adopted by a loving family that has experience with senior, rescue animals.”

He said the staff of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington was grateful to the community for their support of Smoke, and said that now “Smoke can live out the rest of his life like all dogs should — with a family that loves him.”


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