Rescue helping neglected 12-year-old dog check items off bucket list

Rescuers: 'Wilbur' enjoying life to the fullest after years of neglect
Updated: Jun. 23, 2020 at 11:49 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A senior dog named Wilbur is getting the royal treatment after a local rescue took him in and realized he may not have much time left.

Wilbur’s journey started when Queen City Bulldog rescuers saw the sadness in his eyes as he sat in a Franklin County, Ohio facility. They decided to bring him into their care.

“We all were like, ‘We have to get him,’ and were doing everything we could to pull him from the shelter,” Queen City Bulldog VP Katie York said. “It’s shocking that somebody could let him stay in this situation, and it’s not a life for a dog to have.”

One visit to a veterinarian showed that Wilbur has had a tough life.

Chelsea Muenzer says he is battling eye infections, skin infections, eye problems, teeth issues and two ACL tears. He was turned in as a “stray,” but rescuers say that they are sure signs of longtime neglect.

“Our vet, who we totally trust and love, literally said, ‘This is the sickest dog you’ve ever brought me,‘” Muenzer said.

Wilbur’s prognosis is not great as they believe he is around 12-years-old.

To make sure the sassy and sweet dog spends his final days in pure bliss, they have created “Wilbur’s Bucket List.”

“He’s clearly mighty. He’s got a lot of fight left in him. He stands even with two big major tears. He tries to walk even though he can’t,” Muenzer said. “He barks when he wants something or he sees something, and that to us, as a rescue, so long as we get funding in, we aren’t gonna stop fighting for him.”

With help from the community, Wilbur’s making great progress on his list. On Tuesday, he posed for a picture on a Covington fire truck before enjoying a picnic at the park with his canine companion and new “girlfriend,” a bulldog named Gemma.

He has also had a puppichino beverage and was celebrated at a birthday party.

“Just kind of doing stereotypical little boy fun doggy things. We’re next up going to take him to a pet store, where he can pick out whatever he wants,” Muenzer said.

Knowing that Wilbur’s past was painful has been heartbreaking for his caretakers, but seeing him happy helps heal their hearts back together again.

“We’re honestly the lucky ones,” Muenzer said. “The dogs aren’t.”

People in the community spent hundreds of dollars buying and sending Wilbur items off a dog wishlist.

Rescuers are now asking people for more bucket list ideas. Anyone can submit an idea to the rescue via the rescue’s Facebook page or website.

People can also follow Wilbur’s journey through Facebook.

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