[Photo Source: Zuba’s Facebook Page]
Zuba is a one-year-old German shepherd living with a chronic kidney disease that may prove to be fatal. But when we say “living,” we don’t mean sitting idly by and letting the disease run her life. Thanks to Kayla Matherson, Zuba’s foster mom, this dog is truly living her life to the fullest.
That’s because Matherson of Virginia Beach has created a bucket list for Zuba. It’s a list of items and activities for Zuba to complete during her time with her foster family. “We were excited about having the idea of helping her live the fullest life she can before her suspected fate,” Matherson told The Virginian-Pilot.
Zuba the German shepherd was less than a year old when she was brought to Southeast German Shepherd Rescue’s Virginia Beach office. Her first family brought her to SGSR after they found out she had malformed kidney’s, stating they couldn’t handle the stress of losing their dog so early and so young.
When Zuba arrived at Southeast German Shepherd Rescue, she became a part of their Phoenix Dog Program. According to the SGSR website, this program is, “committed to helping German Shepherd Dogs with birth defects, amputations, developmental problems, genetic disorders and degenerative disorders find the lives and forever homes that every dog deserves.” Heather Duggan, the director of the program, told The Virginian-Pilot that when Zuba first came to them in March, the dog was already labeled as a hospice case.
But the mission of the Phoenix Dog Program is to provide the lives that every dog deserves. In keeping with this mission, Duggan and Matherson developed a bucket list for Zuba.
There are 54 total items on the bucket list, and Zuba has already completed 21 of them since she arrived at SGSR in March. Some of the items she still has to complete include eating a cheeseburger, getting a card from each state in the US, and even being on the Ellen Show! Most recently, Zuba completed numbers 7 and 8 on her list: swim in a pool and have a birthday party.
Zuba just turned one year old on June 3rd, and currently is expected to live for only a few more months. The state of her kidneys is considered a Stage 3 failure by her doctors, but future test results could show a turnaround. If her latest bloodwork comes back showing improvement, it would change her diagnoses from a kidney failure to a kidney disease, giving Zuba at least 5 more years to live.
Though things still remain uncertain for Zuba, she and Matherson continue to have a positive outlook. People from all over the world have been tracking Zuba’s progress. She even has a whole room in Matherson’s house devoted to the cards and gifts she receives from fans! Zuba’s accomplishments can be tracked on her Facebook page, where she has more than 800 followers watching as she lives her life to the fullest – no matter how long she has left.
Photo Source: Zuba’s Facebook Page