Shelter needs help to complete bucket list for a dog who has Alzheimer's

Dogs 4 Rescue are helping Zach complete his bucket list
Dogs 4 Rescue are helping Zach complete his bucket list (Picture: Mercury Press & Media)
Grandad Zach the Staffie has Alzheimer’s and spondylosis, a spinal cord condition, and he doesn’t have much time left. Staff at Dogs 4 Rescue sanctuary in Eccles, Gtr Manchester, have drawn up a bucket list for the 16-year-old pooch to give him some special memories. So far he has enjoyed a McDonald’s double cheeseburger, a steak dinner, fancy meal out and Starbucks puppuccino as part of his adorable bucket list challenge.

But they need help to complete the list. They are raising funds so they can do the rest of the treats and then use any extra money to set up a memorial fund in his name for other pets.

Zach has been living at the shelter since October 2018, after Dogs 4 Rescue founder Emma Billington, 41, rescued him from a pound where he was due to be put down the next day. The animal lover said: ‘Grandad Zach’s bucket list is about enriching the last few weeks of his life.

‘We don’t know exactly how long he has left, but we can see he’s slowing down and getting more tired.

Grandad Zach with his bucket list
Grandad Zach with his bucket list (Picture: Mercury Press & Media)

‘The bucket list is a way of preparing for his passing – we wanted to cram all the things he loves into it.’

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Grandad Zach loves to get out and about and enjoys exploring all the new places that are included on his bucket list. ‘He watches out of the window; he gets really pumped up,’ Emma added.

‘And as soon as we put a rare treat like a cheeseburger in front of him, he is filled with joy.

Grandad Zach eating his McDonald's burger
Grandad Zach eating his McDonald’s burger (Picture: Mercury Press & Media)

‘People love him. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and I’m so glad we rescued him.

‘We took him out to a restaurant in Manchester recently and people loved meeting him in the flesh. He is a true character.’
Grandad Zach became a Dogs 4 Rescue sanctuary dog due to his ailments which made him difficult to rehome.

He has canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome, which is akin to Alzheimer’s in dog and it causes him to blank out and means he forgets where to go to the toilet.

Zach drinking a puppucino
Zach drinking a puppucino (Picture: Mercury Press & Media)
Zach is one of 45 dogs who live at Dogs 4 Rescue – a kennel-free and open plan dogs’ rescue centre.

25 of his friends are actively looking for forever homes and another 13 dogs will arrive this weekend, all hoping to be adopted by a loving family.

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Emma said: ‘Grandad Zach is popular with all the other dogs here.

Grandad Zach curled up by the fire
Grandad Zach curled up by the fire (Picture: Mercury Press & Media)

‘He walks up and down the kitchen, like he is forgetting what he is doing, then curls up with one of the dogs for a sleep.

‘He takes great comfort from snuggling and his favourite buddy is a big Kangal dog, blind Jessie.

‘He is funny and sweet.’

Grandad Zach visiting a restaurant
Grandad Zach visiting a restaurant (Picture: Mercury Press & Media)

Although he has already ticked off things including snoozing in front of a log burning fire and starring in his own photo-shoot, there’s still plenty to tick off.

They want to take him Blackpool, go to the beach and have a massage, but they need people to donate funds or to help organise the treats.

Grandad Zach eating a doughnut
Grandad Zach eating a doughnut (Picture: Mercury Press & Media)

Emma said: ‘Zach has had an incredible life here and we love caring for him.

‘He could have a week; he could have a month. He could surprise us all!

‘One thing is for sure, it won’t be the same without his pitter, patter up and down here and there will be many broken hearts when the time comes to say goodbye.’

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