Dog Famous for 'Bucket List' Adventures Dies - NBC 7 San Diego
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Dog Famous for 'Bucket List' Adventures Dies

Poh died Feb. 12, about a year after he was found to be terminally ill, according to owner Neil Rodriguez.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Dog Famous for 'Bucket List' Adventures Dies
    Getty Images/File

    The dog that became famous for his bucket-list adventures after tumors started growing in his body has died. 

    Poh died Feb. 12, about a year after he was found to be terminally ill, according to owner Neil Rodriguez, who began chronicling their trips across the country when he thought Poh only had weeks or days to live.

    "It is with a saddened heart that I share with you that for the first time in over 16 years, I will not get to start a new day with Poh," Rodriguez, of Jersey City, posted on Instagram. 

     

    This picture here is very special to me. This was the 1st sunset I shared with #pohthedog & @goumada at the original dog beach in San Diego. It represents the main goal of our bucketlist, to get #pohthedogsbigadventure to the west side so that he could experience dipping his paws in the Pacific. We were so happy just to make it there, with the belief that Poh only had weeks or days to live. That was just shy of 11 months ago. In between now & then, we've zig zagged across the US twice, visiting all but 6 of the contiguous united states. Poh got to have another b-day, and even celebrated both mine and Yuko's. We got to spend another X-mas & new years together, and poh finally got to see his pop get married. We were able to do and see so much, more then we could have imagined. Despite the tumors in his abdomen & a diagnosis of renal failure (which we were able to reverse, a minor miracle) for these past 49 weeks I've been blessed to see the sunrise with poh. It is with a saddened heart that I share with you that for the first time in over 16 years, I will not get to start a new day with poh. Poh passed away 2/12/16 at 7:45 pm naturally in my arms with his mom by his side. My raucous crazy poh, who stole food off tables, could eat a whole chocolate cake and run away with a smile, ate money, ate my glasses, stole kisses from strangers who hated to be licked in the face, even bit my future wife... finally decided it was time. Before he passed however he left his mark on this world the only way he knew how. He pooped on my sneakers. Just let it all out. I tell you this last thing because I want you to SMILE. Poh lived his life on his terms, and that's how he was going to leave it:) Although my heart was broken, when I thought about it all I could do is chuckle. He was the best. I am of course sad that I won't have another sunrise to share with him. I'm heartbroken. And for a little while or maybe a lot a while, I will mourn. But then, I'll remember all the sunsets we got to see. I'll remember this sunset in particular, and then I will celebrate, and I'll do what poh did, I'll live life to the fullest. #rippohthedog

    A photo posted by poh the dog (@pohthedogsbigadventure) on

    "My raucous crazy Poh, who stole food off tables, could eat a whole chocolate cake and run away with a smile, ate money, ate my glasses, stole kisses from strangers who hated to be licked in the face, even bit my future wife... finally decided it was time," Rodriguez wrote. 

    Rodriguez, who's originally from New York City and deejays for a living, adopted Poh from the North Shore Animal League on Long Island when he was just an 8-week-old puppy in December 1999, he told NBC 4 New York last summer.

    Poh — who Rodriguez thinks is a yellow Lab-pit bull mix — got sick last January. 

    "We decided to just make the most of his time while he was here," he said last year. And that's how the idea for Poh's bucket list adventures was born.

    An Instagram account created to document the dog's trips became a community for dog owners and lovers, some of whom have met Poh and his family on their various trips. 

    In the 11 months after Poh got sick, Rodriguez wrote, "we've zigzagged across the U.S. twice, visiting all but six of the contiguous United States. Poh got to have another birthday, and even celebrated both mine and Yuko's. We got to spend another Chrismtas and New Years together, and Poh finally got to see his pop get married."

    "We were able to do and see so much, more than we could have imagined," he said. 

     

    This is a pic of poh we took yesterday morning. As it turns out, this would be the last sunrise I would watch with #pohthedog. I hope by telling you this next story I can make you smile... When Yuko left for japan poh got better, he was had gained weight & even walked around in his wheelchair solo. When Yuko came home he was happy as can be, but something changed. He stopped eating & drinking & we were dealing w/ him being incontinent for the 1st time. It was as if he had 'let go'. It was as if poh was holding on because he was waiting for mom to come home & now that she was... Well that's what he did. We brought poh to our vet & we all felt it was OK if we waited a day before making any rash decisions. Sure enough, his condition improved...until last Thurs. His eating habits changed again & it turned out he had lost a whole kg. He was still eating, but not enough. Although poh was comfortable, his body couldn't keep up w/ his spirit anymore, and we would help him transition. The chances of him passing naturally were just very slim as it would basically mean he would starve to death.We wanted our vet involved & that required us to make an appointment. So as strange as it seems, we scheduled the last day of poh's life. TUES 2/16, at 4:30 pm. We brought him with to #toronto for 1 last trip as I had to work. The moment we left he perked up, he started barking at us for attention, just as before. He was in his element, on the road with his mom and dad. Around 7:30 pm he was barking & we stopped to feed him & give him water. He ate a little & drank a bit, but he kept barking, so I helped him pee. As I was getting ready to lay him down, he pooped on my sneakers :) That was the last thing he did, before he lied down and crossed over. Poh spent his whole life being a trouble maker w/ capital T. Just like Danny glover wasn't the type of guy who dies on a toilet bowl in lethal weapon, poh isn't the type of dog whose last day can be scheduled. Call it coincidence if u want, but we feel that Poh decided when he was ready to let go, and he went out on his own terms, guns hot, just like how he lived.

    A photo posted by poh the dog (@pohthedogsbigadventure) on

    "I am of course sad that I won't have another sunrise to share with him. I'm heartbroken. And for a little while or maybe a lot while, I will mourn," Rodriguez wrote in the Instagram photo. "But then, I'll remamber all the sunsets we got to see. I'll remembers this sunset in particular, and then I will celebrate, and I'll do what Poh did, I'll live life to the fullest. #rippohthedog" 

    Condolences poured in among Poh's 128,000 fans from across the world who had been following the him on his journeys, especially dog lovers who had lost their own elderly pets.  

    "We have a 16-year-old dog with us and your adventures have made us relish each day with him like it is his last," wrote one follower. 

    "I'm so very sorry that Poh has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He had an amazing and incredible life. I wish I could have taken such amazing trips with my Lady before she left this earth. I know the difficulty involved in taking care of a senior dog," wrote another. 

    Rodriguez says on Instagram he wants to keep the account active to discuss the care that goes into looking after older dogs. 

    "Poh may not be here on this earth anymore, but his adventure hasn't ended, and we hope that you will allow us to share a few more memories that we have in our vaults, and help spread information that we've gathered about caring for our senior pets," he wrote. 

     

    It's not how you die. It's how you live. #pohthedogsbigadventure can't create new memories to share, but we still have so many more left because in this last year #pohthedog lived enough for a few lifetimes. There are many things we never shared with you concerning the care of a #seniordog. Taking care of a #seniorpetsofig takes a lot of patience and time is often the exact opposite of cute. We couldn't share our knowledge base for fear of someone saying 'you need to put him down', and 'He's suffering!' We'll, now that that's off the table, we can share everything, so that our experiences can be used to help out your pets lives as well. #pohthedogsbigadventure may not be here on this earth anymore, but his adventure hasn't ended, and we hope that you will allow us to share a few more memories that we have in our vaults, and help spread important information that we've gathered about caring for our #seniorpetsofig (on a side note all the people who felt that #pohthedog should be put down and he was suffering and we were being selfish - YOU WERE WRONG but I'm trying not to be Tom petty so that neither here nor there) Today is valentine's day, a day of love, so pet lovers out there please go hug you little ones a little tighter today in memory of #pohthedog Picture taken at the airport vortex in Sedona Arizona. I had to carry him to the top, where he fell asleep, the first time I saw the effects of the 'vortexes' on a living creature.#rippohthedog

    A photo posted by poh the dog (@pohthedogsbigadventure) on