Riley, an 11-year-old Great Dane, was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and isn’t expected to survive until December 25, so he got an early Christmas with help from Chewy
Riley is getting his Christmas cheer a month early.
The 11-year-old Great Dane was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, and is not expected to live to Dec. 25. Heartbroken that her beloved pet would likely miss enjoying one more Christmas, Courtney Tucker reached out to Chewy Claus with her holiday wish.
Chewy Claus is a program started by online pet retailer Chewy in 2022 and brought back this year. Through the program, pets and pet parents can submit their holiday wishes to Chewy Claus for a chance to have these dreams come true. Not only does Chewy respond to some of the submitted wishes, but for each wish entered to Be.Chewy.com/Chewy-Claus from now until Dec. 15, Chewy will donate one pound of food to one of their non-profit partners — up to 200,000 pounds.
"I remember thinking, not yet, it's not time yet," Tucker said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE about the feelings that powered her Chewy Claus wish. "I was determined to spend whatever time I had left with Riley making memories and capturing moments full of love."
Tucker asked Chewy Claus for another Christmas with Riley, and Chewy delivered, filling Tucker's home in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, with festive decorations and gifts for the Great Dane. As he does for every Christmas, Riley dressed for the occasion, donning a holiday sweater and hat.
Riley also received a steak dinner and a party with his favorite people for the early celebration. Tucker knows the dog appreciated all the treats, toys, and cheer that Chewy set up because the pet returned to his old, social self.
"He loves to be a part of everything," Tucker says of Riley's personality. After Riley's diagnosis, Tucker watched the dog become more reclusive as he coped with his illness. But on his early Christmas, Riley was back in the center of the action, where he could soak up the most attention.
"He slept very well that night. You could tell his heart was full," Tucker said of her dog's reaction to the Christmas party.
"My favorite part of the Chewy celebration was when Riley and I were on the ground opening his presents. We opened the gift that had his little Santa hat in it, and he was so excited. The next gift we opened was a giant stuffed animal. He grabbed the toy and laid his head down on me," she added.
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Overall, Tucker and Riley are pleased they got to experience the magic of Christmas one more time after 11 loving years together.
"Giving Riley such a special last Christmas was something I will never forget. These memories that were made and the moments that were captured are more than I could have ever imagined giving Riley in the last few months of his life. I am beyond grateful for having these moments to look back on and cherish," Tucker said.
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Read the original article on People.