On Thursday, during their last practice of the season, the Colts cheerleaders had a surprise visit from a special guest.
He pranced in, tail wagging, carrying a stuffed squirrel, and with a blue t-shirt covering a large tumor in his belly.
“He doesn’t even know he’s sick,” said Jennifer Turner, Ebby’s foster mom. “So, outside of that big belly, he’s living life.”
Ebby (short for Ebenezer) came to live with Turner through Mended Hearts Rescue. He was adopted out of Indianapolis Animal Care and Control three years ago, then returned with the tumor. They’re guessing he’s around ten years old.
“We took him to the vet, found out that the tumor is inoperable. They think the tumor is either on or in his spleen. And with his age, it’s just not operable.”
So, they came up with a different plan.
“Instead of concentrating on the death, we’re concentrating on his life and we’re just trying to make it the best that he could possibly have.”
They put together a bucket list of about 30 things Ebby needed to do and they’ve already completed about half of them.
“We started probably the first week of January. We met the Mayor, we’ve been on Pet Pals TV, we’ve met Patty Spitler, we’ve had liver and spaghetti and Pup Cups, and have been to the Three Dog Bakery. And one of his things was to get kisses from Colts cheerleaders.”
Turner was able to get in touch with the cheerleaders with the help of a friend. And then some.
“A friend of mine that I work with is friends with somebody that is friends with the mom of a cheerleader.”
The information was passed along and along and along…
“It got to the right person, they were happy to do it. And it just made my night,” she said. “It was just really breathtaking that they would take the time out of their busy schedule.”
The cheerleaders couldn’t have been happier to oblige. And Ebby just couldn’t have been happier period.
“His tail hasn’t stopped. And he hasn’t stopped smiling and it’s just been great,” Turner said.
It was a small gesture for a dog with a big belly and an even bigger heart.
In return, Ebby left the cheerleaders with some sloppy kisses and a life lesson.
“Our thing is, really concentrate on what you have today. Because you don’t know that tomorrow is going to be here. So, you just live life as it is and enjoy now.”
And try to spread a little cheer in the process.
You can follow Ebby’s journey on his Facebook page, Ebby’s Epic Adventures.