New York man takes dying dog on bucket list adventure across the nation

Poh the dog visited 35 cities, rode 12,000 miles

Following a terminal diagnosis, Poh, a mixed-breed dog from New York City, has been living his dying days traveling the nation with his owner, crossing off many desirable destinations from their bucket list.

"It was a great trip," owner Thomas Neil Rodriguez told ABC News. "I got to spend seven weeks with Poh. At first, I did not think he'd make it two weeks, but he did."

Rodriguez said he adopted Poh from an animal shelter back in December 1999, when he was eight weeks old.

The 15-year-old dog has been diagnosed with several health problems, in which veterinarians have concluded that he will not live much longer.

"I would say sometime in February he started to get sicker," Rodriguez said. "I travel quite a bit but we came back from one trip and he was doing really bad.

"I'm unsure of how long [he will live]. Doctors are unsure. My assumption is that I don’t have very long with him and that’s what prompted the trips."

Beginning March 6, Rodriguez, his fiance, and Poh drove cross country, visiting 35 cities, and traveling around 12,000 miles, he said.

"I initially wanted to get him to the Pacific Ocean," he added. "I have always wanted him to swim."

"He loved it, it was so healing for him. It was like he was five years younger. He was walking with a lot of energy.”

 

Back in the bay area until Monday. Who wants to meet me in Fort funston tomorrow 3/28? #pohthedogsbigadventure

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

On the way to California, Poh made stops in North Carolina, Texas, Oregon, Arizona and more, posing in front of many well-known landmarks in the United States.

"We even stopped by Walter White's house in New Mexico," Rodriguez said. "We went to 'The Goonies' house in Oregon. There was some dog parks to go to. In Austin we went to a great dog park where he actually swam.

 

I was walking around the water in the shallow end, and I stepped off into the deep end. I was completely underneath the water for the first time, but because I'm so old now I couldn't swim! So my dad jump into the water to carry me and keep my head above the water while I tried to paddle with my paws 🐾. My dad @djneilarmstrong helped make me feel like I was floating :). It was one of the best feelings I've ever experienced🐶 hopefully one day I can swim without my dad's help. #pohthedogsbigadventure #dog #puppy #pup #cute #eyes #instagood #dogs_of_instagram #pet #pets #animal #animals #petstagram #petsagram #dogsitting #photooftheday #dogsofinstagram #ilovemydog #instagramdogs #nature #dogstagram #dogoftheday #lovedogs #lovepuppies #hound #adorable #doglover #instapuppy #instadog

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

"It was a little bit for him, a little bit for me."

Prior to their trip, Rodriguez documented the journey on an Instagram account created specifically for Poh's adventures.

Since then, he said the positive comments on the page have been rolling in from pet owners everywhere.

"My life is kind of hectic," Rodriguez said. "I'm always traveling, but Poh is my home, my child. I think this resonated with a lot of dog owners. They wish they could do stuff like this with their dog and spend these moments, but sometimes life gets in the way."

"I am super blessed that I have actually gotten to do this," he added. "People think I take care of Poh, but Poh takes care of me."