A beloved pooch who has just months to live is set to enjoy one final adventure.
Devoted owner Elicia Cooke wanted to mark the life of 14-year-old Westie Billie, who has terminal cancer and is currently being treated with steroids.
So she’s invited dog lovers from across Teesside to join her to take part in a fundraising walk on Redcar beach – Billie’s favourite place – on Saturday, March 25.
Elicia hopes that Billie will be fit enough to walk on the day but plans to carry him if he is unable to.
“He’s sleeping a lot but he’s still chirpy and fingers crossed he will be ok for the walk,” the 26-year-old nurse told GazetteLive .
“The good thing is he’s not in any pain. That’s the main thing I was concerned about.”
Elicia was devastated to find out that her much-loved pet had a terminal illness as Billie has been her lifeline through many challenges in her life, including a recent battle with depression and anxiety.
She says Billie’s support got her through and is the reason why she has organised the walk.
“He will only be with us for a few short months,” Elicia, who has had Billie since she was 13 years old, said.
“To mark his life and thankfulness to my lovely boy, I would like to organise a walk at Billie’s favourite place where he can run freely.
“He has been a loving best friend to me through my adolescence, college and university days.
“Recently I have been battling depression and anxiety and Billie has never left my side. His gift to me has brought me back to life.”
Elicia and her parents, who live together in Nunthorpe, recently lost their other Westie, Tobie, who was blind and deaf and died after a short battle with pneumonia.
“After the horrible news we got about Billie, we had to let our lovely Tobie go – [we were] absolutely heartbroken,” she said.
“I can’t believe we will lose them close together. They are such a huge part of our family and we will be incomplete without them.
“When we walk along the beach we’ll be thinking of him.”
Everyone is welcome to join her on “Billie’s Last Adventure”, whether they are dog owners or not. Walkers should meet her in the Coatham end of the car park on Saturday, March 25, at 10.30am.
The event will raise money for the Dogs Trust charity and has already raised £315 for the cause. Barclaycard will be matching the total pound-for-pound.
“So many dogs need good homes and I know the charity does a lot of good work,” Elicia added.
Click here to donate.