Rob Kugler is a former marine from Nebraska. He was devastated and broken hearted when his dog, Bella, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in May 2015. Bella is a chocolate lab and she has osteo-sarcoma, cancer of the bones. The decision was made to amputate her front left leg. “If you don’t want to take the leg,” the vet told Rob, “you should put her down today, because she’s in so much pain. However, it won’t save her, because the cancer is in her lungs, and you’re looking at 3-6 months.”
However, 14 months later, Bella is still going strong and recently embarked on her second long-distance trip around the US.
“Starting only a few hundred miles to Southern Missouri, the trip got extended to Kentucky, then to Nashville, then clear to the Carolina coast to help a friend,” Rob says. “We hurled ourselves right back into it, again, without a plan other than seeing who we know where and who would like to meet Bella along the way.”
Kugler is documenting his and Bella’s adventures on his website and on Instagram. “I lost my brother in Iraq in 2007 and my oldest sister in a car accident two Easters ago,” he told Mashable. “When you see lives end shortly before people get to do many of things they dream of doing, it changes your perspective on life.” In a recent interview he said: “I feel like right now this is my chapter in my life right now is just exploring with my dog.”