Brianna Cihi and her boyfriend, Keith Maida, of Bridgeport, CT, were driving across the country and began looking at Petfinder when they made stops. By the time they reached Oregon, one dog in particular had reached the top of their “bucket list,” as they called it (a phrase that sprang from a Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman movie for a list of things you want to do before you die). The dog had been relocated from South Carolina by the SPCA of Connecticut and listed on Petfinder to increase her chances of finding a home.
Now Brianna became anxious that the dog would be adopted before they arrived back in Connecticut. But, to her relief, she was still available. They applied to adopt her, were approved and Bucket, as they named her, became a member of their pack.
There was some adjustment time. Bucket had been severely neglected and wouldn’t allow anyone but Keith, Brianna and Brianna’s mom to touch her.
“The first day we brought her to the dog park, she walked the entire length of the perimeter in between my legs,” Brianna says.
Today, she’s a different dog. “Bucket,” Brianna relates, “has hiked to the top of six of the Adirondack’s High Peaks, spent many Sunday afternoons navigating Long Island Sound on the bow of our sailboat in her pink polka-dotted life-jacket, chased Mommy and Daddy down the side of a mountain on their skis in nearly a foot of fresh powder, gone camping in Maine, canoeing in Vermont, hiking in Tennessee, motor boating in Rhode Island, and somehow convinced an entire Starbucks staff to give her a free cup of whipped cream every time we go through the drive-thru.”
And she says, it all started with a 2×2-inch photo on Petfinder.