Pets & Animals

Snowy send-off: Dog with terminal cancer gets one last chance to play in the snow

One animal's last day on the planet didn't have to be a sad one.

Hours before being put down due to a terminal cancer, a 6-year-old Saint Bernard named Sophia got one last chance to do one of her favorite things: play in the winter snow.

After Sophia was diagnosed with bone cancer two months ago, her owner, Alyson Paige, was heartbroken — especially since Sophia had been "a big support" for her during her struggle with infertility.

Peter Byrne / PA Wire via AP
St Bernard dog visit to Chill Factore. Mike and Alyson Paige with their St Bernard dogs Yogi and Sophia on a visit to the Chill Factore in Manchester. Picture date: Wednesday August 12, 2015. Sophia has terminal bone cancer and loves the snow so she enjoyed a day at the centre before she is to be put down. See PA story ANIMALS Snow. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire URN:23796192

"I wanted to do something special for her," she told BBC.

And "special" was no overstatement. Paige spent months researching different options, before remembering Sophia's immense love for snow. She decided to reach out to an indoor ski center in Manchester, U.K., mostly on a whim, thinking they wouldn't really respond to such an odd request.

Peter Byrne / PA Wire via AP
St Bernard dog visit to Chill Factore. Alyson Paige with her St Bernard dog Sophia on a visit to the Chill Factore in Manchester. Picture date: Wednesday August 12, 2015. Sophia has terminal bone cancer and loves the snow so she enjoyed a day at the centre before she is to be put down. See PA story ANIMALS Snow. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire URN:23796189

But they did, and when the big day came earlier this summer, it was a huge success.

"Just to see her with a waggly tail and diving around in the snow, [making] snow angels...it's just been amazing," Paige said, explaining that Sophia hadn't been her lively self since her diagnosis.

Peter Byrne / PA Wire via AP
St Bernard dog visit to Chill Factore. Alyson Paige with her St Bernard dog Sophia on a visit to the Chill Factore in Manchester. Picture date: Wednesday August 12, 2015. Sophia has terminal bone cancer and loves the snow so she enjoyed a day at the centre before she is to be put down. See PA story ANIMALS Snow. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire URN:23796202

"I can't even begin to say how much I'm going to miss her," she said. "It's made me happy knowing that she's had such a wonderful day today."

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