Their Golden Retriever was diagnosed with cancer, so they made him a bucket list and the results are AMAZING!

March 8, 2018

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

When the Conley family learned that their 10-year-old Golden Retriever, Cody, had cancer, they decided to start a journey, a bucket list of sorts, for their sweet boy, “It started out as a coping mechanism for our girls but has turned into so much more,” Annalee Conley told me, “We’ve had so many well wishes and people sharing their stories with us that I cannot even begin to express how heartwarming this journey has been. I’m beyond grateful to have been able to create  these intimate relationships with complete strangers, all because we share the same kind of love for our pets.

The love we have for our pets is deep and true. It is an unconditional love that is hard to explain sometimes. For the Conley family, the diagnosis took them on a journey they never imagined.



A bucket list – so full already.

• stroll around canal side 



• view the memorials and naval ships 


• have a race down the boardwalk (and again “let” mommy win?
• play in a giant sandbox 
• chill near harbor center to people watch aka collect pets from everyone who walked by 
• enjoy some Timbits 

• be a real  Buffalo tourist and get a picture with Shark Girl! 


• catch a visit with the Bluejays 



• make fresh nose prints all over the freshly cleaned windows 
• see the Bills make it to the playoffs (next year guys, round 2 next year!) ✔ 

• race a plane on Heltz road as it was prepping to take off 




• get totally confused on trying to figure out where said plane went when it flew over the car  ?

• hit a pumpkin patch and grab a couple pumpkins 



• take a hike in the crisp fall air 
• crack open some black walnuts and have a snack (a new favorite for Cody!) 
• run into the thrush and get covered in burrs to realize he was just chasing walnut pods that fell and there were no monsters trying to get us 
• sit back and just enjoy fall ?

• stand on the 50 yard line 


• run on a field that most dogs don’t get a chance to! ? 
• finally figure out what they mean by the crown on the field (had no clue that it really is curved!)  
• race the girls to the end zone (and allow Mommy to “win” the race) 


• just sit and chill for awhile on the 50 yard line 




• see what all this hype is over the sunflower patch 


• admit the sunflower patch is a lot cooler than we expected 
• climb in a ditch to roll in something beyond stinky then make everyone gag in the car 
• grab a hot dog at Ted’s  
• visit the Ellicott Creek Dog Park 
• start a campaign to get a dog park that cool in the southtowns 
• confirm 100% that Cody is definitely NOT a water dog! 




• take a stroll at one of the Olmsted Parks 
• stand under a giant willow 
• plain and simple, enjoy a beautiful summer evening in Buffalo as a family 

• attend a baseball game 



• walk on the field 
• eat all the concession staples – popcorn, pretzel, nachos, CrackerJax, and more ice cream! 
• become famous with a 3 second shot on the Jumbotron!  

• attend a performance of Shakespeare in the Park 
• visit Delaware Park  
• make friends with all the people sitting around us 



• sit in one of said friend’s lap 
• have a picnic in the park 
• beg for cucumber from another newly made friend (Cody’s favorite snack!) 
• meet Donalbain from Macbeth 

• take a nap in the park 

• check out all the AMAZING views our city has to offer 




• enjoy a drink in the CE’s office 




• take a walk at Sturgeon Point to watch the sunset 
• poop on a beach 
• sniff the water 
• roll on a dead fish (p
referably covered in flies) 



One year later and Cody is still going strong, still checking off that bucket list. Still making memories. Still reminding all of us how important it is to enjoy every moment of every day.


What an awesome thing for this family to do. The Conley’s have a poster board with more ideas, more activities for their list. You can follow their journey HERE.
We will follow this incredible journey … but for now, we’ll end with this from Annalee,  “We’d love to add “be a story on Totally Buffalo!!! blog” to our Bucket List.”
You can surely ✔ that one off! 🙂
Here are more pictures of adorable Cody and his family!


About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






  1. Avatar

    I’m so overcome with tears..
    So beautiful for them to make up this bucket list. Helps Cody and the family. Memories stay forever. Beautiful story!

  2. Avatar

    I’m so overcome with tears..
    So beautiful for them to make up this bucket list. Helps Cody and the family. Memories stay forever. Beautiful story!

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