COLUMBUS, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) – When Chester the Cairn Terrier showed up at the Animal Ark Rescue, he couldn’t have known an angel would come to make his last days on Earth more comfortable.

Chester was suffering from terminal cancer, and might have died in the shelter had it not been for 24-year-old Nicole Elliott.

“I only hope someone would do the same for me if I was terminally ill,” she told CBS News after the adoption last month.

Related story: Woman Creates Bucket List For Terminally-Ill Dog She Adopted

But Elliott wanted to do more for Chester, so she created a “bucket list” and created an Instagram and Facebook account to share photos of his journey, attracting thousands of followers along the way.

But then the sad news was delivered on Friday, Chester had passed away.

“I have written and erased this post several times, because I feel like once it’s up it makes it feel so final,” Elliott wrote in a Facebook post. “I am so sad to tell everyone that my sweet baby Chester has left this world.

“I am heartbroken, but at the same time I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I held him until his last breath and then some. I told him it was ok to let go, and how loved he was.”

Hundreds of notes of condolence have been left by those who were touched by Elliott’s act of kindness.

Elliott hopes her example will inspire others to adopt and care for pets near the end of their lives.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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