AN ADORABLE rescue puppy has ticked an item off his bucket list as he races against time due to a rare heart defect.

Opie, who is nearly 17 weeks old, suffers from a heart defect that will likely cut his life short and his foster mum Julie has created a puppy bucket list for him to complete before he dies.

Experiences on Opie’s list include learning to swim, entering a dog show, going on a picnic and riding in a fire engine.

And last week, Twickenham Fire Station helped the labrador puppy along with this goal.

  • READ MORE: RSPCA Brighton puppy completing bucket list following diagnosis

Firefighters on Twickenham’s green watch, including Julie’s son Rob, invited Opie along last Thursday and it looks like he had a great time.

Pictures show the adorable little chap sitting in the fire engine and next to the fireman's pole.

The RSPCA rescued Opie from a puppy farm along with 35 other dogs earlier this year.

He has sadly since been diagnosed with tricuspid valve dysplasia - which means he may never reach adulthood.

He is the only one to have been found with this rare heart malfunction, but he is now in the care of RSPCA inspector Julie Parsons who is determined to give him opportunities to do various dog related activities in whatever time he has left.

The Argus: Rob with Opie the puppy.Rob with Opie the puppy.

Julie said: “We just wanted to do something for Opie to make the most of his short life.

“His congenital birth defect will limit his life significantly and he may only have three to six months left, so we wanted him to experience the best things in life.”

Jenny Eden, branch manager at RSPCA Sussex Brighton and East Grinstead, said: "Opie came into our shelter with 35 other puppies but it quickly became apparent he wasn't thriving like the rest of them.

“Julie kindly stepped in and offered to become his foster mum to give him the love he needed. He's a plucky little pup who tries to do everything like other dogs despite his health issues."

The Argus: Opie with a fire fighters helmet.Opie with a fire fighters helmet.

Opie's ongoing medication is provided by RSPCA Brighton and there is a chance, once Opie is big enough, that he may be able to have an operation to help fix the problem with his heart, but this can cost around £20,000.

The charity is raising money to help fund Opie's care for the future and explore possible veterinary treatments to help his condition and give him the best life possible. You can find out more about Opie or donate to his fundraiser at

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