07/13/2016 04:25 EDT | Updated 07/13/2016 04:59 EDT

Robert Kugler Takes His Dog Bella, Who Has Cancer, On Final Epic Road Trip

Call it a final tour.

When Nebraska man Robert Kugler learned last year that his beloved chocolate lab, Bella, had cancer, he was emotionally wrecked. They'd been together since he adopted her nine years ago.

"This is one of the biggest connections I've ever had to another living being. I don't care that it's a dog," he told CNN.

Bone cancer forced vets to amputate the pooch's leg in May 2015, and then the disease spread to her lungs.

Bella was given three to six months to live, so Kugler opted to take her on an epic road trip as a send off, he told WOWT 6 News.

"I just didn't want her to be gone one day when I came home."

The two have been everywhere from Detroit to Florida, but Kugler isn't sure how long their trip will last. Bella has beaten expectations — she's still going strong 14 months later.

"I feel like right now this is my purpose. It's the chapter in my life right now is just exploring with my dog," he told WOWT 6 News.

You can see more photos of their trip in the video above.

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