July 7, 2000 — January 28, 2010
Sersha was a beautiful Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever – or Toller for short! He had the heart of a lion and the soul of an angel. Sersha was always intent and focused when working or playing, but underneath it all he was a true comedian. He made me laugh and always found the fun in every situation, whether it was a walk around the block, a drive across many states, or playing in the vineyard with his canine friends. Even then, he would check on me, before running with abandon. He never met a person that did not fall in love with him within five minutes and happily anticipate his next visit.
Sersha was noted to have what was thought to be a bladder tumor in June 2009, with a 6 cm. sublumbar metastases already present. In July, it was definitively diagnosed as prostate cancer, which carried a grim prognosis of 30 to 60 days beyond diagnosis. Surgery was not a good option and chemotherapy was not generally effective. He entered a clinical trial at the University of Missouri Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where he received exemplary care and in September radioactive gold nanoparticles were placed directly into the tumors. He did amazingly well, but by November I elected to stop chemotherapy altogether due to tumor progression. Despite all of the pain associated with cancer, he continued to eat well, beg for treats and play hard – his favorite game being fetch of course. (His motto was to "e;Live to fetch, fetch to live" and my arm would weary far sooner than he ever did, even to the end.) It was not until a week before his death, that he began to show obvious signs of pain and discomfort, and yet his disposition never changed, he was always sweet, loving and funny. The tumors had progressed even further than we had imagined. My sister and I, along with his loving vets, were with him at the end. His courage and strength through the pain were truly amazing. Nine and half years was not long enough for him to grace the world!
Always in my heart,