I was at the Oregon shelter that morning to help my 12 year old rottie diagnosed with bone cancer over the rainbow bridge. As a foster parent for the shelter I knew Dallas had just come back that morning from her 3rd home. I was in no mood for another dog, no mood to give my heart again, and definitely not in the mood for a puppy; somehow though I ended up leaving with her tucked under my arm like a tiny black suitcase mumbling under my breath about my own lack of sanity.
From that day forward she has brought nothing but joy and smiles into my life and everyone else she meet’s along the way. Dallas always wags her tail from the first rib back, greeting everyone with a friendly hello and a welcoming spirit.
I regularly get compliments what a well trained dog she is. I would love to take the credit, but I am sure I never did anything special; she just always seems to know what you are saying to her. However we do not actually use the D O G word in front of her because she really does not know she is one.
She has always enjoyed going for rides. She is so good that there have been times I forgot she was in the backseat. Other times she thought there may be a car ride and would sit in the car for hours, refusing to get out just in case. Because she is so well tempered and obedient she accompanies me most everywhere, whether a quick trip to the post office, laying by my side, or driving the ALCAN Highway, she is always happy just to be with her person.
I am convinced this miracle dog has a guardian angel watching over her. On Easter she was playing tug tug, her favorite game next to fetching the ball, when I noticed a little blood on her tongue. It seemed she had pulled loose one of her lower canine teeth and injured the gum tissue. I took her to a walk in vet clinic the next morning more worried about infection at her age (she was almost 9) and anticipating a script for antibiotics. Instead the vet immediately started talking cancer, abscess removal, surgery, and lab work. Whoa there Doc! This is just a loose tooth after all. I left thinking “that’s what I get for not going to my regular VCA vet”. But by Wednesday the injury to her gum seemed to be growing and there were more teeth being pushed loose from the pressure of the growth. I took her to VCA and the vet put her on a stronger antibiotic as well as doing a biopsy of the tissue. Just over the weekend the mass had taken on a life of its own and most certainly was no simple abscess. Monday morning, I was at the vet’s office waiting for DR. Simmons when they opened in a complete panic. While I waited the biopsy results also confirmed osteocarcinoma; bone cancer. Surgery was scheduled for that Friday morning. The treatment plan consisted of removing the cancerous portion of her lower jaw back to the pre molars for a clean margin and chemotherapy treatments. From that time on, my life became a whirlwind of vet appointments, online research, cancer chat groups and medication schedules. She recovered from the surgery like the trooper she is, our vet getting clean margins. Dr. Simmons took step by step photos of the surgery and I photo documented her recovery daily on facebook.
Her first chemo treatment was a month after surgery. I expected the worst and once again was surprised with the life and vitality Dallas radiates. She is now coming up on chemo treatment # 5 with 3 more to go. She will need 3 month check-ups, regualar blood work, bi-yearly xrays of the lungs, a special diet and supplements, but it is nothing compared to not having her in my life every precious day. Dallas was there for me when I had my own battle with cancer and now I am here for her. I never thought about the money or what I had to give up for Dallas to get the care she needs to live the full potential of her life.
I am so grateful for all the support and information available online, and more than anything I thank fate for bringing Dallas and I together and for watching over the both of us. I still can’t believe how quickly the cancer grew or how lucky we were to have caught it so early. I am thankful for the compassion and care Dr. Simmons and her staff has provided both me and Dallas. With the gray on her chin gone from post surgery she looks like she acts, a young pup enjoying every moment life has to offer.
Thank you Canine Cancer Awareness for all your help.
—Danika and Dallas
CCA has donated $800 in order to help pay the costs of Dallas’ treatments. Any sponsor donations made on behalf of Dallas will be used to pay unpaid invoices and the checks will be sent directly to Dallas’ vet.
Please also give generously to Dallas. To help sponsor treatment, you can click on the PayPal donate button below or send a check to:
Canine Cancer Awareness, Inc.
44 Devoe Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
DONATIONS RECEIVED FOR DALLAS:
07-28-10 — $50.00 (Donation from Melissa — I Love you both M.)
08-25-10 — $3.00 (Donation from Amanda DiMauro)