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Faces of Courage

This page is dedicated to those who have been diagnosed or lost to canine cancer. Please Click on any name to see their photo and to read the words of remembrance, wisdom and experiences as written by their loving owners. You may find these tributes to be both heartfelt and heartbreaking at the same time. They will also provide some comfort where you will feel that you are not alone in your feelings and may even give you hope. If you think you may benefit from speaking with others about your situation or simply would like support from those who know what you are going through, we encourage you to consider joining a support group. We have dedicated a special page of support groups for owners of dogs with cancer should you be interested.

Because this page will unfortunately be a constant “work in progress” please check back often. If you would like to have your dog’s photo and story on this page, please e-mail your photo, in .jpg format, along with a brief write-up to info@caninecancerawareness.org and we will post it for you. Your write-up may include who your fur-baby is/was, what he/she means/meant to you, your experiences with battling the cancer or simply a tribute to your wonderful pet. A small donation to Canine Cancer Awareness would be appreciated to help defray the costs of maintaining our web site to provide this service.


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Brownie

Brownie


UPDATE 2-14-2012—

We moved just outside of Nashville, Tennessee in July 2007. Our house is a small rental property on a street out in the country. Our new neighbors told us about a dog on our street they called Brownie. Brownie had been abandoned by his owners when they moved with their other dogs. A few people on our road would leave scraps for the old brown dog.

Brownie would sit in the grass along the street, always watching, like he was waiting for someone. We soon saw the poor boy being harassed by neighborhood kids and dogs, and we started feeding him and making sure he had water. He was independent at first. He would take the food from you carefully and would walk away to eat it. Soon though, he would stay longer and move closer to our house. My wife tried to get him to eat in the house on days the weather was bad, and soon he did. He would immediately go back outside when he was done.

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Jake

Jake


UPDATE 1-24-2012—

I wanted to let you know that Jake went to heaven yesterday. On January 1st he slipped and fell pretty hard in the house. For the next week, he basically stopped putting any weight on his remaining back leg and it seemed like his front legs were bothering him as well. Last Tuesday he wouldn’t move at all. I literally could not move him. My wonderful vet practice sent the doggie ambulance to the house to get him. They seemed optimistic that with a different protocol of pain meds they would be able to get him up and walking again. I visited him every day in the hospital and he just wasn’t himself. Not tail wags. Even the techs said he just seemed like he gave up. The vet said that I needed to let him go. They said that why don’t I bring him home for a couple of days; the last place he should be is not at the vet where he didn’t want to be but at home. On Sunday I brought him home and I honestly think he wanted to come home to die. Sunday night he took a turn for the worse. He cried all night and he couldn’t even roll off his side. I called the vet yesterday morning and they came out to put him to sleep. His veins were pretty shot and it took about an hour to get the catheter in! I knew he really didn’t feel well b/c he didn’t even flinch with being poked and prodded. I just kept hugging and kissing and talking to him and he just took one last breathe, and I swear, looked right at me and put his head on my hand. I thought I did so well yesterday, but it must have been that I was in shock because today I am a mess.

Jakey was the best dog; I can’t say that he had a bad day or did anything bad a day in his life. He wasn’t even a chewer as a puppy. My heart breaks, not for him because I know he is happy and feels better, but breaks for everyone who knew him and loved him and this was A LOT of people. My five year old is doing so much better than I am. When he was diagnosed with cancer I get her a book called Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant that is a definite read. It has helped her to not be upset and be happy that he is in heaven.

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Roofus

Roofus


UPDATE 12-30-2011—

My Chocolate Lab, Roofus, was diagnosed with lung cancer on December 2, 2011. The oncologist told us he had “about a month”. His breathing became more difficult and he was put down on Monday, December 26, 2011. He was only six years old. He was a part of my family and we miss him so much.
— Doug

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Paddington Bear and Miss Molly

Paddy/Molly


UPDATE 10-29-2011—

My Angel, Paddington Bear was 15 1/2 years old. We rescued him from a high kill shelter in Georgia 1 1/2 years ago after I found his beautiful face on Facebook with only 24 hours left before they stuffed him into their disgusting gas chamber box. (Georgia has awful standards in their animal service system). When he arrived at the end of his long transport…

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Toby
September 8, 1997 — September 10, 2011

Toby


UPDATE 9-25-2011—

My precious Toby came in to my life 9/8/97 and departed from me 9/10/11. My Toby was diagnosed with HEMANGIOSARCOMA of the spleen 4.5 years ago and had an emergency Spleenectomy which revealed a burst tumor in his abdominal cavity. The Vet gave Toby 3 months to live…

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Gouda

Gouda


UPDATE 9-19-2011—

My 10 YO Boxer Gouda was diagnosed with epithelial cutaneous lymphoma a rare form of lymphoma in May 2009. A small tumor appeared on her left lower eyelid, I took her into my wonderful Vet and we made arrangements to have the tumor removed and tested the following week. That small tumor in one week almost doubled in size. When I got the results I was grief stricken. The prognosis for epithelial cutaneous lymphoma is very poor. I have no children and she was my constant companion, I wasn’t prepared for life without her…

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Tucker

Tucker


UPDATE 7-8-2011—

My husband and I adopted Tucker from the Spokane Humane Society on October 8, 2008, after I volunteered there for the day. It was the best thing we have ever done. Tucker was a seven year old Yellow Lab/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix when he came into our lives…our 130 pound bundle of joy. His former human was an elderly man who could not take him with, when he moved into an assisted living facility. Tucker blessed our lives with love, loyalty, dedication and a deep devotion that we had not experienced with any of our other dogs. Tucker was my husband’s first magical bond with a dog. They were inseparable, and were best friends.

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Yogi
December 2000 — January 5, 2011

Yogi

UPDATE 01-21-2011—

Yogi was a Christmas gift for Cami & Payton in December 2000, Santa brought him. In the beginning, like all puppies, Yogi was rambunctious and wasn’t very fond of rules. After he was trained (along with everyone else in the house) he loved to learn and yearned to earn praise from those around him.

The in-between years are similar to most stories, happy memories of swimming, walking, playing ball, the stepping on toes, stealing of pillows (or anything fuzzy) were constant. His favorite toy was the tennis ball, 3 years ago he was a tennis ball eating monster…

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Roc’ C

August 27, 1994 — August 27, 2005

RocC

UPDATE 10-17-2010—

Dear Family and Friends,

Shortly after 8:30 pm, on Saturday August 27th 2005, our loyal companion and best friend Roc’ C closed her eyes for the last time and went where she appropriately and most deservedly belonged.

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Toka

June 9, 1997 — May 17, 2008

Toka

UPDATE 07-19-2010—

My dog, Toka, was part Australian Cattle Dog/German Shepard. She grew up in Rhode Island, and lived a happy & healthy life. She was my best friend. Practically my daughter. She was always there for me. She would be playful, protective, and would never leave my side when going through many traumatic experiences in my youth.

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Laney

12 years old

1998—May 5, 2010

Laney

UPDATE 05-14-2010—

Laney died of Slpenic Hemangiosarcoma. About 1 month before she passed away, she seemed to be slowing down — she didn’t want to go on long walks anymore and had trouble climbing up on my sofa or bed.

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Ezekiel, “Zeke”

Zeke

UPDATE 05-03-2010—

Ezekiel, “Zeke” was born in our home on Dec 26, 2000 and spent his 8 years 4 months with our family. He loved and protected us all and was a gentle giant at 110 pounds. In December 2008 we noticed a lump on Zeke’s neck. Our vet thought it was a salivary gland problem since it was the only “lump” found and surgically removed it in January after the holiday. We were all totally shocked when it came back as lymphosarcoma and we were told that it was very aggressive and he would probably only survive a few weeks. Zeke was not a good patient and hated to go to the vet’s so we did not pursue chemotherapy and found an excellent holistic vet. He proved to be quite a fighter and enjoyed life abundantly and joyfully, happily at home with his family. Zeke lost his battle on May 7, 2009 — 4 1/2 months later. We will always miss him and treasured the time we had with him. — Jani

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Sersha

July 7, 2000 — January 28, 2010

Sersha

UPDATE 02-13-2010—

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.

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Roxy

Roxy_Velotta

UPDATE 01-25-2010—

This is our beautiful Roxy. She turned 10 on December 30th 2009. She has been fighting Anal Sac Adenocarcinoma.

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Soda Pop

SodaPop

UPDATE 01-06-2010 —

Soda Pop Curtis Bombardier was a road side pup (breed: New Mexico Mystery Mutt) found abandoned in a cardboard box at a pueblo casino in New Mexico in 1997. She moved to San Francisco at the age of two months and grew up drinking water in a Martini glass at the Lexington Club.

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Ralph Hampton Fisher
September 20, 2000 — September 24, 2009

Ralph

UPDATE 10-06-2009 —

Ralph was a gorgeous Labrador Retriever who didn’t know he was a dog. He slept with my husband and I every single night. During the summers when we walked on the boardwalk at the shore he was unlike any other dog in that he chose to sit on the boardwalk benches like a man reading a newspaper and just waited for the attention that he invariably got.

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OLLIE BEAR

Ollie

UPDATE 08-11-2009 —

This is Ollie Bear Vintigan. He passed away last April 2008 from stomach cancer. May he rest in peace.
Love, his Mommy,
— Venessa Vintigan

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LILY

Lily

UPDATE 08-07-2009 —

She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.

—Unknown

My sweet chocolate lab, Lily, lost her battle with Mast Cell cancer July 27, 2009, just 7 weeks after we removed the 1st tumor. She had just turned 7 years old. Rest in peace my sweet Lily, I miss you so.

— Sarah

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Kelsey

Kelsey

UPDATE 8-17-09 —

On July 4, 2009, I found a baseball sized lump on my sweet Kelsey’s tail. I took Kelsey to the vet that next Monday and she felt that it was a seroma and drained some fluid out of it. She didn’t see any strange cells and we proceeded to hope for it to go away.
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Bentley

UPDATE 5-1-09 —

Bentley had surgery on April 15, having the initial lump removed, as well as 4 other skin growths. He did very well with his recovery and the stitches were removed earlier this week. The path report came back and it is Stage 2 becuase the cancer had spread to the surrounding tissue. I’m now consulting with a canine oncologist to discuss next steps, which appears to be some radiation therapy.
Thanks so much for asking and for putting my story on your site.
—Susan (and Bentley)

UPDATE 4-12-09 —

I am blessed to be owned by a 9-year-old pug named Bentley. From the time I saw him at 8 weeks old, it was love at first sight! He’s not the most athletic dog, or the prettiest, but has a wonderful personality. He is a people lover, and people can’t help but love him. Bentley is a visiting dog at a health care facility and the residents enjoy his company.

Bentley is loyal and loving, sensitive and affectionate. The best part of my day is every night when we get into bed and he snuggles up for some cuddle time before we go to sleep. We have a very special bond and he is very much a “momma’s boy.”

About a week ago I noticed a lump in the wrinkles of his neck and brought him to the vet just days later. After a needle aspiration, mast cell cancer was the diagnosis. He is scheduled for surgery on April 15. I’ve been devastated since getting the news but am hoping for the best

— Susan

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Kobi

UPDATE 3-24-09 —

We got Kobi in November of 2000, right before Thanksgiving, from a couple who had rescued him and then couldn’t keep him. I knew he was ours when we met and he gave me a kiss on my nose and put his head in my hands. We brought him home and loved him for 9 years. We all spoiled him rotten, a result of his cute face and sweet soul. He loved to go for walks with his Papa and have Mama give him chin scratches. He always remembered the Marina and dog park, loved his car rides and spun circles when we brought home In-n-Out hamburgers, knowing there was a patty in the bag for him. When our daughter was born in 2008, he became a best friend; giving kisses, guarding her crib and snuggling up to her. He loved going to get her out of her crib after naptimes and she lit up around him.

In January, we noticed he was getting tired on his walks, and often crept off into our closet for naps or quite time. We and the vet thought he might be feeling the effects of old age. When he showed symptoms of a possible kidney infection in February, we tried antibiotics to no avail. So we tried a blood test, and kidney, liver and diabetes were fine. Cancer wasn’t ruled out, but none of his symptoms seemed to point in that direction. He slowly became more lethargic and depressed, which the vet thought could be emotional, due to the baby learning to crawl, so we were vigilant.

Slowly his good days became fewer and fewer and bad days worse. Finally he stopped eating, so back to the vet we went. The x-ray showed fluid in his abdomen, which was blood and the subsequent ultrasound showed a splenic mass which was hemorrhaging and likely to rupture soon. There were also signs of stomach cancer, probably due to the mass and its aggressive nature. It was simply too late to do more than maybe give him 2-3 months, most likely in more pain than he was already in. In the end, we decided to relieve his pain and not let the disease eat him alive, and we put him to sleep. He died the same way he met us, a kiss on the nose and his head in my lap.

We miss him so much and wish we had known sooner, but Kobi gave us so much in his 9 years that in the end, we can only be grateful for the time we had. We will remember him always, chin propped up on the lower shelf of the coffee table, dancing in place when it was time to walk, waiting at the door for us when we came home, licking Cool Whip off his nose at Thanksgiving and Christmas and giving us all the love in his heart. Rest in peace Roofy-Roo, and know that you are remembered always with love.

— Marissa

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Zoe Bell

UPDATE 3-9-09 —

Our names are Linda and Rick Bell and our much beloved little girl’s name was Zoe. We lost the fight with cancer on March 1, 2009. She was diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma tumor in November of 2008. We immediately had it removed and then saw the oncologist. Because this type of cancer goes directly to the lungs, we had to make sure that it hadn’t done so before we started radiation. We were so happy to find out that it had not and immediately started the radiation treatments. She finished her last one in January and was given a clean bill of health. We thought we had beat it. We were wrong. It had metastasized to her lungs and there was nothing we could do. We miss her so much, Hugs and kisses always little girl. We will love you always.

— Rick and Linda Bell

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Maximus Mueller
March 2001 — January 3, 2009

UPDATE 1-6-08 —

In March of 2001, a family member’s yellow lab, Sonny, gave birth to ten puppies all mixed with Boxer. I had only met the Boxer father once up skiing. He was tall and charming. The owners said he was from champion blood! The largest, stockiest and by far the cutest (in my eyes) of all the puppies was my Maximus. Gauging his size at birth, we all knew he would grow to be a very large dog, and of course he did (110 lbs)!

At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted a dog yet, let alone a large dog since I had just moved into my first home knowing my yard would never be the same. But at two months old, Max stole my heart and I couldn’t resist. (I loved the way he nestled up to my chest!)

My son, Tristen was just a year old when we took Maximus home. They were so cute together that summer – Tristen crawling on all fours and Max jumping around right beside him. I can just see the two of them smiling and playing right now! They were inseparable! Max was very patient with my son, watching over him playing in the sand box. My son would ride Max like a horse. Max slept right by Tristen’s side practically every night.

Almost eight years later, I reminisce on all the great times we had with Maximus. Two hour trips to the ocean to play in the sand and waves. Fun with his pug pal, Abigail, and holiday visits with his mom, Sonny and recently, playing in the park and on the beach with a couple new friends, Lincoln and Lucy. I loved looking in my side mirror of the car on rides to see his big head popped outside the window with his wonderfully soft black ears flapping in the wind and his adorable black and white spotted freckles on his curled up nose sniffing the air.

Max loved the beach. Max wasn’t big on fetching or swimming though. We’d throw out a stick into the water and Max, although seemingly determined to go in after it, would just jump into the water up to his chest and return back to shore forgetting about the stick! We had a favorite trail to hike that led to a little remote part of the beach. One summer, my son and Max got too close to the cliff and before I could scream ‘come away from there’, Max’s back paws slipped under him and down, down, down he went! Tristen and I were so scared. We went back to my car to call the fire department. Fifteen minutes and many, many tears later, while sitting in the car still on the phone with the TFD trying to convince them through the whaling that ‘yes, it’s my dog you must come rescue’, Max came trotting right up to me very concerned as if to say ‘what’s wrong?’ He knew that trailhead on the beach so well, he found his long way back to the car without one scratch on his body! We were in awe!!

Max loved the snow as well. When he came skiing with us, he enjoyed galloping up and down the slopes trying to catch the kids on sleds or the lift. And he loved snowballs! Eating them and getting hit by them!

Max was the best guard dog. He picked up on people with amazing accuracy. He’d make sure the person was of quality character before letting them enter our yard. A few years back, a friend’s boyfriend came over to do some work for me in my kitchen. Max went nuts refusing to let this guy through the gate even after “patting him down” with his nose. I couldn’t figure it out! This guy had dogs of his own and was very gentle, so I thought. Come to find out, he was an abusive spouse! Although, we never had an incident again quite like that, I was comforted in knowing Max was definitely on top of his duties to protect his family. I have the grass-torn dog run around my fence to prove it! Maximus was our security system!

Max was such a personable dog. He was a gentle soul who was always so patient with children. As enormous as he grew, he still loved to sit on my lap…..my big lap dog! I am convinced that Max was a puppy inside a large dog’s body! People mistook him for a great dane at times but even though they couldn’t quite identify his breed, he was always lavished with compliments about how handsome and BIG he was. And he loved those drive-thru attendants who handed out bone biscuits!

Sadly, Maximus was diagnosed with lymphoma on November 4, 2008 at 7 1 yrs old after quickly becoming ill with loss of appetite and thirst and fever for a little over a week. He had lost 5 pounds in that short time. Unfortunately, there were no earlier detectable signs except noticing soft fatty deposits under his skin, which the vet always assured me was normal and most likely benign.

Because the cancer was so widespread on ultrasound, I chose not to pursue chemotherapy. He was in stage IV+ of the cancer. I kept Max on a high protein/fat diet with the integration of organic veggies/fruit and vitamin supplements and minimized commercial dog food. I cooked him a hot healthy homemade meal each night. He remained on Prednisone at 20mg. In addition, he received daily massage, grooming, and walks, and on the weekend we took him on big outings to his favorite local parks. One of Max’s visibly protruding growths actually shrunk in size but unfortunately, he succumbed to liver failure on January 3, 2009.

There is no other way to put it, cancer sucks for both people and pets and it’s never easy to lose someone to a disease we cannot totally control or pinpoint the exact etiology. With vet care expense rising, I would hope that screening for cancer can become part of a well-dog annual exam. Had we got it sooner, it could have been treatable.

It’s difficult coming home and not seeing his puppy face through the slats on the gate greeting us with joy. My son seems to miss him the most at bed time and at baths when Max used to always be right by him like a security blanket. We are just glad he is out of pain. He had a rough last month. But like a good loyal boy, he stayed around until the holidays were over, knowing that was our last wish.

Maximus was very well loved by our family, and I do believe he knows how much we will miss him until we all get to see him again. You were our security, loyal family member, and lots of fun! I will miss our adventurous walks with the invisible leash!

Max, you will always and forever be my furry BFF!

— Roxy Mueller

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Queen Milfoil Toes ( Millie )

UPDATE 1-3-08 —

My name is Hope Duncan Hammonds and my beloved canine’s name is Millie. She was given to me by my father 8 years ago. She got her name because she made me so happy, like a wonderful day I had with my toes in the millifoil (seaweed in the lakes of Alabama). Her official name was Queen Milfoil Toes and I’ve called her Millie ever since. She’s my child, my best friend. She helped me through a divorce and my father’s murder in November 2006.

On December 27, 2008 she was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma. I am devastated but trying to be strong for Millie. I am faithful and believe in a Miracle for Millie. She started chemo on December 29th and is doing well. We are seeking more than an average remission, we believe in Miracles and are looking for many more years together.

— Hope

UPDATE 11-14-11 —

Good morning friend. I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful work you do. Thank you so much for keeping my baby Millie’s photo on the faces of courage page. Could you please update her story for me with the date of her passing. I adore her still and still cry when I think of not having her. She was truly brave like all the others. She succumbed to lymphosarcoma on 6/20/2009 God rest her sweet soul.

Bless you dear friends and I will continue to support CCA!

— Hope

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Feynman “Dwarf” Dunn

March 31, 2002—October 18, 2008

UPDATE 11-4-08 —

My wife and I picked Feynman up at his breeder in the late spring of 2002. He was our second Corgi and he was the cutest little puppy I had ever seen. Feynman was suppose to be “my wife’s dog” this time around as our 1 year old little girl corgi had taken to me. Well before we could even get back home Feynman was already a “Daddy’s Boy”.

Feynman lived up to his name as being one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever been around (he was named after the famous physicist Richard Feynman). The next 6 1/2 years with Feynman would turn out to be some of the best years of my life. He quickly became “My little Buddy”, “Mr. Man”, and alpha dog and best friend to his old corgi sister Snuffles and his bigger baby sister
Heidi (a Bernese Mountain Dog).

Feynman had a zest for life that I’ve never seen nor probably will see again. Together we played soccer everyday for the past 5 years. He even made sure I played soccer with him while still on crutches recovering from foot surgery. We laid on the couch together and watched so many hours of TV together….I believe his favorite was “Deadliest Catch” on the discovery channel as he would jump down and get the TV every time the radar went by on the screen. Feynman had a incredible ability to find and rip out any squeaker out of any toy within a few minutes of getting it. He was a handful at times but always the sweetest furry kid when he got caught in the act. Feynman was doing great even pasted his wellness exam in late August with flying colors….(I think he had studied hard for it though). But in very early September I came home to find some pee on the floor. Not a big deal as I can just mop it up. Well the next day it was the same thing and again the next day. Well on the fourth day I decided I was going to find out which dog it was. I wasn’t mad or anything just concerned. It turned out to be Feynman.

Well I took him to the vet….and over the next month had ever blood and urine test know to man run and all it ever showed was his urine was very diluted. Which I believe as I later saw he was drinking all the water in the house. Sometimes as much as 8 cups or more a day. His size he should only be drinking around 3-4 cups a day.

Anyway after a month of this and no testing showing what was wrong I was really getting worried as to what could be wrong with him. Well around October 6th I noticed Feynman was slow about eating but he would still eat when one of his sisters came around. Another trip to the vet and more test showing no sign as to what it could be. My vet had a long list of things to
check for that could cause excessive drinking and everything was coming back negative.

Well on Sunday the 12th Feynman stopped eating all dog food so I made him some chicken and rice and he ate that up really well. He did it Monday morning as well and evening but Tuesday morning he was a little slow about eating again. Tuesday night he wouldn’t touch anything in the house so I went to Sonic (drive-in) and got him a corny dog….(not healthy but he had
to eat). I picked him up a couple so he would have one for Wednesday morning as well. I also noticed that he seemed to have a hard time breathing like he was always out of breath.

I made him a appt. for the vet on Wednesday for Thursday morning so he could get a sonogram and the last of the blood work up that the vet thought he would need. I got a call at work Thursday that they found that Feynman had some fluid around his lungs so they wanted to cancel the blood work and take a x-ray. Well the vet called me Thursday afternoon and said she needed to see me right away. I raced over to the vets office and she showed me the sonogram results. The sonogram showed 10 of his lymph nodes were the size of grapes and they should be smaller than a pea. They were all internal so we could have never felt them. She then showed me the x-ray and it was shocking.

He had what looked like a softball size tumor in front of his chest pressing his heart and lungs back and trachea up almost against his spine. She also found a tumor on his heart around his aorta about the size of a golf ball. I asked her what could be done and she said first she could drain off the fluid around his lungs and then get him on some prednisone and then if we
wanted, meet with a oncologist for some radiation/chemo. She had already forwarded everything to a Oncologist who told her everything she was about to tell me. That even with radiation and chemo if Feynman survived long enough for it to work a little he probably wouldn’t last until Thanksgiving. Without it he wouldn’t last a week and a half….at most. I was shocked. This was my baby boy. My best friend in the whole world. I’ve slept next to this little guy for the past 6 years. I cried liked I’ve never cried before. The pain was just too much to deal with. I was thinking at most he might have to have some sort of surgery to help his peeing problem out and now I’m being told he won’t last 2 weeks.

I knew in my mind that I loved Feynman so much that I couldn’t put him through that. All I would get out of it was a little more time with him and it would be at a cost of putting him through hell and back. So I brought him to work with my on Friday for a few hours so I could get some work done. Then I went home with him and waited for my wife to get in town. We had pretty much discussed what we had to do in the coming week. Friday night my little buddy was putting on such a good show for his momma that he hadn’t seen in 2 weeks. You couldn’t almost tell there was anything wrong with him….until he was running around for a minute or two and his tongue started to turn blue from the lack of oxygen and I could tell that my “little tough man” was scared. This only told me that what my wife and I knew we had to do, was the right thing.

So Saturday morning October 18th we fed my little buddy an extra special breakfast and played with him from 4 in the morning and took him down to the vet to have him cross over the rainbow bridge. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I held him in my arms with my face against his as he slipped away looking into his eyes the whole time. I wanted him to see me and remember how much I loved him as he went to heaven. GOD help me for what I had to do. I tried so hard to stay strong for him by not crying so hard but it wouldn’t last. I kissed him on his nose and heard his last sigh….and I knew he was gone. I have never had such a feeling of loss in my life. I would have taken the cancer out of him and given it to myself if I could have saved him.

My wife and I have only been blessed with furry kids so they are my real kids to me and it was like I had lost a real son….because to me I did. I’m still struggling with the decision I had to make. I told the vet that money wasn’t a problem with whatever had to be done. She told me I could have spent 10 grand and maybe had him for 30-45 days or less. I just couldn’t put him through that though. He gave me unconditional love for 6 1/2 years and I wasn’t about to not give that love back to him.

I still can’t believe he is gone. Every time I think about him I lose it…and just start crying. I was mowing the other night in the back yard where all of his soccer balls still lay and as I kicked them out of the way all I could see was him chasing after them and I had to stop mowing and just sit down and cried I know for 30 minutes.

I was so blessed to have had Feynman for 6 1/2 years. I just would have given anything to have had him for 6 more. That’s the selfish side of me I suppose.

Feynman’s final diagnose after all the test came back before he was put down was (Mediastinal lymphoma) which can cause breathing problems or for some dogs with mediastinal lymphoma may exhibit polyuria and polydipsia which is excessive thirst/urination. I got his ashes back on Thursday, October 24th…so he is back home with me now.

Feynman’s final diagnosis after all the test came back before he was put down was (Mediastinal lymphoma) which can cause breathing problems or for some dogs with mediastinal lymphoma may exhibit polyuria and polydipsia which is excessive thirst/urination. I got his ashes back on Thursday, October 24th…so he is back home with me now.

I will always love and miss you “my little buddy”.

— Austin Dunn

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Marley
October 25, 1991 — October 3, 2008

UPDATE 12-3-08 —

I had a bichon frise named Marley who was 3 wks shy of his 17th birthday when he died on 10/3/08. He had hemangiosarcoma from a tumor on his spleen. It was detected when we were doing an ultrasound for his bladder issues. Being it was detected early I had 6 more months with him. When it spread to his liver he lasted only two weeks. He also had kidney failure the same time he came down with the tumor. He was too old and skinny to do anything about it. So I just made him as comfy as possible. He actually wasn’t in pain that much just weak and not his usual self. I fed him twice as much as most dogs his size would get but he was underweight since the tumor most likely was taking all the nutrients from his body. One morning he just woke up and had pale white gums and I knew this was it.

Marley was my heart and soul dog he was everything to me. We were one heart. He slept with me and the other dogs I had. He followed me around the house more and loved to go in the car with me we made several long trips together. He was a very expressive dog and everyone loved him. The sad part was he was bonded with his buddy Dudley who had just died on 9/26/08 from old age at almost 18. Marley died one week after Dudley I think to join his buddy forever.

We’ll miss you forever boys,
— Love Stephanie and JJ my 7 yr old bichon

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Baxter

UPDATE 12-9-08 —

This is Baxter’s story. He was bought at a dog store by a woman that contacted my boss at a kennel, she was looking for a good home for him. We had just gotten Ernie earlier that same year from a breeder, but I just could not keep from falling in love with Baxter (they had named him Moose) when the lady brought him in. I told my then boyfriend (now husband) I had a surprise, he just knew it was a dog, but he too fell in love with Baxter. We bought a house with a yard big enough for the two dogs. Baxter and Ernie grew up together with our cat also, they could not stand to be apart for long periods of time. One would whine and sit waiting for the other to come walking through the door. This last October Baxter started vomiting a little, we took him to the vet, he did a barium with xrays and found something (thinking he had eaten carpet again). We tried special food and meds for a week, his vomiting got worse. Back to the vet again, they did exploratory surgery and found that his intestines were destroyed with cancer and a rock solid mass in his stomach. We decided not to make him suffer in selfishness, because throughout all his life he was unselfish with us and so happy go lucky. We put him down that day while he was sedated so that he would not suffer coming out of the sedation. We gave him the best life possible, he was so spoiled. I believe that Baxter would want us to give another dog what we gave him, a happy and loving life. So, I found two basset puppies at a rescue in Tn., talked my husband into adopting them and giving other dogs the same thing. I miss Baxter so much, no matter what no other dog will ever take his place in my heart. Little Max and Lady B have some of the same traits (habits) that Baxter had like with food Max drools, Lady runs between my husband and I for food at dinner, but the main thing that keeps reminding me of Baxter is the look that he gave me saying thank you.

Attached is a picture of Baxter sleeping on the couch like always with a pillow. I think he really believed he was human.

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Abbey

UPDATE 12-10-08 —

Abbey was diagnosed with lymphoma on August 25th when we took her to dr thinking she had an inner ear infection, and her lymph nodes were swollen. She went through a lot having to go twice a week for shots and taking steriods and antibotics every day twice a day. And she fought a good fight for 3 1/2 months, but the cancer finally won out and she died lying at my feet under computer table at 5am 12/8/08. We truly miss her , she was the child my husband and I could never have. We got her as a puppy when she was 8 weeks old, and she was 5 1/2 when she died.

— Angie

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Chloe
February 9, 1996 — December 4, 2008

UPDATE 11-30-08 —

My Chloe is the love of my life. For 12 years she has been my everything. Chloe has a long list of admirers. She has a personality that fills a room and demands that everyone play by her rules and pay attention to her. Opinionated and charismatic she has the love of many friends and family as well as all who meet her. Chloe spends the day will my retired parents while my husband and I are at work. She has my father on a tight schedule that involves hours of play time and sniffing outside, belly rubs, snacks, and naps. At home she is loved more than she could ever want. In August our little girl as diagnosed with mast cell cancer. At first you couldn’t tell that she was sick. She was still as vivacious as ever. She is on her last days now. We will miss her more than you could ever imagine. It is like a part of my heart is going to leave with her. Chloe has made me the happiest and proudest mom. She has filled our lives with light. She will never ever be forgotten.

— Denise

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Sara

UPDATE 12-14-08 —

Our donation was made in memory of Sara (an Australian Kelpie who lost her brave battle to Lymphosarcoma on 7/4/2007). Her “mom’s” (who is our daughter) name is Dawn. Here is a picture of precious Sara.

— Ron & Pat

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Dakota
January 10, 2002 — June 5, 2008

UPDATE 11-23-08 —

This is our boy Dakota. He was my boy. He was our first flat coat retriever. It all started last May one day I noticed he wasn’t eating as much as he normally did, strange but he still ate some treats so I just thought I would keep an eye on him; then I noticed he wouldn’t touch his food at all, even the moist food seemed to be uninteresting. We took our Golden to the vet and had Dakota tag along also to see what she thought. She ran some lab tests. Everything seemed OK. But he still wasn’t eating and had lost some weight. Well, I asked her to xray him, I thought maybe something was up with his belly. She took some films and when I picked him up that night she said she noticed something in the spleen, “but dont get too freaked,” she will have a scan done in the morning. So after I dropped him off, about 3 hrs later, she calls me at work. “Something with the spleen and it needs to come out now.” She set up an appointment with a surgeon to remove it that day. I ran him up to the next town; met the Dr. who was really a great guy. He informed us he has done spleenectomys before and dogs can live without their spleen. I hope he is right. But he also said if it looked bad on the inside, like a rupture, he would call us while Dakota was under to see what we wanted to do. I never in my life thought I would be hearing this; he was 6 yrs old. Well of course, when I came home I cried and cried and cried and looked online about cancer of the spleen and was crushed, but did see that if it was contained there was a good chance with chemo. Whatever it took we were planning on doing. Well we got the call, Dakota went through the surgery GREAT! No spread. The spleen did rupture but it looks like it was contained. Hopeful… Our vet wanted us to get a culture to see what kind of cancer it was. To me it didn’t matter what we were fighting and I told her we are doing what it takes. We have an oncologist vet in the area so my vet confided with her. They ran the lab test STAT and I was crushed. It was the worst cancer possible. Dakota really didn’t have a chance. Histiosarcoma. Well we were determined to do what it takes, he was crashing pretty hard. We took him to a holistic vet who did acupuncture on him and had us take home some tonics and tinctures and said “its bad but you guys look like you’re ready to fight” and fight we did. We did chemo treatments with the holistic remedies and we had one last GREAT month with him. He was eating again. His weight was up. I thought maybe all that I read about this cancer was wrong and maybe we were one ODD that was beaten. My vet continued to say “Sue… this is bad, I want you to realize its one of the worst cancers.” I wanted to prove her wrong. I know she meant well. We were doing weekly vitamin B injections. We were walking again nights. He was wrestling with our other dog Riley. All was great until he hurt his leg somehow. We took him to the clinic, ran some films, and they didn’t see anything. Pain pills, rest, ice, love. We tried it all. Did some more lab tests and he was anemic. We fought. We lost our battle when we took him to the vet one night for some routine blood work. His tongue had no color, he was really bad. We made the hardest decision ever and I held my boy in my arms as he passed. There was not a dry eye in the room that night. My vet even cried. I know my boy fought as hard as he could and I LOVE him so much and MISS him even more. And I don’t think I will ever get over the pain. A few weeks later we got another flat coat, it’s actually his niece, we named her Dahlia. I see so much of him in her. It’s bittersweet. So I still cry every now and then. Lately this month it’s been more. He was my first true love. I say my husband always said “that dog loves you” so I know I was his.

— Sue

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Ollie R.I.P.
February 1, 1993 — July 17, 2008

UPDATE 11-05-08 —

Hey everyone,

We sent our beloved little Ollie to the Bridge on July 17, 2008. I know she is playing with my beloved angel Johannes in addition to all of his new friends since I let him go this past October 5. Ollie was born around February 1, 1993 and she had a good long life. She was a carefree companion, was never sick, and always ready to go on a hike with the rest of us. When I brought Georgie home this past April 15, many of you may remember that Ollie peed in her bed that night and refused to eat on her own. Took her to the barely adequate vet care we have around here and he drew blood and gave her a complete check up. Found not a thing wrong. I had to hand feed her delicate pieces of chicken and other meats and eventually, she was back to her old self. Almost. I fed her up on the counter top because she was number 3 dog and if the others got done eating and I was not watching they would eat her food. After her hunger strike, some evenings (and breakfasts) she did not appear to be very hungry and with a little coaxing she would eat most of the time. Her greatest strengths were her speed and agility. I referred to her as my monkey dog. 95 % Dachshund and 5% rhesus monkey. She was only twelve pounds and had a vertcial leap of four feet. No kidding. At 15 years she started to bump into things around the house and was obviously losing her vision. This affected her most in low light. It didn’t slow her down much but she was not as sure of herself. As late as July 5th we went on our usual five mile hike in the mountains around Pinos Altos, NM, and she ran like the wind. She could run circles around these pure Dachshunds. This past week, starting around July 7, she seemed to again not be too interested in her food. She was never fat and had no extra weight she could lose (unlike me) I took her to the vet around here and he took some x rays of her body (although she showed no visible problems) and gave her another checkup. Normal temperature. Everything normal. I know the vet care here is barely adequate (basically cow and horse doctors) and I started to think about options. When I got Ollie home on July 9, the vet sent some antibiotics along (although she showed no signs of having an infection) and that night she had something to eat and drank on her own. On July 10, the spiral was getting tighter and she really took a turn for the worse. No food or water and was looking sicker than I had ever remembered her being. Was so frustrating because the local vet could find nothing wrong. I prayed about it and came to decision to try and find out what was wrong. Since she was not eating or drinking on her own and getting weaker by the hour we put her on fluids and nutrients while I contacted the Arizona Veterinary Specialists in Gilbert, AZ. I picked her up from the local vet on Sunday afternoon (the 13th) She appeared weaker and very lethargic. I took her home. She has been sleeping up on the bed with us for most of her life and I had bought a nice little bed for her. That night her breathing was labored and her eyes had lost the sparkle she always had. I had thought then that this is the look so many of you talk about. We had already commited to taking her to the internist at AVS and left early Monday morning. We got there and admitted her. The internist told me she needed to stay a couple of days at least to stabilize her. I got home and made several calls that night and the next day. She was still not eating well and could get no definitife answer to what was wrong. I drove over there again in Thursday (16th) and picked her up. She looked even worse. She looked so sick and weak. They had started her on that nasty prednisone and she was so thirsty she struggled to drink on her own even though she could barely stand on her own. The discharge instructions stated her red blood cell was extremely low and that she had pancreatis, spots on her liver and stomach, and I quote, “There is a possibility that Ollie has a disease we have not diagnosed (immune-mediated red blood cell destruction, CANCER, underlying infection). Basically the report said she would not get her strength back until she started eating well and drinking on her own (without prednisone) the weakness due to the extremely low red blood cell count. The specialist did not know the reason for the low red blood cell count (possibly an undetected cancer) however so again more frustration. She also told me Ollie would need to be given her food with a syringe for weeks and maybe months and see if she got her appetite back. I knew that that was not going to be an option for us. She would also need to be carried outside and cleaned up. She was just so sick. This was a very expensive trip. I was a little diasappointed that we had no definitive answer to what was wrong and found out she had many things going wrong at the same time. Systems were affecting other systems and was snowballing. We got home that night and went to bed. My other two were being boarded. That night her breathing was very labored and although she did not seem to be in any pain, was definitely not comfortable. Ollie was so weak she could barely stand on her own. I carried her outside to pee and she peed and then sat in her own pee. Very uncomfortable. Had a little water on very wobbly legs (due to prednisone) I put her in her bed and went to get my other two. Gretta, who is 17 now and raised Ollie from a pup (along with Johannes) and Georgie G. I let Gretta and Georgie G acknowledge Ollie and then took her to the Humane Society. She was already struggling to breathe and when they gave her the shot to send her into a deep sleep, her heart almost stopped. I had the feeling when she was in her deep deep sleep that she had already met Johannes and he was welcoming her to the bridge. The final shot to stop her heart was very peaceful for her. I had the sense that she was released from her diseased (unknown) body and she was running like the wind. I thank my Higher Power for the 15 years and 5 months we were together. I am grateful I was able to be with her when she drew her last breath.

I know this if a very long note and for those that are still reading, thank you. It is comfort to me that I got all of this down. The following is part of a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams:

“It is some comfort to us both that the time is not very distant in which we are to deposit our sorrows and suffering bodies and ascend to an ecstatic meeting with the friends we have loved and lost and whom we shall still love and never leave again. God support you and your heavy affliction.” — Thomas Jefferson

— Tim, angels Ollie and Johannes, Gretta and Georgie G

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Annabelle Lee Mattheis
Rotten Doby (doberman/rottweiler cross)

UPDATE 10-17-08 — My girl, my best friend, my angel in a fur suit…today she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. I still can’t fully wrap my mind around that. I am making appointments with oncologists, whoa. I wish I could go through this for her. She is the sweetest girl, with ears like velvet and the biggest heart. She likes to stand in the yard and talk to the neighborhood, she tells everyone her tales. When she gets excited and wants to outside she dances at the door standing on 3 feet with one back foot raised, then the other. She is stubborn and determined; she is also a total couch potato. Suffice to say she is my soul mate.

I found her 14 years ago in a reptile aquarium filled with cedar chips at a flea market stall. She looked so lost in that glass box. I couldn’t resist her precious face. I picked her up and she put one paw on each side of my neck, laid her head down and hung on to me for dear life. It nearly killed me to have to put her down again to go get my parents to talk them into letting me bring this baby home. I was smart, I got my mom first and Annabelle was smart too – she hugged my mom, it was all over then. I paid a measly forty dollars and took my baby far away from that horrible glass box. She had fleas, worms, skin problems, and some teeth that never grew in (her mother was malnourished when she was pregnant) oh yeah and she had really big feet. My dad named our girl Annabelle Lee (he loves E.A. Poe).

She has been my faithful companion for half of my life, she is the only one who can make me laugh through tears, she sleeps with me when I am sick, or just gives me the softest “mommy I love you” kisses. We have been through a lot together and over the last few years we have been coping with pretty intense arthritis, we have pioneered holistic diets and acupuncture treatments when the western medicine stopped working. Earlier this summer my girl got vestibular disorder, which causes a vertigo sensation for several days and as scary as that week was for me, it was the first time I ever saw Annabelle terrified. We got through that and now she has a tumor in her one leg that doesn’t have arthritis. She is amazing, she never cries or whimpers, she is a tough girl. Tonight as I gave her the first of her pain medications for this cancer she smiled up at me (maybe it was the pancake I wrapped the pills in) and in her eyes the puppy is still there. I am planning at this point to pursue for her the most aggressive treatment possible. My Annabelle Lee deserves everything I have to give. I know she will find a way to keep dancing.

— Ashley

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Bailee of East Kent, Golden Retriever
May 24, 2000 — April 19, 2008
Cause: Osteocarcinoma “Wings Carcinoma”

UPDATE 10-06-08 — Bailee came into our lives with a Roar and a zeal for life in the fast lane. Until she was nearly 2 1 yrs old, she was the eternal Puppy… She kept the house in a perpetual state of mess , kept all 4 of our cats physically fit, made sure that the xmas tree was always taken down right after xmas, played with the neighborhood raccoon and porcupine. She loved to take rides down to the ocean… she was well known as the “Ocean Retriever”, when she wasn’t chasing down waves, she was digging pits under our beach chairs in an effort to get us down to her level of the beach. At 2 1/2 yrs, she shed her puppy hood and became a well behaved young lady. She learned her commands and earned her good neighbor and obedience training certificate. Whenever we were in a crowd, she was a child magnet and was totally loved by the wee ones. As time went by, her reputation in the neighborhood grew until she was asked to be a volunteer walker service dog to the physically challenged youth who came to visit because of her special rapport with them. In 2008 we noticed that while she was playing with the neighborhood children she suddenly stopped and lifted her left front leg with a look of surprise on her face. Since then, she had a limp that never got worse nor better. I checked her feet, found a small sharp rock, removed it and never gave it another thought.

In Early April, we noticed that her limp had gotten worse and took her to a vet who diagnosed that she had early Arthritis…we put her on Arthritis meds and chondroiton. This did not help…. We took her to another Vet who insisted that we do an Xray… The results were devastating to us… She had a Osteocarcinoma at the distal end of her radius. The bone was hollowed out to the thickness of paper. In Discussion with the Vet, we took her home and made her comfortable. In the meantime, I did research and found that the stats for this type of Cancer is not encouraging. 80% of goldies will be susceptible to Osteocarcinomas. 89% of those treated will live up to 1 year before the cancer comes back. Amputation is recommended along with Radiation and chemotherapy. For us, it was too late and the cancer had spread to her other leg and her lungs. All this time, she showed no pain or discomfort until she had breathing problems. We had no option but to spare her the pain and on April 19, 2008 we sent her on her way to wait for our coming when it is our time to go. Then forever, we will be with our Beloved Bailee.

— Greg

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In Memory of Titus Mathis

UPDATE 10-02-08 — This is our beautiful ‘puppy’ Titus. He was 9 yrs old when he died, but he was always a puppy to us! He was a best friend and companion during many trying times, and he never failed to give unconditional love and comfort to his family. He loved my children, Carley and Kyle, with all his heart and would protect them to no end. Titus thought my son Kyle was his brother and he felt the need to compete with him over many things, if Kyle ran fast, Titus raced to beat him. He treasured daily walks and swimming, and he was always eager to explore. He once chased a beaver into the St. Lawrence river, and swam after him for 30 minutes. I wasn’t sure he was ever going to come back. He had a wonderful life and a family that loved him dearly. Our vet once told my daughter, that he was more ‘human’ than dog, and we agreed he definitely was. He understood our happiness and our pain, and he shared all of it with us. He knew when we needed comfort or a friend. My daughter feels he got her thru some very hard times. He took care of us when we were blue, he snuggled us when we needed it. If nothing else, he was a big cuddly bear to hug when you were down. As soon as we sat down in the living room, he raced to our side to sit next to us. He was a part of the family, our 3rd child, and we loved him with all our hearts.

Titus had hemangiosarcoma with tumors on his heart. He suffered his first episode of weakness on July 24th of this year, while we were away on vacation. He couldn’t get up, wasn’t interested in food, although he was very alert and his eyes followed us everywhere. The vet, in the small town we were in, knew his liver/kidneys were struggling but didn’t know why. We know now that his pericardium (sac around the heart) had filled with fluid from the tumor on his heart, and was preventing blood flow to his organs. Somehow, Titus snapped out of it after ~ 5 days. We’re unclear if there was a leak in the pericardium which released some of the fluid buildup and allowed his heart to beat more effectively? He was fine for a month, but had another attack at the end of August. The vet did an ultra-sound, discovered the tumor and the fluid. The pressure from the fluid was caving in part of his heart and preventing it from pumping. They drained the fluid off with a needle which immediately relieved the symptoms, & he was walking again 4 hrs after the surgery. This procedure didn’t address the tumor however, or the fact that the pericardium could fill up again at any time. We brought Titus to Medvet in Memphis to have a pericardectomy, which is a removal of a portion of the sac around the heart so it wouldn’t fill up again. During surgery, they removed a large tennis ball size tumor as well. Unfortunately they also noticed smaller tumors on the heart, that had already started spreading. Chemo was an option, but we were told would only extend his life by a couple months. I didn’t want to do that to him, after he had just undergone surgery on his heart. He would have spent the remainder of his time sore or in pain from surgeries or drugs. This disease is so aggressive & silent, dogs can’t tell you when they’re feeling ill, it’s fully upon you before you’ve even had time to contemplate options. We had hoped to have another 2-4 months with Titus before he passed, so my kids could come home and say goodbye, but it wasn’t to be. He came home after surgery, recovered some of his playfulness in the interim, but died quickly 3 weeks later in my arms. This dog will forever be in our hearts and a part of our family, we loved him dearly!

— Darrell, Julie, Carley and Kyle

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Max Wilke
August 4, 1997 — July 18, 2008

UPDATE 10-02-08 — In loving memory of our Max who we love so very much. Max will be greatly missed and always, always be in our hearts. Max was a truly great friend and sweet, sweet guy. He loved everyone.

Max came into our lives after our dog Petey passed away in March of 2000. Max had been living with foster parents after his owner had to go into a nursing home. Max’s foster parents asked us if we would like to have Max come to live with us. It was the greatest decision to adopt him into our family. He brought us much, much love and companionship.

Poor Max was diagnosed with Canine Lymphosarcoma in early June. Our vet said chemo was a good option and we went ahead with it. At first Max was responding very well and we were so encouraged. The tumors were reduced to almost nothing. Then Max took a week off of chemo to let his blood count recover. Unfortunately the tumors returned with a vengeance and Max could not recover.

We will remember the wonderful years we had with Max. He loved to go for walks and rides in the car. He loved to bark at the ducks and swans on the water. He loved to go on the boat. He loved to sleep in bed with his Mom and Dad. And when anyone came over to the house he knew they were coming just to see him and always gave the warmest of welcomes.

We ask God to make us as nice as Max. God bless you Max.

— Mark

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Abby Mae
December 20, 2001 — September 28, 2008

UPDATE 9-29-08 — Abby Mae was our precious “Brown Eyed Girl.” She even loved the song and wagged her tail to the beat everytime we fed her. She loved singing along with the fire trucks as they went by in the evening, and loved singing at 5:00 am (on the dot) to wake us up to feed her a sunrise breakfast. No doubt that her precious face is singing to her heart’s content in Heaven. We lost Abby to an undetectable form of either pancreatic or intestinal cancer. She was just fine five weeks earlier, with little or no signs of an illness. She still barked at Animal Planet on the TV, loved dragging her blanket all over the house, and running the roost of her two pug brothers, Titan and Henry. Her weight rapidly declined in a few short weeks to the tune of about 10-12 pounds (which is a lot for even this fat cat!) After numerous visits to the vet for a variety of symptoms, they still diagnosed her as “having some kind of stomach bug” and gave us some pills and sent her on her way. While I could go back and ream the clinic, I won’t. They were very compassionate and explained how rare this form of canine cancer is, and how virtually undetectable it is. Her precious spirit left us after she layed down to take a nap while we went to church. We came home and found her looking so peaceful and in no more pain. Her ashes will be placed front and center on the fireplace mantle, along with her 11×14 portrait in a place she would not rather be – and that is overlooking the living room like a lifeguard she is. She was not a dog. She was a sister, a granddaughter, and even daugher and will always be both daddy’s “Brown Eyed Girl.”

—Dax

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Mr. Handsome

UPDATE 09-21-08 — First and foremost Thank You for having this website available to dog owners; we were able to use some of your recommended holistic therapies to help our dog, Mr. Handsome, live an extra 3 weeks after being diagnosed with Hermangiosarcoma.

We would like to continue Mr. Handsome’s legacy by sharing our experience from the day he was diagnosed and also his life.

Mr. Handsome was a 9 year old, male, chow chow. He was truly a one-of-a-kind soul. He was full of life, his spirit rubbed off on everyone who he came in contact with. He was loving, emphathetic, extremely loyal, and an incredible life force. We are so proud to have been able to call him our son and ‘Brother’ to his other siblings. Mr. Handsome was diagnosed with Hermangiosarcoma on August 26th 2008. We brought him to our vetinarian that day because he was not himself (he was lethargic, showed signs of labored breathing, and had a purpleish stool the night before). We were shocked when we saw the xrays; 3 tumors had developed, one on each his spleen, chest, and lungs. There was no warning! We tried to drain fluid, we took him to an onocologist, he had a blood transfusion; but all efforts by the medical world could not help him. We were told on August 28 that he had one day to live. We were not accepting of this; he was too young, had had no prior health problems, and simply, we did not feel that it was his time.

So we found your website and talked with others and we started a holistic treatment. We knew it was a long shot (but we believe in miracles), and with lots of love and nuturing for the first couple of days after; he was starting to do better. His breathing improved, energy went up a little, he indicated that he was willing to fight as well. We continued from that point forth for 3 weeks until Sept 18th with his treatments, kept a careful watch on his fluid levels (he did have one fluid drain in that time). We felt truly blessed to have been given these days and this opportunity with him. Mr. Handsome passed in his own back yard the evening of Sept 18th. It was his time, he could fight no more, the cancer had caught up again. This process has truly changed us, we feel that things need to be changed with the yearly checkups at the vet. We feel that this cancer could possibly have been diagnosed early, if the vetinarian would have done an xray at the checkup. No other way could it have been prevented; so our push is share our story about our boy and to try to change the system of the yearly checkups so no other dog owner should have to go through what we had to; along with the other dogs who have passed because of this disease.

To our Son and Brother, Mr. Handsome – You will always be loved and remembered for your kindness, spirit, and awesomeness.

— Michael

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Teemu McClatchey
June 2, 1995 — September 8, 2008

UPDATE 09-13-08 — Teemu was diagnosed with the most aggressive form of Lymphoma in September of 2008. He was hit so hard and so fast that there was nothing the doctors could do. He had lost 5 lbs in a matter of a couple weeks. He had stopped eating and started showing signs of being sick on September 4th. He was kept in the hospital ICU overnight on fluids. We ran several tests and waited on results. By September 7th he was unable to stand or lay down without straining. He had an ultrasound scheduled for September 8th so the doctor loaded him up on steroids so he would be more comfortable until we had a diagnosis. The Xrays and ultrasound indicated lymphoma throughout his whole system. The biopsy came back as aggressive large cell lymphoma. He was unable to breath comfortably and was in a lot of pain. Because of the massive spread of the cancer in such a short period of time and his age the doctors and the both of us decided the most thoughtful thing to do would be to put him to sleep. This is the last picture taken of Teemu. It was taken on September 7th . We’re thankful he didn’t suffer and he lived a long, happy, and beautiful life.

Here is the rest of his story…

Teemu came into our lives 13 years ago. He has been a great dog with a very unique personality. We called him the general because he always wanted to be boss and to keep everyone in line. We loved him so much. When we adopted him we were told he was a lab/golden retriever mix. As you can see he didn’t turn out that way. We LOVED him anyway! He has been a great friend. He loved going to the lake and riding in the car. He loved to steal the cat’s toys when they weren’t looking.

Thank you for reading his story,
— Marie and Mike McClatchey

To Teemu— You have taught us that life is short and to cherish every moment. Never in our thoughts would we have thought you would leave us so soon. We are so thankful that you didn’t have to suffer very long from this nasty disease. We loved you so much and you sure did love us. You loved to be spoiled! Jaz will miss his buddy as you two were inseparable. We will miss our “little general” We love you so much!

— Love Mom and Dad

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Summer

UPDATE 08-31-08 — On August 26, 2008 we lost our beloved daughter Summer to what we believed was Hepatic Neoplasia. A growth was located in her liver approximately 8 months prior but because she was 13 yrs old, we made the difficult decision that invasive surgery was not worth the risk. She was preceded in death by her brother right before the liver cancer was diagnosed (see Tyler). She never showed any discomfort and other than occasional incontinence that we treated with Proin, she was happy but missed her brother dearly. The morning she let us know it was time, we took her to our vet’s home in the country where we laid with her in a pasture on a blanket with a couple of horses watching over her. She left us peacefully after the shot was administered and never showed any suffering. We will always remember her for her unconditional love for us. Her fur was soft as a rabbit and she could run like the wind. She loved chasing squirrels and her front legs would come off the ground when she barked at the UPS and garbage trucks. She would roll in the backyard upside down in the grass kicking her legs up to what we referred to her “riding her bicycle”. She was abandoned with her brother 14 yrs ago on the street in front of our house. We took them in and in return they brought us enduring happiness to our home. No sacrifice was too large for them and they never went without anything. The house is so lonely without them. We loved our daughter very much and will never forget her. A sympathy card sent to us read: “Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you. . . I loved you so — ‘twas Heaven here with you.

— Mark

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Pepper Ann Long
April 21, 2001— June 26, 2008

UPDATE 06-27-08 — Pepper was diagnosed with Lymphoma on June 5, 2008. It was already in stage IV and very aggressive, the vet said she had 30 to 60 days left. I tried the Cancer Diet and supplements, with prayer and pleading yet after 3 weeks of fighting, Pepper could fight no more. Her tumors doubled in size and number in that short time. She was the best dog ever. She was sweet and funny, loving and silly, caring and sensitive, protective and smart. She was so many wonderful things, but she was always a constant in our lives. She has seen my son and I through so many tough times, I cannot imagine our lives without her. She did fight to live but the cancer was too much. We will never forget her. She loved her stuffed animals and to open presents on her birthday and Christmas. She loved to be in the water and she loved her yard, she loved ice cream and mostly she loved us. She loved her Nanny, who always spoiled her. She was always happy to see us. We are going to miss her so much. She can never be replaced. Our hearts are broken without her here. Pepper- We love and miss you and wish you did not have to go. Love you forever…………..

— Mom and Tyler

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Newman Penn american bulldog
December 29, 1997— April 9, 2008

UPDATE 06-26-08

You are the LOVE of my life, my heart and my soul dog. I will forever miss you. You taught me so much Newman. You were a brave hero, a gentle giant a strong fighter. Truly a one of a kind very special boy with a heart of gold.

You will live on inside of me forever Newman. We are each left with a piece of the other’s heart. That will have to do for now. Until we meet again my beloved special angel….

— Love your mom Paula

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Mauli
My Girl ~ My Guardian Angel
June 1993 — February 24, 2007

UPDATE 06-20-08 — I found my beautiful Rottie, Mauli crossing a four lane intersection, weighing only 40 lbs with a massive abscess on her tummy and most of her fur missing. I came to realize, it was actually she who found me. Mauli changed everything about my life. She was my first Dog, and she taught me Responsibility and Love in ways I’d never experienced. She kept me grounded and kept me honest with myself. I had severe depression, but it was Mauli that kept me here…I could never have left her. She protected me when I couldn’t protect myself. She loved me when I couldn’t love myself. Loving her so completely kept my heart from cracking. Together we had the most wonderful journeys and created such beautiful memories, from camping to horseback riding, hiking, jogging, swimming and, of course, cuddling. Mauli Loved to give Real Hugs to her favorite people. She was always smiling and was affectionate to everyone she met, greeting them promptly with a bump of her rump.

When I learned Mauli had Cancer in her lungs, I fought tooth and nail and researched everything I could, the Canine Cancer Awareness site proved to be the most helpful site I could find, thank you so much for your efforts…I will always contribute to your cause. I was given 4 weeks and that’s exactly what we had. The Cancer was so invasive, it took over very quickly despite the special supplements and Cancer Diet I gave her. She is so incredibly strong, that I never even knew outwardly that something major was wrong, I just had a ‘hunch’. At almost 14 years of age, she would still go up the stairs, love her walks and play with her toys. I feel very blessed for that. Her strong will and refusal to give up will always inspire me. She is my Hero. I was with her every second, holding her in my arms for every breath. Letting her go was the HARDEST thing I’ve ever had to do, I whispered how much I loved her in her ear the entire time. The grief is unbearable, My Mauli is EVERYTHING to me. She is my inspiration to Love Completely and to always try and wag my tail no matter what life brings. Mauli was clearly an Angel in a Dog’s Body…now she’s flying with her beautiful wings. I keep you close to me always Sweet Girl ~ My Girl. I feel you near me at times, but I so wish I could touch your little “bobbin” tail right now. We will be together again, I promise. I Love You Always and I Miss you Terribly! I could never forget Mauli’s Mojo. Thank you for everything.

— Wendy Tubbs, Mauli’s Mom Forever

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Tigger

UPDATE 06-07-08 — Oh, Tigs….I can’t believe that a year ago I was cooking your birthday hamburger and arranging your pressies so they were all ready for your official birthday portrait. Just a day or so earlier you were diagnosed with the evil beast that would take you from us just six months later.

We had hoped for more time, but it wasn’t to be. I think now that you somehow knew that you wouldn’t be here as long, so you put as much as you could into every minute of life! Your daddy and I always said that you lived life “with joyous abandon” and it was so true…you were our “shark dog”, always on the move when you were in the backyard, making the rounds and starting over again right away because something might have been there in the minute since you checked it out! You could be WAY out in the corner of the yard, and if you heard “Mommy’s home!” or “Daddy’s home!”, you would FLY across the yard, fur plastered against your face…then you’d run through the door and HURL yourself at the object of your affection. :-)

We had a special bond, you and I…you were definitely a Mommy’s girl. In the mornings, you and Pooh always got a biscuit with some p-nut butter on it…but you wouldn’t take yours until you had some “Mommy-love”. I’d go sit in the chair, you’d run over and jump up into my lap to give me some kisses and get some ear-rubs…after a couple minutes I’d put you down and THEN you’d run over and grab the biscuit.

You were my snuggle-bug…I loved how I would hold you and you’d rest your head on my chest or shoulder. That last day, I held you as much as I could, and sometimes you’d lay there looking up at me and we’d stare into each other’s eyes….I cherish those moments so very much.

I know you’re with us….sometimes more “vividly” than others (I’ll take another dream like the one where you were kissing me anytime!) and now you’ve sent us Darby, a little pistol just like you to remind us of your love of life.

You will always have a special place in my heart….those memories are in the place of the piece of my heart you took with you.

I love you, puppykins….

— Mommy

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Jake Wankel

UPDATE 06-02-08 — I’m posting this as a success story to encourage those facing the same situation. Jake has beaten the odds and is still with us 5 years after his surgery.

Jake is our 8 year old lab mix. He was initially diagnosed with Osteosarcoma of the left front leg in 2002. The suggested treatment was amputation followed by biopsy. We requested the biopsy first and it came back negative. For the following year we treated him for pain with Rimadyl.

On July 4th, 2003 we noticed a bulge on the shoulder of his left front leg right on the biopsy site. We knew exactly what it was, but had the Xrays taken anyway. Our worst fears were confirmed. Our baby had cancer.

The outlook was not good. All of the statistics I could find on the web looked like he would die within a year even with treatment. We couldn’t throw in the towel on him, though. He was too bright eyed and bushy tailed to give up on.

We elected to go forward with the surgery and attempted chemotherapy. The surgery went well, but he did not react well to the chemo. We thought we were going to lose him and elected not to continue after the first dose. Basically, we felt that while his days might be fewer without the chemo than with it, we’d rather he have a better quality of life than a longer quantity of life while dealing with the side effects.

Anyway, since he recovered from his treatment he has been wide open. There is life after osteosarcoma. He may get sick again tomorrow, we don’t know what the future holds. What I do know is that we have enjoyed his love and company for five more years than we otherwise might have. The statistics are not promising, but they also aren’t absolute. I hope this helps others who are facing the same decisions I had to.

— Don

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The Love of my Life — Maggie
March 26, 1996— April 25, 2008

UPDATE 05-19-08 —

My Irish Setter, Maggie, passed away from Hemangiosarcoma on April 25, 2008. Here is our story.

My Maggie was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma in March of 2007. She had an undetected mass in her spleen that had ruptured and we immediately went into surgery. After surgery we completed 5 rounds of chemo successfully and the cancer went undetected for 1 year. A tumor was then found in her liver on March 18, 2008. She lived comfortably for about another month. When the time came I held her in my arms at home, kissed her again and told her once more that I loved her and let her know that I would never let her suffer.

I would do anything, and give anything to be with my Maggie again. I only had her 4 years after taking her in when someone else wouldn’t take care of her. It wasn’t enough time with such a wonderful soul. There is no way to describe the aching pain in my chest. She taught me the meaning of living life and made me the happiest I’ve ever been. I was so lucky to have the time that I had with her and she will be with me always.

Please pray for an end to this horrible disease once and for all – for both humans and animals. Cancer robs the world of too much.

— Thank you.

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Skipper

UPDATE 05-04-08 — This tribute is about Skipper, my 4 year old male Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Skipper was born on February 28, 2004. I first held him in my arms in April of 2004 at the home of his breeders, Sue and Karen.

The first time I took this 8 week old, baby puppy in my arms, I looked into his then beautiful baby blue eyes as he playfully licked my face and cuddled happily with me. I played with him and the other puppies that Karen and Sue showed me. Skipper was a “fluffy” so the girls could not use him in dog shows. However, I was thrilled that he was a Fluffy! I fell in love with Skipper (then known as “Edgar”) on that day.

My Mom was with me when we went to see him that day. I remember sitting in the middle of the girls’ living room in the dog playpen with Skipper and the rest of the puppies. I remember how much he wanted my attention nipping at me and lying on his back while I scratched him belly, and looking up at me whenever I stopped scratching :) as if to tell me not to stop.

A few weeks later, when we returned, Skipper was 10 weeks old and ready for us to bring him home. I was happy, but a little sad when I looked at Sue, and I promised that I would always keep Skipper together with his family by visiting her and Karen, so that Skipper would never forget his family and the loving home where he was born.

Through the years, the little fluffy puppy grew into a beautiful head strong, independent Corgi, a small dog, with a big dog’s bark. Skipper and I grew closer as he also did with my Mom, aka Grandma. Eventually, I began taking Skipper to the Ocean County Off-Lease Dog Park. Skipper was in heaven whenever I took him there. He loved being with people and other dogs.

At the doggie park, Skipper backed down from no dog:) He even chased bigger dogs, but everyone knew that it was all in fun and friendship, because Skipper was lovable and always showed it.

The bond between Skipper, whom I nicknamed “my little bear,” continued to grow to where Skipper could anticipate my every move. He was totally alert to all sorts of sounds. Skipper loved running out on my sundeck and barking at the snow and/or the rain, whenever it came.

That’s another thing he loved. Skipper loved the water. I bought him a plastic baby swimming pool that I kept on my sundeck.

After Labor Day in September 2007, Skipper began experiencing a problem breathing. On September 5, 2007, I noticed lumps underneath Skipper’s neck and on his back. That night, brought him to my local vet. The attending Vet, Dr. Harvey, immediately determined that Skipper may have Lymphoma. She ran tests to confirm it. Skipper had cancer.

Dr. Harvey, who had interned with vet oncologists at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, referred Skipper to the facility. I have never experienced a great degree of anxiety and sadness than when I received this news.

Fortunately, Karen was able to drive down to my Mom’s house and pick up Skipper and bring him to Red Bank Vet. The prognosis and protocol was immediate chemotherapy treatment that day. Joshua Lachowicz, DVM, was Skipper’s oncologist. When I went to pick up Skipper from my Mom’s house the next day, all of the swelling was gone, but I was told of the pending treatment.

Dr. Lachowicz reviewed the treatment protocol with me. Skipper would receive weekly chemotherapy treatments by injection and on occasion, through pills. Skipper’s condition with anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea pills appeared to be working. In fact, sometime in November, 2007, I recall Dr. Lachowicz advising that he believed Skipper’s cancer would go into complete remission.

But in February, 2008, a lump appeared underneath Skipper’s hind leg. Dr. Lachowicz examined it and told me that the disease was now in relapse and out of remission. He told me that he would have to use a “rescue drug” protocol. While the swollen lump would occasionally go down, it never went away. Eventually between March and early April 2008, lymph nodes underneath Skipper’s neck swelled and did not go down.

In late April, 2008, Skipper began vomiting and could not keep down food. He also could not breath properly and snored very loudly when he tried to sleep. I first thought that this was a side effect of the now more aggressive chemotherapy, but in the back of my mind I knew in my heart that my little angel was suffering from the effects of the cancer.

On May 1, 2008, my Mom went with me to Red Bank Vet Hospital where Dr. Lachowicz confirmed my worst fears, i.e., that the cancer had spread to Skipper’s liver, which was now pushing into his stomach causing pain, as the X-Rays showed. The X-rays also showed lymph node swelling in Skipper’s rectal area and underneath his throat.

The options Dr. Lachowicz gave me provided no comfort or relief to Skipper’s suffering. Anyone who has had to confront this illness with their dog knows what this means. I broke down crying and made the most painful decision I have ever had to make concerning my baby. I could not let Skipper suffer.

My mom and I stayed with Skipper after Dr. L and the girls brought him in to us. My Mom cried and kissed him. She couldn’t bear to stay in the room. I stayed on the floor holding Skipper in my arms, crying all the time and whispering in his ear, kissing him, and assuring him that Daddy would eventually be with him.

Dr. L came him and got down on the floor with me. I help Skipper as I heard him begin sleeping. The snoring was very loud. My arms were cradled around him, on my knees, bent over. My eyes were closed as I kissed the back of his head. I then heard complete silence. I began to cry again, as Dr. L patted me on the back and quietly walked out of the room leaving me with Skipper.

If I could have taken the cancer out of Skipper and given it to myself, I would have done it in a heartbeat! There is nothing that I would not have done for this little angel who touched my heart with his love. Skipper was adorable, smart, funny, loyal, and loved me so unconditionally and without any expectations, I wish that human beings could take a lesson from him and other dogs like him.

To anyone who reads this, please understand that there has got to be a way to rid our world of this horrifying disease once and for all.

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Buddy

UPDATE 04-21-08 — This is my sweet, fun loving friend Buddy. I am the luckiest person that I know because I was blessed with Buddy for his thirteen years. Buddy was diagnosed with a nasal tumor in December 2007. I noticed blood coming from his nose one evening in November and rushed him to the clinic. After many tests the tumor was discovered.

Buddy and I traveled and lived in many different places in his thirteen years. Los Angeles, CA Phoenix, AZ, Houston, TX, and finally Tucson, AZ. He made friends wherever he went, and was always eager to go. He always was excited for a ride or walk. When he was younger I would take him rollerblading. We would start by him pulling me and end with me pulling him. I have so many stories and memories about my Buddy, and all make me smile and laugh. I have friends tell me of their memories of Buddy and that is very special. One of my friends decided on getting a dog of the same breed because of the influence that Buddy had made on him.

On April 7th Buddy suffered a seizure. The cancer had advanced. Buddy was with me in body for eleven more days. April 18th, after two days in the intensive care unit at the clinic, I had to make the decision that I had been dreading for a long time. Our last moments together were spent with me talking to him and reminding him how much he has meant to me and how much I appreciated his friendship, loyalty, and companionship. Buddy was in my arms when he passed. I felt his little heart stop and we shared his last breath. I kissed him and told him that I loved him.

Buddy is still with me wherever I go in spirit. I know that one day we will be reunited and the fun and games will begin all over again. I have no regrets and wouldn’t trade a minute with him for anything.

I love you so much Buddy and I miss you more than anyone could ever imagine.

— Bradley

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Hannah

UPDATE 04-08-11 —

Dear Hannah:

Its hard to believe you left us three years ago April 1st. Daddy and Mama think of you all the time! We prefer to remember how you lived, rather than the way you left us that night. Our memories are all happy ones now, sweet girl. Daddy found your collar, and put it in your place of honor in the china cabinet. All your trophies and ribbons will soon go there too. We are so proud of your first place award in obedience class, as well as your dock dogs robbins and pins. What fun that was for you!

You were a gift to us, and we are honored to have been your caretaker while you were in our lives. You are with us every day, Hannah, and will be until we meet you again!

With the greatest love,
— Daddy and Mama

UPDATE 06-12-10 —
Dear Hannah:

This month marks your 14th birthday, our sweet girl. Not a day passes that Mommy and Daddy don’t think of you, or wish you were here with us. Its been two years since you went to the Rainbow Bridge, and we miss you and know you are waiting for us. Life moves on and brings many changes, but you need to know that you are loved, and will forever be in our hearts. There are some new faces in the house! Bailey and Cleo needed someone to care for them and love them just like you, and have joined the family. We know you would welcome them into your pack! Rest peacefully, Hannah-bug. Chase all the birds you can find, and dive deep for the best rock in the lake. We love you always!

— Mom and Dad

UPDATE 03-31-09 — Donated today in memory of Hannah. It’s been a year since you left us for a better place. We think of you every day, and love you with all our hearts. You will always be with us, our beautiful black lab.

— Mom & Dad

UPDATE 04-05-08 — We lost our beloved Hannah to hemangiosarcoma of the spleen and liver in the early hours of April 1st, 2008. She was nearing her 12th birthday. Her loss was so unexpected, it still seems like a bad dream. She had spent the weekend competing in something she so loved: a Dockdogs competition. Although she could no longer jump as far as she once could, she was so excited to leap into the water after her retrieving duck. She brought home seven ribbons that weekend. The very next day, as I was preparing her and our four other dogs’ dinner, she was conspicuously absent from the nightly lineup of hungry eyes watching my every move. I called out to her, and finally found her lying on the living room floor. She was lethargic, and could not get up to walk. As I was on crutches from an injury three weeks before, I called my wife, who had just left to volunteer helping cats find forever homes. She returned immediately, and knew instantly upon seeing Hannah that something was very wrong. A neighbor was summoned to help load Hannah into a blanket and into our van for a trip to the vet ER. She was losing blood, and an ultrasound found a splenic tumor. She was stabilized, and transported to another ER where surgeons were on-call to operate. As my wife drove through a rainstorm, I lay on the floor of the van holding her for the 35 minute trip. Through tears, I told her she was the best dog in the world, and how much we loved her, and how special she was. I prayed that she would be spared any pain or suffering. On arrival, we made the decision to have the surgery, just in case there was any chance to save her. After an agonizing wait, the surgeons came out to tell us the bad news; that it had spread to her liver, and she would not live much longer, even if they were able to remove the cancer. In the most difficult moment of our lives, we made the decision to say goodbye to our precious Hannah. Although it hurt us terribly, it was no longer about us, but about her quality of life. She left us peacefully at 1:45 in the morning.

We took her home wrapped in a blanket, and made sure that her canine brothers and sister had the chance to say goodbye to her. In the order that they came to our family, we showed them her body, and in the way only dogs can, they said goodbye. We took her the next day to our friend and hometown veterinarian, who cared for her since we were blessed with her entering our lives, and would take care of her one last time through cremation. A few locks of fur were collected, and our friend said she would take a pawprint for us. We will scatter her ashes in her hometown near Lake Michigan, where she learned to swim and dive for rocks. Her spirit will run free, unencumbered by any pain, soreness, or effects of old age. She will always be with us, till the end of our days, when we will be reunited once again.

We love you and miss you, our sweet girl and punkin’—

Mike & Cindy, Bandit, Muffasa, Chompers and Peanut.

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Legend
May 1, 2007 — April 16, 2007

UPDATE 03-05-08 — Legend lost a very short battle with a highly aggressive hemangiosarcoma last year. It was a week from diagnosis to death. He burst into our lives like a rocket and raced toward this final adventure as he had done with every other adventure in his life. This hole in my heart will never heal.

— Victoria

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Phantom
June 9, 1996 — May 20, 2008

UPDATE 07-03-08 — The labrasaurus left us on May 20, 2008 after having successfully battled lymphoma. An unrelated neurological disorder made it too hard for him to carry on. Goodbye big dog, I carry you in my heart always.

— Victoria and the Army of Darkness
(Courage, FM Epic
AT THE BRIDGE – Dragon, CGC, 1990-2003
Legend, CGC, FMCh, 2001-2007
Phantom, 1996-2008, CGC, WCI, JH, FMX)

UPDATE 03-05-08 — Phantom was diagnosed with lymphoma (Stage IV – A) on November 15, 2007. He was born June 9, 1996 and is thriving under the Madison Wisconsin Protocol. The cancer is in remission and we are looking toward a bright and happy future for as long as we have together.

— Victoria

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Trapper

UPDATE 07-08-07 — My name is Joanne. My husband, Barry, and I live in Colorado. Eight months ago, our white German Shepherd, Trapper (photo attached) was diagnosed with Lymphoma. We elected to have him treated with chemotherapy (Madison protocol) and feel very fortunate to have been able to do this for him. We love Trapper so much and feel blessed to have been able to afford this treatment for him and to have him in our lives a little longer. Unfortunately, approximately two weeks ago, Trapper came out of remission. His cancer has become drug resistant and we are just spoiling the heck out of him in his last days. He is doing very well for the most part and remains on prednisone to help with inflammation and any discomfort he may experience. My husband and I are so happy to have been able to afford this treatment and in response we want to help others that may not be as financially blessed as we. In addition, we want to help your organization financially so you may help others.

— Barry and Joanne (a.k.a Team Trapper)

UPDATE 09-09-07 — Not a day goes by that we don’t miss Trapper. Please feel free to visit our teamtrapper.com website anytime. I will be updating it periodically and if there is anything I can add to help you folks, please let us know. I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the coming of fall. Please know you are always close to our hearts and we hope we can continue to help your organizations in the coming year.
With warmest regards and loving in memory of Trapper, — Joanne and Barry

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Ritz

UPDATE 03-05-08 — Ritz came to us in May 1999 and was our Angel Frisbee’s protege. Frisbee was not friendly with other dogs, and we thought a pup would be her tonic. What a difference a pup can make. Ritz was a friend, a companion, a therapy dog, an absolute joy to everyone. She NEVER showed aggression toward anything, not even when confronted. She would just run to us like a bullied child. She was pure loveliness personified from day one. When Frisbee was taken from us suddenly in Feb 2000, Ritz was there to hold us all together, as we were shaken to the core. Ritz forever the clown and entertainer brought our family together during our time of healing. Later in the year we brought Sassy home, as a friend and playmate for Ritz, she had never been alone and we thought she could use a friend. Sassy walked in the door at 6 weeks old (us not knowing any better) and not having learned the pecking order, took one look at Ritz and said “Right, your number two?” and claimed the role of lead dog in the pack. Ritz was more than happy just to be included. From then on they were inseperable, joined at the hip, buddies. Ritz was supposed to show Sassy the way, as Frisbee had done for Ritz, but instead Ritz regressed back to puppyhood, and now we had one very large puppy and one very small lead dog, what a pair!

As the years have gone on, we realised that we needed both of our girls, one the lovely friend, nearly human, “therapy dog” Ritz, and one the guarding, protecting , tough and sassy to the core “house dog” Sassy.

Ritz was our glue, our batteries, our friend. She was there for us when we lost Frisbee, My wife’s Mum Sheila, and during my wife’s recent long illness, she was there comforting, and loving and always bringing smiles to our faces.

We miss you baby,
— From Mum & Dad, Grandad & Sassy x

UPDATE 03-05-08 — Hi again, I think I forgot to add… Ritz was diagnosed with splenic hemangiosarcoma on Dec 5, 2007 following an emergency splenectomy after it burst on Nov 27th/28th 2007 up until then she had no warning signs.

And the Grand Canyon pales in comparison as to the size hole she has left in our lives, Sassy included!

Many thanks
K&L&S

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Heidi

UPDATE 01-27-08 — Heidi Gaspard, beloved friend & companion, was diagnosed with carcinoma December 19, 2007. She had been having complications with digestion for months previous to her biopsy. The vet told us that we’d be lucky for 6 weeks more. January 26, 2008 – 1 year, 1 month, and 7 days later, she passed away. We were extremely fortunate to have been given the gift of time with her. Her quality of life was excellent in her condition for all of that extra time as she continued to chase squirrels and play with her friends, Boss & Gigi. She fascinated the science world as she beat so many odds and was such a tough fighter. We felt blessed to have been home with her and lucky that she wasn’t in pain. She was everything and more that we could have ever hoped for in a companion and family member. She touched our lives and stole our hearts. Until we meet again, I hope you make new friends and wait for us to be with you once more. We love you Heidi—

Brett, Erin, Boss & Gigi

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Bingo
April 1, 2000—February 18, 2008

UPDATE 03-02-08 — Bingo was truly inspirational to me! No matter what life threw at him, he handled it with a dopey smile and a wag of his tail. He truly is how I want to be! Three years ago, I lost my Border Collie, Levi, to epilepsy. That was a difficult fight…we never got good control over his epilepsy. When he went to the Bridge, I decided I wanted another Border Collie. I searched the rescues, applied, was approved, and the wait began. Every dog I was interested in had a waiting list…great for them, bad for me. One day I received a call from one of the rescues. She told me there was a 4-year-old male Border Collie down in Missouri at Animal Control. They didn’t have a foster home for him, and he was in danger of being euthanized if he wasn’t moved. I adopted him sight unseen…He had a rough start in life, and I vowed to do everything I could to make him happy…he was a great dog and deserved it. We tried agility. Border Collies are supposed to be good agility dogs…NOT! Not “Bing”, he was the clumsiest Border Collie I’ve ever met. Flyball? NOPE! No ball interest. Herding? Sheep? SHEEP! This was truly Bingo’s calling. It was beautiful to watch! I took him to a herding instinct test and boy did the instinct kick in!! We started taking lessons! In January of 2007, I noticed Bingo limping. Occasionally. Then more frequently. When I had the vet check, after numerous referrals to other specialists, it turned out to be a neural sheath tumor. After much agonizing over it, I decided to have the leg amputated. I knew we could deal with it, and the prognosis was good. On May 5, 2007, Bingo became my beloved Tri-Paw Border Collie. He bounced back quickly. Two weeks after his surgery, a section of his incision necrosed and became infected. He went back in for it to be cleaned and resutured. The next week, we returned to the vet to have some more of the staples/sutures removed. I mentioned to the vet that I noticed Bingo had these huge lumps under his chin. They took an aspirate. The results came back lymphoma. I was devastated. Again, after much soul searching, I opted for chemotherapy. Bing did remarkably well. We had a few bad days, but always came through them! Bing attended summer Dog Camp in August, and Doggie Dance Camp in September. We finished the 19 week protocol in Oct. 2007. A few weeks later, I noticed Bingo straining to go to the bathroom, and wanting to go urgently. October 20, 2007 we took him to the vet…unbelievable!! The vet found a mass near his prostate.There was nothing more they could do. I decided to try a holistic veterinarian. We started holistic supplements along with Western medications. He has started to be able to urinate on his own and did well. Sadly, Bingo lost his fight on February 18, 2008. No one expected my boy to fight for this long! I am grateful for everyday we had! He fought bravely, always with that goofy Bingo grin. He had a will like no other and a spirit that couldn’t be broken! Bingo is my canine soul mate and I love him dearly. This was so unfair! Bingo was such a gentle soul…he truly is my best friend! Things just won’t be the same. I am lucky to have had Bingo in my life…even for such a short time. Letting him go was the greatest final gift I could give him. Cancer didn’t win…he won! He’s finally free! Run free, sweet Bingo, run free! I love and miss you…always.

—Mary

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Rhayngo

UPDATE 02-13-08 — This is my girl Rhayngo. Rhayngo was a beautiful creature who graced me with her presence for 8 1/2 years. She was caring and loyal and my very best friend. Rhayngo passed away on January 29, 2007, after suffering with Canine Cancer Lymphoma. She was diagnosed only 3 weeks before her passing.

The loss of Rhayngo is devastating to me as I think about her constantly. Everywhere I go is a reminder of what she meant to me…and how much we loved each other. I cannot put into words how incredibly grateful I am to have shared a life with her. Rhayngo taught me incredible strength, perseverance, courage, and loyalty from which I am eternally grateful.

We were a team and now I am lost, very lost. I pray that my angel is still watching over me.

—Michelle

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Ira of Dog Island
199?—2008

UPDATE 04-15-08 — Thanks again for allowing us to a part of Canine Cancer Awareness. Ira passed away April 15, 2008.

UPDATE 01-29-08 — Ira is of indeterminate age, I found in the West Indies on an island called St. Kitts where I was attending veterinary school. It has now been just over 10 years and he has lymphoma. He is about four weeks into his diagnosis and the lymph nodes enlarge everyday. He seems blissfully unaware as we have just gotten back from our local dog park. I don’t know if I will be able to write about him once he is gone so here is my most beloved friend.

—Ira

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Sydney Roo

UPDATE 02-05-08 — Hello…I am writing because my dog, Sydney Roo, was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma today. She is a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix who just turned 10 yrs old in Dec 2007.

She was acting totally fine untill Dec 2007…when she stopped eating her regular dog food…she would actually flip her dog bowl over and sometimes even throw it. Then she stopped eating that dog food all together. I tried other brands, dry dog food mixed with can dog food, that worked for a few days and then she stopped eating that as well. Then I tried straight can dog food, that also worked for a few days. She also was not acting like herself…not wanting to play catch anymore, not jumping on the bed to sleep at night, occasionally going to the bathroom in the house and acting very restless…I then noticed that she started to lose weight which is when I took her to the vet.

She had lost 22 lbs since her last time at the vet, 6 months prior. She had gone from 102 lbs to 80 lbs…I believe that most of this weight was lost during that month of Dec. The vet started with blood and urinalysis, thinking that she might have diabetes-which turned out negative. Then we started working on why she was anemic…started with the thought that it could have been from a tick or flea disease since she had some white blood cells in her urine and she had a fever…so we started her on Doxycycline…after 1 week her red blood cell percentage had gone down again…so we ruled out the flea or tick issue. We did chest and abdomen x-rays which did not show anything abnormal either. Then my vet told me that it is time for an ultrasound as he felt it could be a tumor in the spleen or the liver.

Today we went to a specialist, one of the best on the East Coast, and had an ultrasound done. Sydney has multiple tumors in her liver and her spleen. If it was just the spleen, the spleen could be removed, but since they have migrated to the liver, surgery is not an option. She is extremely weak and very depressed. He said that she is suffering from this, due to the anemia, she is having trouble breathing and also the tumors are causing these organs to press up against her stomach.

After all of the research that I have done, it does not seem that Chemo is an option either. It might prolong her life a month or two but it will not be a quality life. I know that the tumors can rupture and cause massive bleeding in the abdomen, which is very painful, as well as fainting for her and that I cannot live with. So this week I will have to say good bye to my best friend, or “My Precious” as I call her, as she goes on to doggie heaven. Who knew that a trip to the local Animal Shelter could turn out to be a 10 yr loving relationship.

Here is a picture of Sydney Roo in her prime…as I will always remember her…

—Thanks
Gail

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Johannes

UPDATE 01-11-08 — I will feel honored to donate to this very good cause.

This is a picture of my sweet little boy, Johannes. He was a mischievous little boy as you can see. This past October 5, I made the right decision for him and let him go. I was there with him when he drew his last breath and I know he is waiting for me.

He had been diagnosed with a very aggressive prostate cancer on October 2 in New Mexico, a town of about 80,000 people. I live in a very beautiful smaller town and the vets around here did not know what was wrong with him. He had previously been successfully treated for osteoarthritis in 2001 and had blown two lumbar discs in 2003. We treated these and he was basically doing real well on aspirin, glucosamine/chondroitin and occasionally a series of adequan shots. He was doing real well until this past August when he all of a sudden he appeared to lose the strength in his rear legs. I put him on R and R. He seemed to take two steps backward and one step forward, but always at the end of the week, he seemed a little weaker. I had brought him to the local vets and even went for treatment to an acupuncturist. We had had great results with that when we were treating him for his lumbar problems. By mid September, he continued to regress with the occasional good day. He was getting all of the above treatment. The acupuncturist showed me how to do this and Johannes seemed to feel a little better after this treatment.

By late September, he was getting worse so I scheduled an appt. with a vet. The first thing she did was give him his first ever rectal exam (much to his chagrin). She told me he had a mass behind his rectum wall and her partner confirmed this. She told me to schedule an appt. with a cancer specialist in Tuscon. We drove over there on October 4, 2007. He had a good set of radiographs done along with an aspirate of the mass and an ultrasound. She told me he had no treatment options as the cancer had spread to his liver and his lungs. I looked at the x rays and his whole little body was filled with tumors. I took him home that night and had already made the best decision for Johannes. There was no way I was going to watch him get progressively worse and the vet was surprised he was doing as well as he was. The next morning we drove to the vet. He was having a good morning. He had the cutest little way at dinner time or at the door when we were going on a walk of barking so energetically that his front feet would leave the ground. His last little walk from my car to the vets door he was prancing along and feeling very good (he had been on a regime of prednisone during his treatment). He had many of his favorite treats and gobbled them up like he always did. (He never had enough food)

I was able to be with him as the vet put him to sleep with a powerful anesthetic. When he put the shot into his little heart to stop it,he didn’t flinch when the needle went in buy he had a little reaction to the phenobarbital and I held him until he drifted off. The vet says he sees this in some of the breeds and assured me he did not feel any pain. I feel better knowing I did the right thing for him. I miss him terribly. He was such a sweet boy. He has taught me so much about love. This has been a very difficult three months. I have two older Dachsies at home, Gretta (16) and Ollie (14) and we all miss him. I am hoping that by posting this tribute, and sharing this loss, it may help someone else who is going through this. In my prayers at night I always ask the Higher Power to make sure Johannes has a warm dry place to sleep and to help him look up previous dogs I have had; Holly, Nanook and Emily. I also ask that he be given a dog biscuit as a bedtime snack. I also thank him for the eleven years and seven months he was given to me to love and be loved. I sure miss him. thank you

—Tim

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Tyler

UPDATE 12-12-07 — We lost out beloved son Tyler on December 12, 2007 to hemangiosarcoma. We believe he had the disease for 2 years after having his spleen removed. He was not only courageous but refused to indicate to us any pain he may have been enduring. We had no indication of the cancer until we noticed blood in his left eye. Upon a scheduled visit with a canine ophthalmologist we were informed that a subsequent chest x-ray showed the immense cancer throughout his body. He never showed any other symptoms. 2 days after the diagnoses we had our close friend (and veterinarian) come to the house because he was laboring in his breathing. She indicated that it was a miracle that he was still alive with the amount of cancer the x-ray showed. He simply went to sleep after the shot was administered and never showed any suffering. I will always remember him for his unconditional love for us. He was abandoned with his sister 13 1/2 years ago in a box in the street in front of our house. We took them both in and gave them the best life we could offer and in return they gave us more than anyone could ask for. I cannot look at a sunset without him in my memory. His sister, Summer, is still with us and we all miss him dearly. We loved our son very much and will never forget him.

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Kyra

UPDATE 10-26-07 — Hi, My dog Kyra has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma. She is an 8 year old Rottweiler. She was diagnosed in December 2006 and underwent a hemi-mandibilectomy. This involved the amputation of half her bottom jaw in January 2007. She had 4 rounds of chemotherapy. Then her left eye started to look unusual and we brought her to an ophthalmologist. To make a long story short, she had her eye removed and is now going through another round of chemotherapy. Her chest xrays continue to be free of cancer and she is doing great. You would never know that she has OS. She is awesome. We have great doctors for her and she is surrounded by love and continues to flourish from all the attention. Here is a couple of pics….
I tried to make this a short story, sorry…..

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All-A-Round LA Shadeauxman
born February 16th, 1993 — died November 26th, 2005

UPDATE 09-05-07 — Shadeuxman you will forever be in my heart and on my mind. Whatever I wanted you to do you were ready for it. We had so much fun running in the agility ring, showing off in the obedience ring, me watching you herd sheep and jumping for the stars to catch a frisbee. You and your brother Boomer were best buddies but you were my red dog heartbeat. You were always so active and had a bright smile on your face. Your Dad and I watched cancer rob us of a wonderful dog that will never be forgotten. For almost 13 years we loved you with all our hearts. I held you in my arms while cancer took you away. You are now the brightest star in the sky and the wind chime that rings out in the big oak tree. I feel you waiting around for your brother Boomer because the two of you did everything together. Wait for me too Shad My Man . . . . . . . . . I’ll love you forever

— Mom

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HONDO

UPDATE 07-20-07 —

HONDO is the best dog in the world! His ears, his tail, his beautiful eyes, his perfect calm spirit . . . I shall miss him so . . .

” i carry your heart with me, i carry it in my heart and i’m never without it.
anywhere i go, you go, my dear.” — e.e.cummings

— Kristin

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MAX ONIFFREY

UPDATE 06-29-07 —

My Boxer Max, was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma last year (2006) on Memorial Day weekend, after I came home to find him unable to get up, and unwilling to eat. They brought him into surgery and found a small tumor on his spleen (which was cancerous). After removing his spleen, the vet advised me of my options – 6 rounds of chemo ($250 each) or approx 2-3 months left with Max. He also mentioned that even with the chemo, he’d probably only survive about 6 months. After a couple weeks of talking to family and friends and a few people who had been through this, I decided to go ahead with the chemo. I am happy to say that now, over a year later (and about $6000 in debt (surgery and chemo), Max seems to be doing very well, and hasn’t had any issues since. Is the cancer gone? I don’t know, and it’s hard to test for it, I was told. But, I’m so glad I made the decision to go ahead with the chemo, and I would do it again in a minute. He is totally worth it!!!

— Christine

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COPPER

UPDATE 6-28-07 — Tribute for Copper

In the beginning of May, 2007 just days after receiving the referral of our baby girl that we are adopting in China, we learned that our sweet boy of nearly 13 years old had Fibrosarcoma cancer. The tumor was above and around his left eye, and into his brain. He had been exhibiting some signs of anxiousness over the past year, but Copper had always been this type of dog. Our vet never suspected cancer. Not until the day when we were in the vet’s office and my husband was the one to notice the small lump on his head. They xray’d and did a biopsy and sure enough, we were left with the most devastating news. Our Copper passed peacefully on June 26th, 2007.

My Copper, you are, were, and always will be my love, my light, my soul. You have given me the tools I need to become a Mom to our baby Hannah from China. I know you were given to us for this reason, and let me tell you my friend, you did one heck of a job. I have never loved anything or anyone as hard as I did you. I hurt so badly right now, I feel empty and alone. I miss you terribly, and am not sure how to breathe without you. I am scared, but I know that you are now happy and no longer in pain. Knowing that I will find a way to go on. Know that I will love you forever and ever and I long for the day that I will be able to kiss your nose and head again. My dear sweet angel, rest in peace, and live the life now that you so deserve to have. Until we meet again……………….

— Colleen

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FILLY

UPDATE 06-26-07 —

Thank you so much! Filly passed away last Monday after her second round of chemotheraphy. We are all grieving at the lost of such a very special companion. Thanks for your support and kindness.

— Linda

UPDATE 06-01-07 —

I found your site this morning as I was trying to learn more about Canine Cancer. My twenty-nine year old disabled daughter, Angela, received her Golden Retriever service dog a year ago from Assistance Dog Institute in Santa Rosa, California. Two weeks ago she noticed that her dog was not getting into her van as easily as before, and that her neck seemed to be hurting her. She took Fillie to the vet and they prescribed relaxant medication telling her that she probably strained her neck playing with the other dogs.

In less than a week, she had a seizure and was screaming in pain. We took her to emergency and then, when she was stable, up to the institute vet. They thought she had meningitis and began ordering tests. The outcome was stage 4 Lymphoma with cancer also in her spinal cord.

ADI is preforming all the tests and treatment free and housing my daughter so that she can be with her dog and grief the ultimate lost. They are providing her the support at this difficult time. For Angela, her companion dog is her companion. It seems so cruel that a girl who has suffered all her life with disability and pain would also have her dog be taken from her by cancer.

Please continue to provide information to people dealing with canine cancer. It helps, even just a little, to know that there are people out there who care. Also if you can give me information how I can support her through this lost, I would appreciate it. I just don’t know what to say to her.

Sincerely,
Linda Rodrigues

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ANGEL

UPDATE 6-20-07 —> My Angel, a 7 year-old Lab mix, was diagnosed with cancer in January 2007. She had a malignant thyroid tumor. She was given a “grave” prognosis, months to live. Chemo was suggested, but I just could not see doing that to her, especially since the prognosis was not any better with or without it. So I got busy, learning about alternative treatments and consulted a holistic vet in New Orleans , Dr. Adriane Segrera, who prescribed a high-fat, high-protein diet and a regime of supplements. I made other changes, like getting rid of all chemicals in my home, cleaning now only with vinegar and water (and a touch of bleach for deep cleaning jobs), and holistic treats (fruit and veggies).

Today, 6 months later, Angel is doing great! A recent chest x-ray showed no metastasis. She is happy and healthy and doing very well.

Peace,
Patty Meehan
Sunset, Louisiana

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PESTO
September 1, 1997 — May 17, 2007

In Memory of Pesto

We lost our beloved Aussie, “Pesto”, after a brief but courageous battle with hemangiosarcoma. Pesto was first diagnosed in April 2007, after she began showing symptoms of anemia and was occasionally, and very uncharacteristically, off her food. We took her to her regular vet, and an ultrasound showed a large tumor on her spleen. The vet wasn’t able to tell if it was malignant or not without the biopsy results, but said it looked very suspicious and recommended a splenectomy. Pesto had never been sick a day in her life and was an otherwise healthy, strong dog, so we decided to follow his advice and had her spleen removed with the growth. While doing the surgery, the vet saw no signs of growths spreading to her other organs.

The biopsy results on the tumor showed definite presence of hemangiosarcoma. The vet explained to us the likelihood of the cancer returning quickly, and once this happens the end usually comes soon thereafter. He said it was a good sign that they did not see obvious metastasizing at that point, and that she might have many months to live. We decided not to pursue chemotherapy after considering the suffering it would cause Pesto and the very slim chances of it actually prolonging her life in a significant manner. So, we brought her home to her mom, Sheila, and she recovered very quickly from her surgery, returning to full activity without three weeks. When I came home from college, she was back to playing vigorous games of tug-of-war in the backyard with Sheila (their favorite game!) and I took them on several walks in the days after I got home, down to the beach and on long car-rides … all some of Pesto’s favorite things to do. She was always in good spirits, especially when she got to be with us, and even when she was sick I never saw her show even an ounce of bad temperament. She was just a happy girl who loved life – one of my favorite memories of her is how she would just run and run when we first let her loose on the ocean beach, stretching her long legs and galloping in big circles around us. What a beautiful animal.

Two days ago, I took Pesto and Sheila out for what turned out to be our last afternoon walk, along a bluff overlooking the Puget Sound. Pesto was doing so well; she even jumped up on a rock wall and walked along it for a while, seemingly back to her usual silly self. That night, she gobbled up dinner, and when we had company over for supper she was squirming her way under our chairs, as usual keeping a close but nonchalant eye on any scraps that might come her way … and she went out for the night with a cookie, happy as always. But when my father got up in the morning and went out to feed them breakfast, Pesto was just not right. She was lethargic, weak, barely made it up to the door to greet her dad. He came and got us and we all sort of knew that this was the end; she was so sick, and even before her splenectomy she’d never looked this bad. Her gums were pure white and her nose was so cold. She seemed to be really suffering, too, and it was so awful to see our cheerful little girl in so much pain. We took her right to the emergency vet, where they found that she was bleeding out in her abdomen; apparently the cancer had already metastasized in the four weeks since her surgery, and one of the growths had burst. We made the excruciating decision to put her to sleep; it was so hard for all of us to let go of our baby girl – she was born in our garage and I think that from her first day, we became her “pack”. We were the only family she ever knew. At 9 1/2 years young, she was still a puppy most of the time, always following one of us around the house or yard with a toy stuffed in her mouth, or playing tireless games of fetch. Even though we’d tried to prepare ourselves for this day we knew was coming, it arrived so much sooner than any of us had imagined it would: not even six weeks had passed since we’d found the growth on her spleen. I know she didn’t want to leave us – I’ve never known a more loyal dog, she was literally there without fail, every time you turned around or called her name – but I hope she understands that we had to let her go and that she will wait in peace until we can be with her again.

Sheila misses her especially, I think; she had gotten so used to Pesto being her ears (Sheila is completely deaf now) and also her closest companion. They groomed each other by the hour, and it was so cute the way they would fetch in tandem, each picking up one end of their rope Kong and tugging it all the way down the lawn. Today, I tried to throw it for Sheila by herself, and while she runs down the lawn to pick it up, when she gets there she just stands over it and looks around – waiting for Pesto to sweep in and grab it away. Things won’t ever be the same around here without our silly little girl.

Pesto, we love you so much and miss you deeply … you wormed your way into our house and hearts (and beds, usually, too!), and you’ve left some mighty big holes, many of which will never be filled. You were God’s blessing to us, and I think to me in particular – when I asked him for a brown-eyed, blue merle girl, I never imagined I would really get one someday – and one so perfect, at that. You were my dream come true, and I will miss you forever.

I hope there are many squirrels up there for you to chase.

Love from your “pack”,

— Sheila, Amanda, Mom, Dad, and Sophie.

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DAKOTA

Yesterday May 11. 2007 we lost our favorite Big Dog Dakota to Osteosarcoma of the jaw. Dakota was diagnosed in August and we were told by many vets that chemo would maybe buy him a few months. We immedietly started Dakota on all kinds of herbs and vitamins and healthy meals like veggie stew and salmon – which he could never get enough of. We did do chemo for a few months but were told it could start messing up his heart if we kept going – so we stopped chemo and focused on holisitc medicine. Dakota was such a warrior – even with all the bleeding – which he had plenty of – his spirit stayed strong and kept up a fight to the end. I never met a dog like Dakota – he truly was one of a kind. Such a handsome guy with so much love in his heart and such a strong will to live. Over the last few weeks I saw him really slow down and the tumors growing in his mouth became so angry and I just felt so helpless – but the big dog still had his appetite until the end. Dakota had friends all over the world – he made such an impression on everybody he met – he will be truly missed.

— Amy

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O’REILLY

O’Reilly Overall was diagnosed in April 2007, with Lymphoma. She is currently at Stage V, with 95% involvement of bone marrow. We currently have O’Reilly under the 25 week University of Wisconsin-Madison treatment, augmented with vitamin therapy. The biggest concern is that there may not be enough bone marrow to recover. The week of April 25 was good, O’Reilly is energetic and happy. When we were given O’Reilly’s diagnosis, we were shocked. Though she is a pound pup, she has always been strong, happy and a great friend to family and friends (a couple of mail carriers may take exception to that statement). The family continues to pray for her comfort and happiness.

Best regards,

— Curtis B. Overall

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CASEY
October 5, 1996 — March 5, 2007

In memory of my Beloved Aussie Casey:

I lost my beloved friend Casey to a tumor in his stomach, it took only a month to lose him, before I knew it he was a very sick boy, I had no idea he was so sick until it was too late.

He started all of the sudden vomiting and not eating, I took him to the vet, the vet ran every test we could think of, every test came back normal. Then Casey started to eat again, not a lot, but he was eating, and keeping it down. He never stopped being the active Casey he was, even at 10 1/2 years old, he loved to play all the time. Then about a week before he died, he started vomiting again, the vet gave him stronger medicine to see if he would respond as well as he did the first time, this was on a Friday, I tried all weekend long to get him to eat.

He just became weaker and weaker, all he wanted to do was lay on my garage floor. It took everything he had to go out and feed my horses with me, that was his favorite thing to do, was feed the horses and watch the ducks, chase birds, and have fun. On Monday March 5th, I didnt even call the vet, I took him right down to the clinic, I gave Casey a hug, and the vet said he needs to do exploratory surgery on him. I got a call 3 hours later with terrible news, the vet found a tumor in his stomach, there was nothing he could do for him. After he sewed Casey up, Casey stopped breathing, his body had enough.

I lost my beloved friend that day, during this month-long process of him being sick, never did I ever think it was cancer. I tried everything to save my friend, he was everything to me. I am so thankful the morning before I took him to the vet, I got on the floor with him and told him whatever happens today, never forget how much I love him, I know he knew what I was saying, he nudged me with his nose. I am so thankful for that moment, because when I dropped him off at the clinic, I thought I was going to get to see him again, so I did not have that final goodbye, he died on the operating table.

Casey and I had a bond that was very special, he did everything with me, he waited for me after we fed my horses in the morning to get my cup of coffee, he followed me into my office and sat with me on the couch. The house is so lonely without him, I am in shock that my friend died of cancer, he was so healthy besides that tumor, life is not fair, he was taken from me too early. I am so sorry Casey that I could not save you, I tried so hard, it broke my heart to see you so sick, and there was nothing I could do for you to make you better. Casey and I had 10 1/2 wonderful year together, he took care of me and was always there for me with unconditional love, I will never forget my beloved friend. Rest in peace Casey boy, we will see each other again, I hope you are watching over me.

— Luv, your momma

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Y Z

UPDATE 8-12-07 — hello all. I found the group back in April, after my Australian Cattle Dog, Y Z, was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma following an emergency Spleenectomy. Pam was kind enough to return my e-mails, and offer gentle words of hope and camaraderie.

I have “lurked” about, reading oh-so-many posts . . . some enlightening, many heartbreaking, but I found safety and solace in the knowledge Y Z and I where not alone.

I decided to go the holistic route, with acupuncture. We had a beautiful 3 good months! Y Z and I even managed to join the local “Share-A-Pet” chapter. Unfortunately, we where never able to attend any hospital/nursing home visits, because Y Z had some crummy days in between the good days.

Then, the second week of July, we began to have problems again. He had a blood transfusion, and after 3 days, was feeling fine & frisky again. A follow-up ultrasound revealed that the cancer had metastasized to his liver, and he had a bleed into his abdomen at the time. The doctor predicted we had 2-4 weeks left to be together.

So it was forbidden days on the beach, lots of people food and cake and Baskin-Robbins! It was a time of no-more meds, new GOOD drugs (pain medications) and one more blood transfusion, just to &pep& him up due to his anemia. It was trips to the dog park and a (short) camping trip to the Everglades. (which we did frequently before he was sick).

August 9, 2007. The Florida morning dawned bright and lovely, and YZ had a nice day. A little lethargic, but we had gotten used to that. The new Zubrin seemed to be providing much better pain control than the Rimadyl and didn’t knock him out like the Torbutrol. He made sure that his arch-enemy, the vacuum, did not damage any of our property or harm me that morning as I cleaned the house. He swam in the lake, and layed in the glorious morning sunshine. He even had enough pep to herd the resident ducks in the yard.

That evening, my boyfriend and I watched the movie “300″. It was midnight, and he got up to walk the dogs one last time before bed. Y Z had been sleeping in his orthopedic doggie bed by the television. The next thing I know, Jan is screaming for me from outside the house. Y Z had collapsed! I scooped him up and rushed him inside, where I proceeded to make him comfy.

He was in severe respiratory distress, and I knew that that night was the night my best friend, my working companion, my fuzzy-bucket, my sun, my greatest friend was going to leave me. I made him comfortable upstairs, gave him the Morphine my vet (and best friend) had given me to give him at this exact time, and slept with him on the floor of our bedroom.

At 5 a.m., everything happened so quickly! Y Z began to pant, and I saw fear in his eyes. I knew it was time. We rushed him to the emergency clinic by my house, but he was unresponsive by the time we got there. He was still breathing . . . but the wonderful soul within him was gone. I had a rather unpleasent experience at the clinic which I will refrain from reliving here. Let’s just say I missed his last breath because the vet (who did not know me) would not listen to me. (remember,I have been working in the animal care field in this town for 11 years, and delivery blood products to ALL the hospitals in the tri-county area).

After we left the clinic, my boyfriend and I where in shock. I was at peace, knowing that Y Z’s battle was over. Jan, on the other hand, was besides himself with grief. He never had a pet before he met me, and this was the first animal he had ever lost. He openly admitted he denied everything when I told him the severity of the situation Y Z was in the first day his diagnosis was made.

We sat outside, in lawn chairs, on our lake, and watched the sun rise below a sharp, crescent moon. It was a translucent sunrise, and it helped give me much closure. For I had believed in my heart of hearts that Y Z would pass before tonight’s meteor shower, that he would simply just ride thru the stars and leave the bindings of his doggie body.

Now my life has taken on a different pace. It truly feels as if I had a whole punched into my body, and it is now vacant. I have been in a lost state of mind these past 2 days, but I was prepared. As a vet tech, I have aided thousands of animals, and their families, in difficult times. I know all the ins and outs of grief. But it doesn’t make this time any easier. If anything, I feel worse, because I can analyse myself!

I wanted to thank each and every one of you for sharing your stories, and allowing others to share your grief and smiles. Every dog is special, and each is an individual. My greatest sorrow lies not in the selfish fact my dog is not by my side . . . but it lies in the fact I will never know that personality again.

Thank you all again. My thoughts are with each and everyone of you. You are all the most wonderful of people. It is a shame I have “met” you through such distressing circumstances. All of you are wonderful people that I would delight in meeting in real life.

— Roxanne (and Y Z)

My dog Y Z, and his battle with hemangiosarcoma:

We are allotted only a handful of true soul mates in our lifetime. Y Z is mine. He is still alive, and recovering well from his emergency spleenectomy on Sunday, April 1. It was no joke! I’m a veterinary technician, and his veterinarian, Dr. Sharon Glass, has not only been my employer, but my greatest friend as well.

After a two month roller-coaster ride, with many radiographs, 3 ultrasounds, and 4 nights of hospitalization (at Dr. Glass’ clinic and the local E.R. for Pets), all we knew was that Y Z had free fluid in his abdomen.

He sailed through surgery like a champ, and now he’s feeling 100% better! If he had it his way, he’d be herding the ducks on our lake and playing ball; but the doc made it quite clear that he is not to be active for 2 weeks.

Just found out today the results of the pathology — hemangiosarcoma.

I am not going to pursue chemotherapy; rather, we are going to go the Holistic route. We have an appointment for Therapy Dog certification next week, which was arranged prior to his illness. Doc says he’s fine to go! Maybe we’ll go to cancer wards and retirement homes and give people hope and a smile!

Y Z is 10 years old. He’s my soul-mate, and we are going to enjoy every day as fully as we can!

— Roxanne

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KASHA & TAZ KASHA
March 2, 1994 — August 15, 2005 TAZ passed on June 15, 2007

My Rottweiler Kasha
Osteosarcoma of the Jaw

My female Rottweiler, Kasha, was born March 2, 1994. During her life, Kasha had to deal with a couple orthopedic issues. At two years of age, Kasha had TPLO of her left knee and then much later at nine years of age, a standard ruptured cruciate ligament repair of her right knee, with significant arthritis in her joints and spine, even though you’d never know it. She was on Rimadyl in her last two years and Soloxine for low thyroid in her last year.

At just over 11 years old, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of her jaw on June 15, 2005. Despite several courses of antibiotics for secondary infection in her jaw as well as a chronic bladder infection, the gangrene in her jaw progressed, as did the tumor’s size. The smell of what was essentially rotting flesh was at times, overwhelming. Within days after her diagnosis the tumor began to ooze blood, and for several more weeks, the bloody drool was constant. I would wipe her muzzle each time she ate or drank (or got to smelling something outside that made her mouth water), and clean her face each time she ate, and every day the floors and doggie water bed where she had been laying.

I fed her kibble that had been softened in water, broth and Body Balance, eventually adding canned Pedigree Select Cuts. She stumbled a couple of times in July, and both times came down on her chin, causing profuse bleeding from her mouth, presumably from biting down on the tumor when she fell. By the beginning of August she was eating reluctantly at times, but at least eating. However by August 12, 2005, I had to spoon feed her because she couldn’t eat out of her bowl and even then she wouldn’t eat a whole meal. I had made the decision on August 5th to have her euthanized in my home, and eventually scheduled the appointment for August 15, 2005.

In the final couple of weeks of her life, her eyes, so full of intelligence and love in years past, began to show her fatigue and pain. In a matter of mere days, the cancer moved into her upper left jaw, cheek and eye socket, making her face look sunken and drawn on one side. I tried to get my vet to my home sooner than the 15th but it was not possible.

With the Secret Garden CD “Once in a Red Moon” playing, sage and pinon burning, shades drawn and candles lighting my living room, the vet administered a sedative. It took bare moments for Kasha to lay down on the pallet of towels and a sheet I had put on the floor for her, and I laid down beside her, snuggled up to her back, spooning with my arm around her. After several minutes of stroking her soft fur, crying my eyes out but speaking quietly and lovingly to her, the vet injected the final solution in a hind leg. It normally takes a few minutes from there as opposed to a front leg vein, but before the injection was even finished, Kasha had left us. She had been so very, very tired; very ready to go, and showed it by how quickly her spirit abandoned her ailing body.

On April 12, 2007, Taz was diagnosed with non-regenerating anemia, most likely caused by hemangiosarcoma. He has a walnut-sized tumor on his spleen, and black, tarry stools, indicating blood loss through his intestines. He is easily tired and his appetite is spotty, with bouts of vomiting every couple of weeks. The vet has given him up to several months, if he doesn’t crash from the anemia or a metastasis. Due to his age and anemia, he is not a good candidate for aggressive treatment, but we have put him on prednisone, sucralfate and PetTabs vitamins to attempt some symptomatic relief and reduce his bleeds.

I have been blessed with two great dogs in my life who both have lived long, happy lives. If Taz needs help leaving his failing body, I’ll be there. In the meantime, he gets all the red meat he wants, room on my bed and lots of love.

— Rachelle Whitley
Durango, CO

Update 6-16-2007 — Taz went down hill very quickly after his diagnosis on April 12, 2007, of hemangiosarcoma. It became very clearly in the last 3 weeks that he was becoming more limited in activity and just trudging through his days. I made the decision a couple of weeks ago to have him put to sleep yesterday (June 15, 2007), exactly 2 months shy of 2 years from his “big sister’s” death on August 15, 2005. With Kasha, the decision was so easy to make, but with Taz, not so much. Still, I knew he was just not enjoying life anymore, and the most basic of activities, from eating to elimination, were a struggle. He was very weak, didn’t want to go up or down the 3 steps to get outside, and often just plunked right down on the ground instead of getting out there and pottying. I took him to the vet yesterday – Becky James at Aspentree Vet Clinic – who has cared for both my dogs for several years. She is absolutely the kindest, gentlest of people and was right there with me, giving Taz his last hugs, kisses and belly scratches. After examining him, she told me that his spleen had enlarged significantly since her April exam and that the splenic tumor was at least 3 times the size it had been and completely palpable on his spleen. Though I still had a little voice wondering if I was making the right decision, she and I agreed it was time to help him pass. The future potential was for a major hemorrhage to occur at a time when I was not around and he would end up having a painful, possibly extended, and lonely passing, and that it could be weeks more of further degeneration of his condition. As Becky hovered with that damned needle of pink fluid, I only thought about it another moment and nodded. Taz had already been sedated at that point, so it was just a matter of feeling his chest stop moving. Just as with Kasha, I laid on the floor beside him, spooning around his back with my face buried in his neck. Once he was gone, I grabbed another tissue and wiped my tears from his fur. His ashes will join Kasha’s in an urn I bought for the both of them. I don’t know if I’ll get another dog any time soon. Kasha and Taz were my first, and they may have been my last.

— Rachelle

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JEWEL

For Kathy, Ellie, & Marla — In memory of Jewel.

— Shannon

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BUCK
November 1998 — March 26, 2007

Buck was diagnosed with a nondifferentiated carcinoma in his mouth on 11/1/2004. He was treated with radiation for the tumor and it quickly vanished. However, 4 months later, a new tumor surfaced. That too was defeated, this time through surgery. New tumors kept appearing about 90 days after the last one was defeated. In March of last year, a particularly stubborn tumor appeared on the outside of his gum that did not respond to radiation. We were able to manage its growth for quite some time with chemo. But the tumor eventually spread across the roof of his mouth and began to interfere with his eating, drinking and breathing. I had to send him to the Rainbow Bridge today, March 26, 2007, 876 days after his first diagnosis. Throughout the whole ordeal, he kept his spirit and playfulness. His tail kept wagging, and his eyes always shone brightly, until catracts, the result of radiation treatment near his eyes, dimmed his sight in June of last year. Buck adjusted well to having limited vision, and I learned how to guide him along so he did not need to be on a leash during our walks so he could maintain his sense of pride and independence. He developed diabetes on New Years Day of this year as his organs began to slowly fail. He and I were able to manage his diabetes pretty well after we got used to it. But he began losing weight in large chunks, sometime 3 lbs a week, until he had lost 25 lbs overall. He was able to lose some of the weight without a problem, as I fed him well during his battle. On March 22, he slipped on some ice and injured his left hind leg, and that seemed to be the last straw for him. He was not the same after that, and the tumor in his mouth grew quickly over the next couple days. It seemed as though he had lost his will to fight the cancer, and the cancer took advantage of this weakness. Buck taught me the true meaning of courage, as he refused to ever show how poorly he must have felt after his treatments. Buck just turned 8 in November, and was a fighter right up until his last day. The fight ran out of him last night and he let me know he was ready. He had an incredible will to live and an indomitable spirit. He touched many lives in his time, and will be missed by many, many people. He will forever be in my heart, and never out of my thoughts.

— Frank

“No matter how deep my sleep, I shall hear you and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail.”
— Eugene O’Neill

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ZEUS
December 1996 — March 2007

On February 5, 2007 we brought our beloved 10 year old German Shepherd, Zeus, to the doctor convinced he was suffering from an upset stomach. During an ultrasound, a very large mass was found on his spleen. We were given the grim diagnoses of Hemangiosarcoma. We were told we could operate on him or put him “to sleep” .

We chose to have his spleen removed. During the surgery more cancer was found on his abdominal wall, his liver, his lungs, his heart and his prostate. We got a phone call from the operating room asking if we wanted to continue – since he wasn’t being given much of a chance. We continued. I wanted to get my dog home, I didn’t want the last faces he remembered seeing being that of the operating room staff. He stayed in the hospital for 5 days. This hospital was three hours away from our home but I drove back and forth every single day, so I could sit and visit with my baby everyday. When we got him home – you could tell how happy he was. We spoiled him, relished in his love, and poured love onto him every single day. We tried chemotherapy, I gave him natural herbs, I tried anything to prolong his time with us.

During his whole life, my dog protected me with such fearless devotion. He loved me with every ounce of his soul. He followed me every step that I took. He stayed by me while I was sick, he appreciated every bit of attention I gave to him. He was overjoyed to see me when I returned from being out. He went with me to work, he swam with the kids in the lake, went camping with us, knew the right “look” to give to receive a treat. He knew when you needed him to place his head on your lap when you were upset. When he saw you take his leash out he would become so overjoyed, that it almost became impossible to put it on him. He watched over us, “his” family, with such a soulful, protective, loving eye. We were the joy of his life, and he in ours.

On March 26, 2007, after a month and a half battle with Hemangiosarcoma, I lost my beloved angel. I buried a piece of my heart with him that will remain broken forever.

And as my tears continue to flow, I know in my soul, I am a better person, I am more enriched . . . simply because I had the love of my Zeus. As long a period of time he was in my life, I will still always wish for just one more day.

I know you are waiting for me Zeus, and I will be there with you one day – I will eagerly open my arms as you race towards me . . . until then, I will hold you in my heart.

Goodnight, my love.

— Melissa

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BREEZE

Breeze is a 5 year old Irish Wolfhound who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma Dec. 29, 2006. She had her left front leg amputated January 3, 2007. She is doing wonderful. She’s a happy girl who is almost through her chemotherapy. She runs around the house, goes up and down the stairs with ease.

She is a fighter!! and my love

— andie

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