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Kahlua added to Sponsored Dogs

April 29th, 2012 · 3 Comments



Kahlua is a 10 year old Labrador mix diagnosed with Anal Sac Apocrine Gland Adenocarcinoma.

Almost 10 years ago a co-worker asked me to help her find a home for a little puppy living on the street in her niece’s neighborhood. Her niece would leave food out for the neighborhood dogs, and only this puppy would come over to eat. This lovely 12 year old girl decided to ask her neighbor (who owned the dog) if she could find a home for the puppy. This was summertime in Arizona in 110 degree heat and the puppy was sleeping outside, under a truck. The original owner said she could find a new home for the puppy. I thought I had the perfect candidate and told her I was happy to help.

I met up with my co-worker and her niece to pick up the puppy. Unfortunately the family I had in mind informed me they wanted a dog with all of its shots and papers. So there we were. I pretty much fell in love with her instantly anyway, so I took her in as my own and named her Kahlua – my second job was in a bar and everyone had dogs named after liquor, i.e. Bailey, Stoli, Jameson… I promised Kahlua from that day on that I would always do whatever I could for her.

Kahlua was malnourished and had tapeworms when I brought her in to the vet to begin her shots and paperwork. She recovered well and quickly and has been healthy ever since.

Kahlua came to me after a very difficult time in my life. A few years prior, a boyfriend died in a car accident, leaving me numb and alone. All I did was work. I wouldn’t or couldn’t let anyone get close to me. As a flight attendant, traveling kept me busy and lonely. When Kahlua came into my life she changed me. There is nothing like a creature who just wants to be with you. She was so skittish at first, but after doing some reading, I learned to hold her against my heart. If she could feel my calmness, then she would be calm. 10 years later, we still sit like that, when I come home from a trip. She is like a child to me and at the same time, she has been an incredible friend, like no other. I consider her a soul mate. These last 10 years have been filled with fun and laughter. She is the silliest, most loyal, sweet, love bug ever. Still running faster than me on our walks and fooling everyone about her age. To look at her, no one knows she is 10 years old and I thought I still had many more years ahead with her. We have enjoyed many road trips together, throughout Arizona and California. She loves car rides! We enjoy bringing her to restaurants with patios that allow pets, and she is just a huge part of my family.

When I got her diagnosis of anal sac adeno-carcinoma I was devastated. It was an incidental, shocking find at the vet’s office when I brought her in for a visit. There were no signs of her being sick. This diagnosis came only weeks after my own father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. I am overwhelmed to say the least. My father asked me to stay home in Arizona with Kahlua while he undergoes his own radiation (he is in NY, where my amazing mom and his doctors at Sloan Kettering Memorial are taking good care of him). While there is little I can do to help my father right now, I have to do all I can for Kahlua. Since Kahlua’s diagnosis, she has had surgery to remove the tumor, (which her speedy recovery from has everyone hopeful) has all ready completed 2 weeks of radiation and will move forward with 2 more weeks, and shows no signs of slowing down. She, I guess, doesn’t know she’s sick. Following radiation, will be chemotherapy. I am doing everything I can for her, like I promised.

Many people ask if it’s worth the cost, and I can’t think of doing anything less. She is the love of my life. Where someone looks at her and sees a dog, I see her soul.

When seeking advice, a good friend whose own dog died of cancer, told me she didn’t know if she would do it again. I told her she could say that now, because she did all she could. If she hadn’t, she’d wonder for the rest of her life, what she should’ve done differently. I’ve been so blessed with Kahlua, and wonderful friends offering many prayers of support for both me and her. I am grateful for any prayers said for her recovery, as well as my father’s. Thank you for your support.


— Melissa

The CCA Board of Directors has allocated $500 to help pay the costs of Kahlua’s treatments. Please help Kahlua receive the treatment that she needs. Any sponsor donations made on behalf of Kahlua will be used to pay unpaid invoices and the checks will be sent directly to Kahlua’s vet.

To help sponsor treatment, you can click on the PayPal donate button below or send a check to:

Canine Cancer Awareness, Inc.
44 Devoe Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211


Tags: Anal Sac Adenocarcinoma

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jamie // Jun 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    So sorry to hear about Kahlua’s diagnosis. My 11 yr. black Labrador Retriever, Cabo, was diagnosed with ACAS in July 2010 when he was 9. He had surgery, radiation and chemo. He’s doing well and continues to go in for 3 month re-checks. Just wanted to give you some hope. When Cabo was diagnosed I couldn’t locate any positive info. I will say a prayer for you, Kahlua and your father!

  • 2 Janet // Jul 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I was just about to leave this website when I saw the headline of this story-and had to read it. I just received a call from my vet today stating that the lump he found at last week’s routine exam appears to be adenocarcinoma….I left work early, and here I am researching the h*** out of this and seeing what we are going to do. I will find out more in the coming days, as my vet still has to discuss his case with the oncologist. I don’t know what stage we are at with this, or what they are going to suggest to me, but I will do anything to fight for this dog.

    I adopted Duke in August of 2009. After going through a rough patch in my life, I saw Duke online and just had to have him. He had recently lost one of his legs after being hit by a car, had completed rehab, and was ready for a new Mom:-). Coincidentally, I was also a flight attendant at that time, and Duke has always provided me so much love, happiness, laughter, companionship. He is the most gentle, sweet boy I have ever known. I have no idea how old he really is (anywhere from4-8 at the time I got him), but I’ve now had him for just about 3 years.

    I took today’s phone call quite hard, but now I am just trying to remain hopeful that we are at a stage where we can pursue aggressive treatment without causing too much pain or discomfort, and extending his life as long as possible (why can’t dog’s just live forever???). I have insurance (thankfully), but it doesn’t cover everything, and I do not have a job or income at this point. After reading pretty much everything that is negative about this type of cancer, it is good to see some stories that are positive, and give me some hope. I will go into the next few days and months with positivity, hope, and strength for my sweet boy. Thank you for posting. Good luck to you and Kahlua (and you as well, Jamie & Cabo!)

  • 3 fred // Jun 8, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    I have a eight year old GS female dog ,that was
    diagnosed with anal sac cancer and given eight weeks to live . That was eight weeks ago .As of today it still does not have any of the symptoms that the vet told us to look for .Has anyone ever had this same problem. Could this be something else ,or just very slow growing cancer .Would appreciate any help. thanking you in advance

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