Koda is a 6 year old Shepherd/Rottweiler mix diagnosed with Multicentric Lymphoma.
Koda was abandoned at eight weeks in a desert in NM full of ticks, flees and anything else that would attach itself to her. I rescued her and brought her home as she laid on the floor on the passenger’s side of my SUV underneath the air conditioner; lying on her back, tongue hanging out on a hot August day in 2005. We have become the best of friends ever since. Koda is my first dog since my children all left home – all five of them! I was attached immediately and we hit the trail at 12 weeks. I carried her for the most part on her first hike….she never has liked the sun; our first thing in common!
Koda loved tearing up the trim around my yard but other than that, she was awesome; graduating from puppy school with honors. Everyone fell in love with her. One day I came home from work to find her hidden under the work bench in the garage and her temperament had totally changed. Something had happened but I had no idea what. Suddenly, she was afraid of everything but I didn’t know why until a neighbor informed me teenagers on their bikes came into my yard and threw rocks at her more than once while she was in her dog run. The police finally caught them in the act but the damage was done. Koda was only seven months old and now had become scared to death of men. We became even closer as she looked to me for protection. I take her everywhere with me but try to keep her away from environments that are too stressful.
The week Koda turned six, she was diagnosed with lymphoma; I was devastated. Thankfully, my veterinarian could think straight and contacted Colorado State University Veterinarian Teaching Hospital immediately to see if Koda would be eligible for any clinical trials. CSU contacted me and said she would be if she satisfied the criteria. We made an appointment the next week. This disease, unfortunately progressed rapidly in Koda and she didn’t make it to the appt. I ended up in critical care with her the weekend before when she stopped eating and drinking. CSU was awesome as they tried all weekend to squeeze her into an already overbooked schedule on the following Monday for surgery and chemo. Koda had to be admitted immediately which disqualified her for the clinical trial. She had become too sick.
I had to leave my position with the university of eleven years and had no idea what I was going to do. I immediately began to search the Internet for any help for Koda. She had her surgery and her chemo but became very ill. Her tumors were so large, the breakdown of them made her very sick on top of the fact that she fell into the 5% of dogs that did not handle the chemo well. I took her home only to bring her back after an exhausting couple of days with her. She was admitted the rest of the week. The veterinarian realized she was very sensitive to the drugs, but the good part was she went into remission immediately. She came out of that treatment acting like a two year old just as always and amazed everyone. She fought her way back and refused to give up. She also became less frightened. She was so sick, she had no choice but to let others take care of her and I think she realized there are some good people on this earth! Her fear has calmed down a bit. She even allowed a male nurse to take care of her!
Her lymphoma came back about a month ago and I contacted the Canine Cancer Awareness Organization praying they would help Koda. She had one chemo treatment only to once again find out she was too sensitive to the drug so it had to be cut down, but once again, she went into remission after the first treatment. She responds so well to the chemotherapy it’s unbelievable. She is such a fighter she has the whole hospital loving on her. They are amazing and I am so grateful to have them in my back yard! Koda hides under the seats while we wait for the Dr., thinking they won’t find her, but they always do. She wags her tail because she’s excited to see them and then quickly dives back under the chair. The people in the lobby get quite a kick out of her. She is so happy to know she gets to come home she practically drags her vet back to the lobby when she is done with her treatment.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am for helping Koda. She is so full of life yet and that is what’s important to me. She plays more than the dogs her own age that aren’t sick! We’ve had a tough year, but our life together is not over. I told Koda’s vet she will live for another 10 years she has so much life in her. I don’t think we can get any closer. I rescued her and she rescued me.
Thank you so much.
— Dee Ann and Koda
The CCA Board of Directors has allocated $1000 to help pay the costs of Koda’s treatments. Please help Koda receive the treatment that she needs. Any sponsor donations made on behalf of Koda will be used to pay unpaid invoices and the checks will be sent directly to Koda’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
DONATIONS FOR KODA: