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Make a Donation – Get Randy Barr’s New CD

April 23rd, 2012 · No Comments

Get Randy Barr’s New CD for a $10 Donation to Canine Cancer Awareness

Randy Barr

Randy Barr has generously agreed to donate proceeds from his new CD to benefit CCA!

Here’s a note from Randy:

I am so happy and proud to announce that my new CD 11:11 will be available for free with a $10 donation to Canine Cancer Awareness!

This is very awesome :) I have announced my new CD on Facebook and my website, and I know people will love to donate to a great cause, my music being secondary, but they know how much it means to me to help out!

Donate $10 to CCA by clicking on the PayPal button below.

More from Randy:

Here is my site:

and a full album preview clip from my youtube channel:

You can preview the album on itunes:

Spread the word and let’s help some friends beat Cancer!

:) Thanks and Peace, Randy

Thank you so much Randy, your generosity is amazing!

→ No CommentsTags: Charity · Donation

Aki added to Sponsored Dogs

April 9th, 2012 · 2 Comments



Aki is a 4 year old Akita mix diagnosed with Stage IIIa Lymphosarcoma.

Aki’s story is one of triumph over tragedy.

After losing my father to Alzheimer’s several years back, I felt a void in my life. Being single and on my own, I was searching for something to fill that void.

One day shortly after my father’s passing, while I was out in the front yard, a young women strolled by my house with a beautiful brown puppy. She explained that she was a foster mother to rescued animals. She said that “Aki” (an Akita/Lab mix) was rescued from a shelter just days from being put down. She also told me that he had been hit by a car and that he had sustained a broken front leg but that it had healed and she was looking to place him with someone that could give him the TLC he deserved.

The foster mother asked me if I would like to “try Aki out” for a few days to see if I would be interested in adopting him. Since that day in 2007, we have been together constantly. We have brought amazing amounts of joy to each other. We run, swim, drive, camp and just plain pal around together. In short, Aki is truly my best friend.

About a month ago while I was wrestling with Aki, I noticed two asymmetrical lumps in his neck area. At only 4-years old, I figured it was a simple infection. I took him to the vet to see what kind of infection he had. That’s when I was told the devastating news that Aki had Lymphoma Cancer. I broke down in my vet’s office, disbelieving what I had just been told.

I immediately went to work on keeping Aki alive. I scoured the internet and spoke to countless professionals and friends in seeking help for Aki. I found a great oncologist here in San Diego, applied and received a Care Credit and immediately put him on the Madison Protocol chemotherapy.

I am ecstatic to report that after one-month, Aki is in full remission of his cancer! However, Aki still needs to complete all of his chemotherapy sessions for another few months and my Care Credit is almost up. That’s when I turned to CCA for help.

Because of CCA’s incredible donation toward Aki’s care, I can now continue his chemotherapy protocol and keep him alive! I cannot thank CCA and their incredible benefactors enough. You have made two souls here in San Diego forever grateful.

— Lance & Aki

The CCA Board of Directors has allocated $1000 to help pay the costs of Aki’s treatments. Please help Aki receive the treatment that he needs. Any sponsor donations made on behalf of Aki will be used to pay unpaid invoices and the checks will be sent directly to Aki’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


→ 2 CommentsTags: Lymphoma

Thank you Geralyn!

March 30th, 2012 · No Comments

Thank you Geralyn Colloton for becoming CCA’s most recent Associate Member.

It is the subscriptions of Associate Members that allows this 100% volunteer non-profit organization to continue the fight against canine cancer.

Your committed support means so much to the dogs and their families who would otherwise not be able to afford treatment.


Membership may be granted to any individual (over age 18) or corporation that supports the mission and purposes of this organization, and who pays minimum annual membership dues of $20.00. Although Associate Members have no voting rights, they play an integral role in the organization through their support. Choosing to become an Associate Member is truly a sign of your commitment to this cause and to our mission.

Please click the subscribe button below to become a CCA Associate Member.

Visit the About Page to see CCA’s Associate Membership.

→ No CommentsTags: Associate Member

Koda added to Sponsored Dogs

March 28th, 2012 · No Comments



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


→ No CommentsTags: Lymphoma

Randy Barr to donate personalized dog songs!

March 26th, 2012 · 10 Comments

Randy Barr

Randy Barr

Randy Barr has generously agreed to donate personalized songs to benefit CCA! Here’s a note from Randy:

Hi guys :) After talking with many friends about the donation process we’ve decided to do digital recordings of your personalized song for a donation of only $10 to the
I will be going in the studio for some recordings so if you would like your own song for your dog please drop me a line :)
Also please specify if it’s a boy or girl dog too :)
Spread the word and let’s help some friends beat Cancer!

Donate $10 to CCA by clicking on the PayPal button below. Be sure to specify the name and gender of your dog. Thank you!
And Thank you Randy!

Please visit Randy’s site too:

→ 10 CommentsTags: Charity · Donation

Charlie added to Sponsored Dogs

March 7th, 2012 · 1 Comment



Charlie is an 8 year old Aussie/Rottweiler mix diagnosed with Bronchoalveolar Carcinoma grade III.

This is Charlie. He is my heart and soul! So full of life I couldn’t believe it when they told me he had a month maybe two to live. Charlie has Adenocarcinoma a very serious and fast moving cancer. I learned the news just before Christmas. I lost my job in September and spent all of my savings for surgery to remove the lung where a tumor was located, hoping it would be benign. No such luck. Faced with more than $3,000 for chemotherapy and additional medication and blood work, I am hoping that some kind soul might see this sweet face and feel generous enough to help in some way.

Charlie used to come to work with me at a store I managed and performed tricks and charmed even the toughest customers. He graciously welcomes all people and other animals and hasn’t an enemy in the world. He has been with me through thick and thin. I would do anything for this sweet little guy who has been the best friend a person could have.

He is only 8 years old and looks and acts absolutely perfect, aside from a bad haircut from the surgery. He has had two chemo treatments and has shown no signs of any side effects. His wonderful doctor says that he could potentially have years of quality life with this protocol and I know he’s not ready to leave this world yet and I can’t bear to lose him. We would greatly appreciate any help we can get.


—Jill and Charlie

The CCA Board of Directors has allocated $1000 to help pay the costs of Charlie’s treatments. Please help Charlie receive the treatment that he needs. Any sponsor donations made on behalf of Charlie will be used to pay unpaid invoices and the checks will be sent directly to Charlie’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


→ 1 CommentTags: Bronchoalveolar Carcinoma

Brownie added to Faces of Courage

February 14th, 2012 · 5 Comments



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.

The weather grew colder, and we started to worry even more about Brownie. On our anniversary, instead of buying each other gifts we bought him a doghouse. During a rare Tennessee snowstorm I received a frantic call from my wife Lindsay saying the police and dogcatcher were going to take Brownie. I rushed home in time to stop them, and we officially adopted Brownie.

We took Brownie to visit family in Pennsylvania, and had him checked out by Dr. Takacs in Ebensburg. We found out that Brownie had quite a traumatic life. He had a bad leg from being hit by a car, and x-rays showed that he had been shot at least twice. We had a hard time grasping why such an amazing soul had been so mistreated by people. After hearing his story the vet looked at Brownie and told him he was a lucky boy. After spending time with him the vet retracted his statement and said we were the lucky ones to have such a wonderful dog. Everyone had this reaction to Brownie, and his soulful brown eyes and his teddy bear face.

This once independent dog soon became the prince of our house. He loved sitting on the couch, and would stare at you and thump his tail until you’d pet him. His tail would thump so hard you could hear it across the house. He loved music and would thump his tail to the beat of songs on the stereo. He loved to hear us sing, especially if you’d sing his name in the songs. He loved to have his belly rubbed, and would get your attention by pawing at you. He loved his cuddle time with his mommy. But his true signature move was his thumping tail. I can still hear it.

He was a fantastic older brother to our sheltie Ginny. He would still thump his tail even if she was barking in his face or cleaning his tiny ears. They would sleep in the back of the car with their heads resting on each other during long trips to Grammy Jan’s house in Pennsylvania. They would both greet visitors as if Paul McCartney had just walked through the door. She has been lost without him.
We lost Brownie to cancer on June 20, 2011. He had been abandoned in his life, but he left this world surrounded by love. Not just our love for him, but the love that radiated from his beautiful spirit. His loss has been felt by everyone that knew him.

There were times I’d cry when I’d think about everything that he had been through, now I realize it all lead him to us. He filled our lives with love and laughter. He lived every day showing his appreciation for us. But it is us that are grateful. We are grateful that he chose us. Every day he gave us was a blessing and so was every smile and tail thump.

We miss you dearly Mr. Brownie. Four years was not enough time, but you gave us a lifetime of love. Our hearts are aching without you here, but at the same time they are filled with your spirit and love. We know you are waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge and we are comforted by the fact that we will be with you again.

We love you sweet boy.

Love always,
Mom, Dad, and Ginny.

→ 5 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Jake added to Sponsored Dogs

January 24th, 2012 · 3 Comments



UPDATE 6-30-2011—

On April 25th 2011 (my birthday), Jake was diagnosed with bone cancer in his tibia. Previously he had been being treated for hip dysplasia with laser therapy. On Saturday the 23rd I noticed he was really limping and thought it was his hips. He goes to daycare at the vet hosp so I asked them to check him out. Call back, bone cancer, advanced. No cancer in lungs but recommended amputation or it would fracture within days and I would have to put him down. Had the surgery 2 days later. The vet hospital was nice enough to keep Jake a little longer than normal since it would have been difficult for me to take care of him and my 4 ½ year old until he was in a little better shape. On the day I went to bring him home he was so excited, even in his state, that it broke my heart that he could still be so happy! He tried to run to the car and the nurse didn’t have a good hold of his sling and he managed to get out of the sling and dragged his remaining back foot across the concrete tearing the paw pads clear off his foot. Since this was the only remaining foot he had in the back, back to the hospital he went because he was unable to put any weight on it, therefore was unable to walk even with my help. He had to wear a boot for a month. More problems to come. Incision kept coming open, had to be re-sutured 8 times! On 6/29 he finally got his stitches and stents removed for the incision has closed. He now has to learn to walk on 3 legs. He is 2 months behind but I know he can do it!! The Cone of Shame and his sling days are soon to end. I feel so bad for him but he is still so happy! I think the trauma is mine not his! He has had two rounds of chemo and I have him on a list of holistic remedies. His first round of blood work came back excellent. I am hoping for a miracle. If I have a year I will be happy (ish). Jakey is such an important part of my life and my 4 1/2 year olds. I can’t imagine life without him. I can’t say thank you enough to the folks at the Canine Cancer Awareness group and all of the other support groups I have found for dogs with cancer and “TriPawds.” It helps to talk.


— Kelly

The CCA Board of Directors has allocated $1000 to help pay the costs of Jake’s treatments.

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.

Just thought I would give you an update and wonder if you could put his picture that was on the sponsor page on the faces of courage page. Thanks for all of your support over the past 9 months

— Kelly

→ 3 CommentsTags: Osteosarcoma · Sponsored Dogs

Sadie added to Sponsored Dogs

January 22nd, 2012 · No Comments



UPDATE 1-22-2012—

Well, where do I begin? I always made sure Sadie, my Great Dane, had her yearly inoculations and regular exams from her vet. If anything suspicious came up, it was another visit to the vets. She is ten years old and the only thing wrong with her is she has slight hip dysplasia. One week before Thanksgiving of 2011 my Sadie girl went to sit on the sofa as she usually does. She slid to the floor with such a resigned expression of "oh well I might just as well stay here" She finally made it to her destination. The next evening I noticed her back right leg, just below her hock, was slightly swollen. I assumed she must have sprained a muscle even though she never cried out or whimpered the night before. She has always been very stoic. I applied the usual ice & heat treatment thinking this would be the answer. Some swelling did go down but I noticed the remaining was hard. I was puzzled. After not having any more success it was time to have a visit to her vets.

Two weeks before Christmas, after our vet visit, the vet said it could be a couple of different things . One was a cancer, the second an infection from valley fever. We live in Arizona so this was not out of the ordinary. Sadie was taken to get her blood work done and some x-rays were taken. We came back in two hours to pick her up and get the test results. We were taken in the back to have a look at the x-rays. Our vet showed us where Sadie’s injury was and explained that an osteosarcoma (bone cancer) did not spread to the next joint. Then she showed us the three lesions in her lungs. The cancer had already metastasized. I felt like I had been hit. I just started sobbing. No, not my precious baby girl, it can’t be. Not cancer. At this same time I was confined to a wheelchair because of a back injury. If only I had been more diligent I thought I would have noticed. (Big time guilt going on here). We went back into the exam room and I had to control the tears. The vet, Erika, explained in more detail the results of the tests. Sadie’s prognosis was not good. She has three to four months left to live, maybe a little more. We had two options. The first was to put Sadie on pain medication to control her pain. The second was to remove her appendage to lessen her pain. Chemo was mentioned as well. Pain medication was to be given in increments as necessary to control her discomfort. We, (her daddy and I ) decided to opt for pain medication and leave her leg attached. We could not afford the surgery so we didn’t have much choice. Chemo was totally out of the question. One reason is we cannot financially afford it. The second reason was why prolong Sadie’s life for only a couple of months (which would make her sick from the treatments) to deter our misery. We love our baby girl too much to see her suffer needlessly for our selfish needs.

As the weeks progressed so did Sadie’s growth. It grew to thirteen and one half inches around. You could see the pain in her lovely brown eyes even on the pain medication now. There was no other alternative, she needed the operation. The tears start to fall again as I tell you this. There is no greater unconditional love than that of our pets. They do not see our faults.

Thanks to Canine Cancer Awareness Inc., Sadie was approved for her monetary contribution for her surgery to get her leg amputated. She had her surgery on January 21, 2012. Everything went fine. We went to visit her when she was out of recovery. We brought her home the next day. Every time I look at that ugly scar on her leg, it is a reminder that that ugly disease invaded our lives. I cry and my lovely lady puts per paw on my hand to comfort me. She has always done this whenever I have gotten upset or was ill. How will I get along without her. She has been by my side since eleven weeks old. My constant companion. She loves to go for car rides and greets everyone like a long lost friend. Everyone who meets her falls in love with her. She is so loving. I will be stoic for her now. I will dry my tears and cherish every day we have left. Again thank you

— Lois and Adrien

The CCA Board of Directors has allocated $1000 to help pay the costs of Sadie’s treatments. Please help Sadie receive the treatment that she needs. Any sponsor donations made on behalf of Sadie will be used to pay unpaid invoices and the checks will be sent directly to Sadie’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


→ No CommentsTags: Osteosarcoma

Stella added to Sponsored Dogs

January 17th, 2012 · 1 Comment



UPDATE 1-17-2011—

I want to thank you again for the help that CCA provided with Stella’s bills this past year. Unfortunately, we lost Stella on Dec. 10th and miss her terribly, but were very thankful to have her for the extra time that we got.
— Devon

UPDATE 5-12-2011—

I know this is a long-winded recollection of a story of a girl and her dog, but bear with me. I don’t know how else to express what Canine Cancer Awareness means to me without starting from the top. Here goes (got the Kleenex box next to me and ready to go)…

I grew up in a household that ALWAYS had dogs, they were part of the family and were loved equally (and on some days, more) than the children. When I went away to college, it was hard to get used to opening my front door and NOT getting greeted by a happy pup violently wagging a tail that was sure to knock over everything not glued down to the end table. After graduation, I saved up and got my first apartment and started a business, but never quite got used to the empty house. Getting a dog was always in the back of my mind, but the pet deposits, vet bills and food costs kept me away from the pet adoptions for a couple of years because I didn’t want to get in over my head and not be able to properly care for my dog. Eventually, as my business grew, I decided I could almost afford an “apartment-sized” dog and went in search of a companion at local shelters.

One Saturday afternoon in March of 2005, I drove past a PetSmart adoption and decided to pull over and take a look. After peaking in crate after crate of LOUD dogs (not apartment material), I came to a shy, BEAUTIFUL St. Bernard/Great Pyranese mix named “Dutchess.” I was instantly drawn to her big, sad brown eyes, but my next thought was this dog is DEFINITELY not apartment material. She was a mere 80 lbs. at less than a year old, and had plenty of growing to do. I sat down to pet her anyways and she promptly put one paw on each of my shoulders and “hugged” me until we both tipped over onto the sidewalk, very reminiscent of a drunken take-down hug from the sorority sisters of my college days. That was it, I was in love. The adoption sponsors came over to see what was going on and I reluctantly explained that as much as I’d love to adopt her, she was too big for a single woman in an apartment. Much to my surprise they replied, “Are you kidding, this dog is a furry speed bump, and doesn’t need nearly the space of an active lab or golden, plus she’s full-grown” (which was a lie, both her parents were 150+ lbs. and despite being the runt, she’s grown to reach a fluffy 130 lbs. of love). That was all I needed to hear.

I called my mom, a forever dog lover, and the conversation went something like this:

Devon: “Would you think I was crazy if I adopted a St. Bernard mix?”

[Insert long period of dead silence on the other end of the phone].

Mom (eventually): “Mixed with WHAT?”

Devon: “Um, a Great Pyranese.”

[Long pause #2]

Mom: Ahahahahahahahahahah! Yes, I would think you were crazy.


So, knowing that my parents would be instrumental in puppy sitting when I was traveling and would need to be supportive of my doggie decision, I gave “Dutchess” another “hug” and went on my way. I thought about her all afternoon and after a few days, called Mom again and said:

Devon: “You know how you said I was crazy? How crazy?”

Mom: “Extremely. Have you fallen in love with a dog you can’t have?

Devon: “Maybe.”

Mom: “Why are you calling me?”

Devon: “I want to go visit her at her kennel and see if she’s still available, and since you’ve always said any dog I got would be staying at your house sometimes and would have to get along with your dogs, you and “Clancy” have to come with me.

Mom: “When?”

Devon: “Tomorrow.”


Mom could hear in my voice that I was serious. Like mother, like daughter, I’d caught the dog bug and this wasn’t something that was going to go away. The next day, Mom and I hopped in dad’s SUV that she’d borrowed for the day, knowing good and well that—knowing me—we were probably not just going for a “visit” and that we needed the big car, you know, St. Pyra-nard sized.

We arrived at the kennel and the owner asked us to wait inside the fenced area and that she’d bring Dutchess out to see us. After a minute or two, we saw a fuzzy little shy head peak around the corner. Mom said “Oh, what a pretty girl.” [This is when I knew our visit was going well, mom might actually be on-board.] I called to Dutchess and she looked at me, looked a little confused, and then bolted across the yard and gave me an even bigger hug than she had the past weekend that can only be described as a tackle. I like to think that she’d been thinking about me all week, too. Mom stuck out her hand to help me up and said, “A BIG girl, but a pretty girl. I guess you just got yourself a dog.”

As we filled out the paperwork, the usually shy and calm Dutchess proceeded to run around the office, jumping from desk to desk clearing every surface of it’s contents. Mom gave me the “Are you sure about this?” look and the kennel owner, who had been fostering Dutchess for months said, “I’ve never seen her like this. She knows she’s going home.” I signed on the line and we were off! As we were driving home, I spent the hour-long drive smiling from ear to ear while mom spent it laughing because she had a St. Bernard earnestly trying to smell her hair spray all the way home.

Over the next couple of days, Dutchess in her true “furry speedbump” fashion took her series of daily naps in every room of my apartment, testing it all out to find her favorite dark corners, preferably under an AC vent. If I tried to take her for too long of a walk, she would just lay down and refuse to move until she was good and ready. This was usually about 100 yards into our “walk.” She truly was the perfect apartment dog, except for one part: she wasn’t used to narrow apartment doorways and staircases. In addition to her nap explorations, she also spent her first couple of days in her new home running into about every doorframe and stationary object in my apartment. This dog definitely didn’t deserve a name as dainty as Dutchess. Every time I heard a BOOOM from the other room, yelling out “DUUUUUTCHESSSS” just seemed silly. We needed a new name, she didn’t know or respond to Dutchess anyways. My sister and I set out to pick the perfect new name and flipped through books and magazines in front of the TV one night looking for the perfect fit. We came across an ad for a charity gala called “A Stellar Event.” We both looked at each other, and in true “Streetcar Named Desire” fashion, yelled “STEEELLLLLLAAAA.” Dutchess came running in from the other room and hit the ottoman at about 45 mph. Yep. Perfect fit.

Fast-forward about 5 glorious years. I’d moved into a house with my sister. She also got the dog bug and adopted a furry monster of a puppy named Beckett that had become a great playmate for Stella, as long as he was okay with playing for 4-5 minutes MAX before it was time for a group nap. After one of their play sessions, Stella starting limping a little on one of her front paws. I took notice of it but chocked it up to another run-in with a wall and went about my day. After a week when it hadn’t gone away, we went to see Stella’s vet, who guessed it was just the first signs of arthritis and probably nothing that a little glucosamine couldn’t fix, but we decided to do x-rays just in case. On one of the films, we found a suspicious spot on her front left leg bone. The vet told us that in the worst case, it might be bone cancer and my mind went into a blur where I only heard every other word. Blah blah cancer, blah blah amputation, blah blah blah chemo. We scheduled a biopsy for the next week, ironically on Stella’s 6th birthday, and cried all the way home. I had a bad feeling, call it a mother’s intuition.

A few days after her biopsy I was sitting at lunch with my parents and sister, who had all fallen in love with Stella just as much as I had, when the vet called with the test results. In a very matter-of-fact voice he said, “Yes, it is cancer like we suspected and there are two paths we can take.” Do nothing and we’d have about 4 very hard months with her before the cancer spread through her body and we’d have to put her down. The other option was amputation followed by chemotherapy. My heart dropped and I didn’t hear anything the vet was saying for what seemed like minutes. I tuned back in right as he was explaining that treatment would give me, on average, about 12-15 more months with her. As much as I love the restaurant where we were having lunch, I fear I’ll never be able to go back due not only to the bad memories that patio now holds for me, but because when I heard that bit of news, I promptly bolted out back and threw up in their parking lot. Pardon the unpleasant mental picture, but I’d just been told I was losing my speedbump and the world came to an end. I was literally stunned. I had assumed that amputation and chemo was a fix. The end. Problem solved. Healthy, happy tripawd. 12-15 months?? I hung up with the vet, told him I’d call back when I could form words again, and I spent the next 10 minutes in a group hug with my family, all of us in tears, mom with as many running down her face as me.

I knew I had a decision to make, only there was no decision at all. I knew what I needed to do—four months was just not an option—but I also knew it was going to be terribly expensive. I’d shopped around pet insurance but put it on the back burner because money was tight and Stella was only 5 years old. Hindsight is 20/20. Over the years, the economy took a turn and while I was able to keep my business open, we weren’t making money, and were struggling to stay afloat. When mom dropped me back at my office that day, she hugged me and said, “We’ll figure it out.” I was grateful for that, but knew that inside, even as she spoke the words, she wasn’t sure how either. The family dog, Clancy, has had a variety of health issues over the years, including his own bout with cancer, 2 surgeries and a very expensive special diet. My dad is a custom homebuilder and it’s no surprise in the current building market that he hasn’t built a house in over 3 years and money was way past tight. They were having a tough time but just like they had done in the past with Clancy, “we’d figure it out.”

We scheduled Stella’s surgery for the following week, and the days leading up to it were the hardest of my life. I didn’t know what to expect from a 3-legged dog, especially a three-legged Stella, she wasn’t exactly svelte on 4 legs. Every chance I got, I’d let Stella tackle-hug me and we’d roll on the floor with tears running down my face because I wasn’t sure if it was the last hug I’d get from her. Can a dog who’s missing a front leg give a hug? The evening before her surgery, I took her for what I thought would be our last walk ever and I bawled all the way down the street and back. I’m sure my neighbors thought I was loosing it. Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong. We had a couple of tricky days after her surgery, but Stella definitely coped with it much better than I did. She was hopping herself outside to do her business after only a couple of days. After a week, she was taking the stairs 3 or 4 at a time. I was worried that my beautiful dog who always attracted crowds of people when we went out, would have a huge scar that would scare people away. It did a little at first, but I actually think she’s cuter than ever when her big ears flop as she hops around the yard. She gets even more love from strangers when we’re out and about. Apparently 3-legged dogs are really in right now.


I was able to pull together enough money to cover Stella’s xrays, mom put $400 of the $700 biopsy on her credit card and we somehow managed to scrounge around and find enough to pay for her surgery. Just when I thought we might be able to do it all, I got the estimate for her chemotherapy. Another $3,000. How on EARTH were we going to find another $3,000 in a few short weeks? Thankfully, my mom spent the week after Stella’s surgery doing research on osteosarcomas and found the website for Canine Caner Awareness. She forwarded me the application and said, “They probably get tons of applications, but it’s worth a shot. Any little bit would help.” After sending in the application, I was shocked when I got the email that Stella’s application had be accepted and that we’d be getting tremendous help in the form of $1,000 to apply to her chemo bills. It was such a weight lifted off my back knowing that I could continue to get Stella the treatment she needed and deserved after the years of happiness she’d brought to all of us. When I got home that day, I think Stella knew too. I walked in the door and as started to bend over to pet her, a fuzzy paw went up on my shoulder, wrapped around my neck and we hit the floor, where we stayed for a least 10 minutes. If you hadn’t guessed by now, I cried.

Thanks again for giving me many more tackle-hugs from my furry speedbump. Every one is priceless and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

— Devon and Stella

The Board of Directors of Canine Cancer Awareness, Inc. has allocated $1000 to help pay the costs of Stella’s treatments. Please help Stella continue her treatments. Any sponsor donations made on behalf of Stella will be used to pay unpaid invoices and the checks will be sent directly to Stella’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


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