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Tara added to Sponsored Dogs

April 9th, 2010 · No Comments

Tara’s Story



UPDATE 4-9-2010—

Tara is our 9-year-old Shetland sheepdog and the first dog for our family. My son, Michael, picked her out from the litter when she was 6 weeks old because she was friendly and full of mischief- a perfect little boy’s dog. Over the years she has become a wonderful and loving member of our family.

Both our vet and I were shocked in December 2009, when he performed an aspiration biopsy for a lump that had recently appeared on her leg, and it turned out to be a mast cell tumor. Surgery to remove the tumor was quickly scheduled, but, unfortunately, our vet was unable to remove the entire tumor. Our vet suggested that we amputate Tara’s leg and told me that dogs usually adjust quite well to the surgery. It was so difficult for me to even think about surgery which would likely take away one of Tara’s favorite things to do- running around in circles on the hill near our house, herding her imaginary sheep. I decided at that point to try to get further opinions and information regarding treatment options and prognosis. We saw specialists in Rochester, NY, where we live, as well as at Cornell. I decided, after hearing what each doctor had to say, that the best treatment for Tara would be a course of radiation therapy at Cornell. After testing for staging and to make sure that the cancer had not spread, we began radiation therapy in February. Tara would stay at Cornell during the week and I would pick her up each weekend. The doctors and staff at Cornell were so wonderful to her that I never worried that she was lonely or unhappy. In fact, the veterinary students would let her go on rounds with them, so now I call her my “Ivy” dog! Tara’s radiation treatments were completed by the end of February and she had come through it like the brave little soul that she is. I thought that we were done with treatment, but when we returned for her first post- radiation visit, the doctors suggested that I should consider a course of adjuvant chemotherapy over the next 6 months. I am now trying to get the emotional and financial resources together so that she can start chemotherapy the end of April.

Without the generous financial assistance of the Canine Cancer Awareness Fund, I would never have been able to afford to give Tara the wonderful treatment that she has already received. I thank the Fund from the bottom of my heart.

I believe that, when we adopted Tara 9 years ago, I made a promise to her, words that keep running through my head from St. Exupery’s The Little Prince – “You are responsible forever for what you have tamed”. Without your help, I might have failed in keeping that promise to Tara. With that help, we are looking forward to many more wonderful years together. Thank you and God bless you for all you do.

— Sincerely, Michelle and Michael Callan and Tara

CCA has donated $1000 to help pay the costs of Tara’s treatment. Please also give generously to Tara. 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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