2 Million Dogs – The Blog

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

Archive for September, 2011

Featured Pup — Annie

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 30, 2011

Annie.

Every day, from now until our calendar contest ends on October 1st, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. We’d like you to meet Annie.

Ancient Annie

(by Erich Trapp) Little Annie (her real name is unknown to us) wandered out of the tall grass following one of my other dogs on an incredibly hot and humid spring afternoon. Who knows how long she’d been out in the sweltering heat – days, maybe weeks? But she managed to find us –people who would love and care for her. The minute I saw that little dog I fell in love.

My neighbor and I loaded her into the van, and my wife drove as we rushed her to the vet – isn’t it always the case that things like this happen after hours?

Well, now she was ours. To me she looked like the tiniest German Shepherd I had ever seen. Same markings. Same body type. Just a light-weight at less than 30 pounds, standing about three hands tall. Her coat was soft and beautiful, her ears were just a little too big for her head, her tail, though it never wagged, was long (I often told her how much I admired it, even if she never heard), and her little gray face – well, just look at it.

A subsequent visit to the vet a week later disclosed that she had kidney failure, was totally deaf, was almost completely blind, had some kind of tumor on her eyelid, and had cancer. Unspecified cancer. The blood work just showed cancer. A physical revealed it was in her gut. Our vet said it could take her quickly or slowly. His advice – make her comfortable and take it one day at a time. And so we did.

Annie was an ancient soul. She had probably wandered away from her home or was dumped by the road. Either way, no one came looking for her. Or maybe she belonged to some old person who simply couldn’t look for her. Who knows what her history was, but it was apparent that she was quite old. Maybe 15 or 16? We had no idea what kind of life she’d had, but we were sure her remaining days would be as peaceful as possible.

In the subsequent weeks, I learned she was an All-American girl. She loved hamburger and hot dogs, didn’t care much at all for dog food, and could take or leave chicken. Because she was nearly blind, she had some interesting run-ins with her water bowl, and she may well have had a little brain damage as well, as she had to learn to eat all over again, every meal time. But even then we managed to get the eating down to a routine. She liked her straw and blanket beds, so well in fact that she frequently tinkled in them just to watch me clean it up. And she loved to bathe in the sun.

Annie found us May 11th and stayed with us until August 4th. She took a turn for the worse that night, so at 1 AM on Thursday, I loaded us into the van and through a terrible thunder storm found our way to our vet’s house. Her little body already limp, he gently put her to rest there in the rain. It took mere seconds and her suffering ended.

I don’t know more of her story than that. I simply know it took only a moment to fall in love with her and I miss her as if she had spent her whole life with us.

This is the third dog I’ve lost to cancer. Something has to change.

 
I hope you will vote for Annie. Thank you for reading her story.

To vote for Annie, please click on the link.

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Featured Pup – Rizzo

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 30, 2011

Rizzo

Every day, from now until our calendar contest ends on October 1st, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. We’d like you to meet Rizzo.

Shelties Forever’s Story

(by Judy Barnhart) Rizzo was just one of many rescued shelties we were fortunate enough to have in our home. Abandoned by his own family, he fit right in with the rest of our clan of rescues.

Of the shelties that we’ve adopted over the years, one-third of them have been taken from us due to cancer of one form or another.  Rizzo was no exception.  He was such a sweet boy who had the biggest paws I’ve ever seen on a sheltie.  We called them polar bear paws.  In 2009 Rizzo had one of his eyes removed due to cancer. This didn’t stop him from living life to the fullest.  He never complained or felt sorry for himself.  He just went on being “Rizzo” and ruling his territory.

Then this past March of 2011 his cancer came back.  This time in his prostate. He fought like the trooper he was until he could fight no more.  Rizzo lost his valiant battle in May of 2011 and went on to join his other siblings who were waiting for him on the other side of the Bridge.

No sheltie (or any other dog) lives forever – we all know that.  But if something could be done to prolong their lifespan without cancer and pain, we must do what we can to work towards that milestone.

To vote for Rizzo, please click on the link.

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Featured Pup – Dakota

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 30, 2011

Dakota.

Every day, from now until our calendar contest  ends on October 1st, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. We’d like you to meet Dakota.

 

Dakota Love’s Story

(by Shannon Coker) I got Dakota Love when he was 4 months old. He was a birthday present from my family and my best friend. My niece instigated the whole thing and found him. We named him after a Dodge truck because we knew he would be as big as truck in the dog world and his love for everything and everyone (except the 6 foot tall pink bunny running around the pet store during the Easter season…lol).

When I brought him home for the family to meet him, my mother asked, “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” I had never raised and trained a dog by myself before and she had many reservations about the breed itself due to the bad press. Here I had a very large puppy that would grow into a very large, powerful dog.

Dakota was raised with nothing but love. He grew up to be an extremely loving, smart comedian. He even stunned our trainer when she laid out a plate of hot dogs in front of each dog in class and instructed each to leave it and pointed to the plate in front of them. Dakota proceeded to get up and go to each of the other dogs’ plates and ate their hot dogs, then went back to his own plate and left it just as he was instructed to do. Our trainer was speechless. She said she just watched in disbelief; she had never seen a dog do that before.

Over the years, we taught everyone that we came into contact with that like humans, dogs are a product of their environment. If raised with love they have all the love in the world to give. People who were afraid were quickly won over by his charms. Kids of all sizes loved him and the littler ones used him as a jungle gym. All the while he would smile and lick them to make them giggle and laugh. He was even more gentle with elderly and those suffering in pain. I remember one holiday when my uncle was in such severe pain from his back that he could barely walk, Dakota gently got up on the couch next to him and waited for me to come over and grab his collar to help him lay down gently (he always flopped when he laid down) next to my uncle. It was like he knew if he flopped it would hurt him. My uncle was amazed and delighted to have Dakota comforting him throughout the day. He brought so much joy to me, my family and friends with his comedic acts and huge capacity for love.

About a year ago my best friend called me and asked me to join her in the 2Million Dog Walk to honor all who were lost to cancer (including her beloved Collie “Sydney”) and to support hope for the future. Dakota and I drove from Portland, Oregon to Auburn, Washington to join her and her companion “Dartanyan” in the walk. It was a wonderful time spent with my long time best friend and our companions and it was for a cause close to our hearts.

I didn’t know it at the time but we were also walking in honor of Dakota Love himself. As loving as he was, he was just as tough. He showed no symptoms that anything was wrong till it was too late. We lost him in February of 2011 to cancer. It came as a shock to all of us. It is a loss that is still felt deeply by everyone that he touched in his life. I miss him every day. He was truly one of a kind.

In honor of Dakota and Sydney and all the other dogs who have or have had cancer, please show your support and help raise awareness. It is not just for the dogs in our lives, as the same types of cancers that affect dogs also affect their human companions. Help 2Million Dogs raise awareness.

To vote for Dakota, please click on the link.

 

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Featured Pup – Seamus

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 30, 2011

Seamus.

Every day, from now until our calendar contest  ends on October 1st, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. We’d like you to meet Seamus.

 

Seamus O’Loughlin’s Story

(by Katy O’Loughlin) We walked into our local animal shelter in August 2004.  I wanted to just look, but all animal lovers know you don’t just look.  He picked us out.  For as sick as he was, he got up from the kennel floor and stuck his nose through the kennel bars and gave my husband a kiss.  We knew we found our boy.

Seamus had such severe kennel cough he needed nebulizer treatments to overcome it.  At 6 months he was diagnosed with bacterial mange.  Again he needed treatments to rid him of this.  He handled both situations like a trooper.  Never in a bad mood, always wagging his tail as if to tell us it was o.k.

Seamus grew into a beautiful, loving, happy wonderful dog.  He acted as if he knew we saved him when we took him home and nursed him back to health.  Seamus learned to swim in Canada where we had spent a few weeks each summer.  Seamus introduced us to all our neighbors as we had just moved into our home and knew no one.  He would go visit each neighbor and while retrieving him we would meet each neighbor and I am happy to say they are like family to us.  He also did pet therapy with me.  I work with people who are afflicted with HIV/Aids and at the time a few of my patients were very sick and put into hospice.  With permission, I took Seamus into hospice so he could give them a few moments of peace and happiness even if he just sat by their sides.

Whoever met Seamus was made to feel as if they were the only one in his world.  He would immediately greet you with a wag of his tail and a smile, and if you were lucky you would get the privilege of scratching his rear-end and a nudge of his beak.  Seamus taught me that each day is special and not to sweat the small stuff.

On December 3rd, 2008, Seamus was diagnosed with Lymphoma.  He was only four years old.  We were told by the specialist he had an 80% chance of remission if we did chemo treatments.  After the sixth week of chemo, Seamus could handle no more.  His breathing became very labored; he could barely stand and would not eat.  In his own way he told me it was o.k. to let him go.

On January 18th 2009, I held Seamus and kissed him.  I told him how much he taught me and I will always love him.  I then said goodbye forever.

Until having gone through this heartbreaking time, I was not aware of the many lives cancer takes and continues to take.  I will continue to fight canine cancer in any way I can, in memory of Seamus.

 

To vote for Seamus, please click on the link.

 

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Featured Pup – Nana

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 30, 2011

Nana.

Every day, from now until our calendar contest  ends on October 1st, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. We’d like you to meet Nana.

 

Nana’s Story

(by Pamela Walkowski ) Nana was adopted as a rescue when she was 6 months old. From the start she was attached to the hip and never required to be leashed even in crowds.

She grew up in the Connecticut/Rhode Island woods which is also called Lyme country. At 50 pounds and 5 years old she contracted Lyme disease. Nana required only one round of antibiotics and she sprang back into action almost immediately. At 8 years old it happened again. Not only did she contract Lyme but also another tick borne illness.

Towards the end of her first round of antibiotics, Nana began showing a prominent lean in her gait along with nystagmus in both eyes. Our vet considered Lyme encephalitis but that diagnosis changed quickly when her symptoms steadily got worse. Nana was found to have a brain tumor that was too far progressed for treatment. She lived out her final 10 months on steroids and was humanely euthanized after suffering a stroke in October 2010.

This picture was taken in the spring of 2009 at one of her favorite places. In May of 2010 Nana met Luke and “the boys” as they traveled through Connecticut on their way up to Boston.

 

To vote for Nana please click on the link.

 

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Featured Pup – Murphy Robinson

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 30, 2011

Murphy Robinson

Every day, from now until our calendar contest  ends on October 1st, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. If you don’t know him already, we’d like you to meet Murphy Robinson.

Murphy’s Story

Murphy’s story continues although he’s no longer here with us. He touched so many lives on his journey from Austin to Boston… how many we’ll never know. He was a beautiful old soul and I miss him terribly.

 

To vote for Murphy Robinson, please click on the link.

 

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Featured Pup – Rio

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 30, 2011

Rio.

Every day, from now until our calendar contest  ends on October 1st, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. We’d like you to meet Rio.

Rio’s Story

(by Micki Monroe) Rio was first diagnosed with Mast Cell cancer, the most prolific cutaneous (skin) cancer for dogs, in June of 2007.  She has kept this cheerful face, this fun-loving, adventuresome personality through more than four years of disease progression.  She has weathered radiation therapy followed by a year of full remission, chemotherapy which resulted in another two years of remission, and more recently amputation and another round of chemo.

Unfortunately, metastatic disease now seems to be getting the better of her.

We are walking for Rio, and for other dogs like her, who bravely face cancer each and every day with the simple expectation that we, as their humans, do something to make it better.  We walk so that someday others won’t have to face the pain, the loss, the heartbreak of losing their best friend…

To vote for Rio, please click on the link.

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Featured Pup – Sassy

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 30, 2011

Sassy.

Every day, from now until our calendar contest  ends on October 1st, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. We’d like you to meet Sassy.

 

Hunt for the Cure with Sassy!

(by Lindsay Partin) Sassy is a 7 year old rescue pit from Ross, Ohio. She is an extraordinary dog who loves all people and can put a smile on anyone’s face 🙂

We are raising money in hopes to fight cancer in all forms, whether it be animal or human.

Sassy is standing strong and ready to hunt down the cancer culprits to eliminate them forever!

We hope you’ll join us in this hunt for the cure! Any donations are good ones! Thanks in advance from Miss Sassy and me!

 

To vote for Sassy, please click on the link.

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Featured Pup – Juliet

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 30, 2011

Juliet.

Every day, from now until our calendar contest ends on October 1st, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. We’d like you to meet Juliet.

Juliet, Cancer Survivor’s Story

(by Janine Moger) When Juliet was one year old, her veterinarian, Dr. Gary, found a large lump at the base of her tail. At first, since she was so young, we assumed that the lump would be benign when tested. It was so sad and shocking for our family when we found out after the biopsy that the lump was in fact a malignant tumor. Since then, Juliet has undergone two surgeries and aggressive radiation treatments only a few months after.

It is now almost three years since her last radiation treatment and so far Juliet is in remission. And we pray every day that it will stay that way. Juliet is an inspiration for our family. Her spirit is so strong and resilient. She reminds us daily that being positive and loving through adversity is the only way to live.

To vote for Juliet, please click on the link.

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Featured Pup –Starbuck

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 30, 2011

Starbuck.

Every day, from now until our calendar contest  ends on October 1st, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. We’d like you to meet Starbuck.

Starbuck’s Story

(by Jocelyn & Devon Brown) Never was there a dog who was a bigger cat person. Starbuck was the smartest and most ‘tail-up’ beastie that, we believe, anyone would have had the chance to meet and love.

In July of 2009, we went to a family dinner in Killeen where we were introduced to a feisty little pup that was discovered sleeping under a 1976 Thunderbird!

This little girl began chomping our fingers and licking our faces, and promptly told us we were going to take her home. We had no choice; she had our hearts hostage and we could do nothing but comply. Being huge sci-fi geeks, we noticed immediately that this little girl shared the defiance and beauty of one “Starbuck” (Kara Thrace) from “Battlestar Galactica” – thus the moniker was bestowed on her. No, not for the love of iced mochas or anything like that. Common misconception…we promise.

Starbuck held true to her name. The following two years she was fiercely loyal and passionate in her love for mommy, daddy, and kitty-pouncing! When we discovered she was sick, she didn’t care; all she wanted to do was play, pounce and eat!

She was given two to three months without chemotherapy. Two weeks after her diagnosis of Lymphoma and one week after beginning chemo treatment, she passed away. In the early morning on August 1st, 2011, we let our baby doggy go. We held her and reminded her that she was and always will be a wonderful girl.

We love her and will miss her!

 

To vote for Starbuck, please follow this link.

 

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