2 Million Dogs – The Blog

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

Archive for September 6th, 2011

Baci

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 6, 2011

Baci

Every day, from now until our calendar contest ends on September 17th, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. We’d like to introduce you to Baci.

(by Stephanie Reeve)  Baci and Lulu, half brother and sister Bernese Mountain Dogs, were best friends from the start.  Baci came to us at 4 months old after we lost our first Berner, Bella, to an unknown disease at only 9 months.  I was so distraught from losing Bella that I did not want to take Baci at first.  But my husband insisted.  It only took a few short days for Baci to win our hearts forever, but especially mine.  He was the sweetest, funniest, most loyal dog you could ever hope for.  He was, and still is, the love of my life.  We would have long conversations and I swear he understood every word.  A friend lovingly called him ‘a man in a dog suit’. He was strong and handsome and dignified until the very end.

This photo was taken just a few months before we lost him, quite suddenly and tragically to Malignant Histiocytosis.  An undetectable (without x-ray) tumor was growing in his chest cavity.  During Christmas of 2009 it had started to crush his trachea, slowly choking him.  After three days of frantically trying to save him, we made the agonizing decision to end his suffering.  It still brings tears to my eyes to think of his big soft head resting on my shoulder as I hugged him and said good-bye.  It was the hardest thing I have ever done.  He was only 8 years young.

This is also Lulu’s story, but since I could only enter one dog and upload one photo, I chose the one of Baci (taken in the fall, spontaneously with a phone camera).  Lulu was equally beautiful and the sweetest Berner girl you could ever ask for.  They were inseparable. Sadly, she followed him only a year later also succumbing to Hystio. She too was only 8. We caught it much earlier, however, and opted to manage her pain as long as possible instead of putting her under the stress of chemo, which unfortunately does not have much effect on this type of cancer. She died peacefully in my arms and I was thankful that I was able to give her the gift of those last few months, something I was not able to do for Baci.

After we lost Baci I would often be awakened by a loud bark that I knew was his. Once Lulu left us the barking ceased.  I believe that Baci was calling her, through me, and now that they are together he is content.

This is a horrible disease that afflicts so many large, and other, dogs, taking them from us way before their time and in the prime of their lives.

Please join me in the fundraising effort for this organization so that we can find a cure for this and other canine cancers.

We are now the proud owners of two rescue pups – a Great Pyrenees and a Border Collie mix-up.  My sincere hope is that through organizations like this, and donors like you, they and many others, will be spared the suffering of succumbing to this awful disease.

To vote for Baci, please follow this link.

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Angel’s Story

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 6, 2011

Angel

Every day, from now until our calendar contest ends on September 17th, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. We’d like to introduce you to Angel.

(by George Nussberger) Angel came to us in June 2004 from Greyhounds and Love in Greensboro, SC. She was very shy and had been with them several months without being adopted. We drove from Mechanicsville, MD to meet her and decided right away that we would be a good match for our shy boys, Amos and Andy.

She fit in just fine with our boys and eventually became a wonderful Meet N Greet dog for Greyt Expectations Greyhound Rescue.

After only five short years with us she developed bone marrow cancer that ended her life in May 2009. She was a wonderful girl that will always hold a place in our hearts.

To vote for Angel, please follow this link.

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Maverick’s Story

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 6, 2011

Maverick

Every day, from now until our calendar contest ends on September 17th, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. We’d like to introduce you to Maverick.

(by Lou Middlemiss )  Maverick may have lost his life to cancer in the end but he never lost a minute of the life he lived.

Maverick became family when I was sixteen and he was only six months. He had been raised by a breeder for show but his coat was not quite the right color or something to that effect. There was just something about him that made everyone fall in love with him. Maybe it was the fact that he didn’t seem to know he was actually a dog and not a person.

He was so well behaved when I met him but my rational side told me I should not adopt a dog a year before I would be leaving for college, so we both went our separate ways. I was so sad the next day I woke up and cried. I even stopped on my way to school to buy myself some ice cream! First and only time I have ever eaten ice cream for breakfast and I don’t recommend it. After seeing how sad I was, my mother decided I needed to adopt that dog and that’s where it all began.

The bond between us was unbreakable. Even when I went to college he would live for the times I would come home and spend with him. We did everything we could together: hiking, running, camping, mountain biking, climbing, traveling – he was always ready for the next adventure. Maverick has lived in and visited more states than most of my family! For me, Maverick was that one person (sorry – dog) that I  knew I could make happy.He loved me as if I had moved mountains for him. My family and friends were so amazing and always worked to help keep us together. Even after college as life changed, we moved around, and people came and went, Maverick was the one constant. When I met my husband-to-be, he knew thatmy dog and I were a package deal but it didn’t take long for him to fall in love with Maverick too. He loved him so much that even the balls of “fluff” flying around his nice clean house were tolerated (as long as I swept once or twice a week!) Maverick was the ring bearer at our wedding and he brought both of us true joy and a sense of family.

Oh, he had his moments too. When he wasn’t happy he let me know especially if I left him behind. He destroyed a door at a friend’s vacation home. He ripped all the screens off at my sister’s house multiple times. He ran away and had to be picked up in various counties more times than I care to count. He managed to tear off all the storm windows in my own house and only chipped a few teeth in the process. He actually broke out of an extra-large metal crate I bought to keep him in while I was at work and chewed off the molding around the last door I went out of. He antagonized the neighbor’s watch dogs and was rewarded by getting his nose nearly ripped off through the chain link fence, resulting in a trip to the vet to have it sewn back on at least three times. He disappeared for two nail biting weeks and turned up almost 20 pounds lighter about 80 miles away. For that one he got his picture and story in the paper. Other times Maverick was a complete angel. He would sit quietly and happily at my feet while I worked or in the car while I ran errands all day and all night without one complaint.

It wasn’t until Maverick was 10 years old that the cancer made itself known. One day he was running circles around all the other dogs at the dog park and the next he couldn’t walk. We took him to the vet and they told us he was bleeding internally and they did not believe he would even make it to the emergency shelter but we had to try. After tests and blood transfusions the results were inconclusive. In order to know anything they would have to operate. So that’s what we did. Imagine my relief to receive the phone call that it seemed to be just a growth on his spleen so they had removed his spleen and were sending samples to the lab to test for cancer but otherwise he was fine. Once more I felt we dodged a bullet when the results came back negative. Still today I am so incredibly grateful that he was able to recover and spend more time with us.

He was with us as we moved from Virginia clear across the country to sunny California where he helped us make a new home. Tragically and again without warning I woke up one day to familiar symptoms. Maverick was bleeding internally. I called my husband to come home at lunch and help me load him in the car. A trip to the vet followed by a referral to the emergency clinic, blood transfusions and tests showed us that Maverick now had two large growths on his liver, one of which was bleeding and the other was too deep for surgery. Also it was highly likely the disease was in his heart due to an irregular heartbeat and trouble breathing. It was devastating. In the face of great odds and his age and condition we chose not to have his last moments or days spent in surgery, trying to recover from surgery or undergoing chemo. We were told we could take him home and spend some time with him and that night or the next day bring him back in and have him humanely put down when we were ready.

We took him home and loved him like crazy. We set up a permanent sleeping bag arrangement on the floor next to his bed. I cooked him ground sirloin. Surprisingly he improved a little for a while. We were blessed with almost an extra month with Maverick. It was hard watching him grow weaker and weaker physically but he never lost that zest for life. We were able to attend a cookout together and even took over a 300 mile road trip to visit my husband (his father) who was away doing some training for the Navy.

Maverick fought hard to stay with us and I know in my heart he never would have given up. He made it till my husband returned and by the next day had grown so weak he could no longer stand even to use the restroom. We were with him and loved him till the end and he did the same for us. He took his last breath in our arms and I know he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Maverick showed us how to love and he showed us how to live. When I take a walk and see blue skies and green grass and feel the wind through the trees I will always remember Maverick and he will always be with me.

To vote for Maverick, please follow this link.

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Cody, the Codyhoula’s Story

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 6, 2011

Cody White

Every day, from now until our calendar contest ends on September 17th, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants.  We’d like to introduce you to Cody.

(by Suzanne White)  Cody came to us through a post on the message board of Catahoula Rescue Inc.  A week later, Steve and I were driving to Greenville, SC to bring Cody home.  She was 5 months old, and was either born in a shelter, or left there just after birth.  Her shelter name was Krispy (can you imagine).  She is (our best guess), a cross of Catahoula and Cattle Dog.

She became my first agility and obedience dog, and then later – Steve’s first.  She has wicked fast turns and an unfailing enthusiasm for tunnels.  Unfortunately, Cody had suffered physical trauma before we came to own her and, after several reparative surgeries, we had to retire her early from agility.

Cody remained our best companion and truck dog.  Always ready for a road trip, her second home is the back of the SUV.

Cody was diagnosed with  Stage 2 Mast Cell cancer August 9th, 2009.  She was 9 years old.

At 10 years old, Cody earned her UKC Rally 3 Obedience title.

At 11, she is still with us – loving life.  Chasing balls, and wading at the edge of the ponds.

Cody, who was given 6 months 2 years ago – has outlived my father, who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year.

6 million dogs are diagnosed with cancer each year. That is 1 in 3 dogs.  Their struggles may shed new light on the disease. Funding canine cancer research works to save lives, find cures, better treatment and diagnosis for both man and dog.

Read more at Suite101.

To vote for Cody, please follow this link.

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