November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Let us tell you about Dorothy…aka Dorfee.
What a sweet pup! Dorothy was donated to an organization to be a service dog. During the time Dorothy was with us as puppy raisers, she helped with numerous booths, presentations and dog-related events. She also raised funds for her service organization.
After Dorothy was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia during her first year, she became a “released dog” and was put up for adoption. A wonderful and loving young couple brought Dorothy into their home, but when their children came along one was allergic to dogs. Dorothy came back to us to live until she could find another great home.
Dorothy ended up with a lovely retired couple who adored Goldens, were donors to the non-profit Dorothy was a part of, and raised a puppy themselves. They drove from Birmingham to Charlotte to meet Dorothy and then instantly fell in love with the sweet pup. Her hip dysplasia diagnosis didn’t bother them.
The couple treated Dorothy like a princess and everyone expected to live happily ever after. But one day Dorothy was diagnosed with cancer. All who loved her were devastated. Dorothy saw the best vets. She went on chemo for a while and started to feel better. The cancer continued and Dorothy’s two-footer parents pursued a holistic approach for her.
Dorothy thrived on the holistic approach for several years. To look at her you would never have known she was sick. She still had her silly walk from the hip dysplasia and those compelling brown eyes.
When her Mom and Dad went on trips, they would bring Dorothy up from Birmingham so she could stay with us. We enjoyed her time with us immensely. As Dorothy got older, she slowed down a bit but she was always loving.
One day the dreaded call came. Her Mom and Dad had gone to lunch. Dorothy met them at the door when they returned, just like always, with a smile and a tail wag showing them the love she felt. Dorothy then laid down to take a nap. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge while sleeping.
Dorothy taught us to:
- Face life head on
- Not judge others
- Open your heart and life to all possibilities
- Fight with all your might when facing life challenges
- Love relaxing in the sun
She also taught us that many people can love you at the same time and be concerned about your well-being. Also that dressing up in costumes can be fun. (She went as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz for Halloween.) And finally, that you never know when a nap might be your last, so enjoy it. Live in the moment as tomorrow takes care of itself.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over 10 years. But if cancer is caught early enough, dogs can still live a long and good life. Learn about canine cancer symptoms and treatments from PetsWebMD and I Love Dogs, and from a past post about a North Carolina doctor treating cancer in people and pups. If you have any concerns about your dog, ask your vet.