HONORING DOGS WHO HAVE BATTLED LYMPHOMA TO THE END
(click on photos to enlarge them)
In June 2010, my dear Joy was diagnosed with lymphoma.
She started chemotherapy the next day. I was totally devastated, felt like my world had been turned upside down. How could this happen to my best friend and to a dog who had given so much to so many people? It was a crushing realization that Joy's life was on the line. Except for my husband, who was dealing with his own pain, I had no one to talk to who would understand. Then I found the LymphomaHeartDogs Yahoo group: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/LymphomaHeartDogs/
I immediately found 100s of people who understood what I was going through, what Joysie was going through. They have been tirelessly supporting, offering constant understanding and valuable advice and information.
I have come to know several dogs on that site, watched their progress as they have battled this evil disease. Sometimes, a dog cannot fight anymore; this site is dedicated to those dogs and their loving owners.
On 7 October 2010 the wound in Joy's leg where one of the chemo drugs had leaked in August, went necrotic. By Sunday, the 10th her pain was unbearable and she asked us to help her leave, which we did. I feel relief for her freedom from pain but my heart weeps daily for her passing.
You can read more about Joy on her Memorial page and in the Assistance Dogs section.
I would rather let my dog go one day early than one day late.
1 August 2001-8 August 2010
My sweet and funny Hunter taught me more about life and love than any human I've ever met. She came to me a fuzzy little pot-bellied puppy, looking like a little pig with her curly tail. I was instantly in love. She was a challenging dog; hard to train, stubborn, clumsy. She was also totally devoted, loving, and free spirited. When she was 7 she had to have an eye removed due to glaucoma, and three days later she was diagnosed with lymphoma. I had to give my sweetheart a fighting chance, so we began chemo; this gave us just over two years together. She died of a sudden heart arrhythmia one week after her 9th birthday. I miss her terribly and will never forget my girl. Mama loves you Hunt!~Amy Petrakis
9 June 1997-12 August 2010
Bailey stole my heart from the word go. After stumbling around with his siblings, they decided to take a nap. All of their little yellow faces were smushed into a circle, but not my Bailey - he decided to stick his little toosh in the circle and face out towards me. I knew he was the one! We spent 13 wonderful years together. We survived the puppy stage, my furniture didn't fare so well - he is, after all, a lab that loves to chew. We made it through the nutty stage where he could pretty much drag me anywhere he wanted. We sailed through the adult stage where everything fell into place and the pace was just right. Then came the senior years - oh I love the senior years :) Just chugging along with my old boy that was still every bit the puppy, it warmed my heart. Bailey was diagnosed with lymphoma on April 1, 2010, at the age of 12. I was heartbroken and so wished someone yelled out April Fool! We decided to treat him, unfortunately, we could not get him into remission. Four months later, Bailey could no longer fight and he crossed the rainbow bridge. We miss that beautiful boy very much and hold onto all of the wonderful memories we made. A finer gentleman, I've never met. You will always be in our hearts, we love you!~Anna Oneill
April 1999-June 2009
Sana Bwana. My big goofy boy. Sana was 1 of my 2 Yellow Labs, from the same father. He looked up to his big brother Kibo, who was a year & 1/2 older than him. Sana was sweet, funny, & needy! He always had to put his paw on you, or lean on you. Or sit his 80 + pounds on your lap! & he was THE greatest snuggler that ever lived. I am a nurse & work nites, & i cant tell you how many days I had to sleep, & Sana either curled up perfectly behind my knees, or laid right alongside me in bed, on his back, legs in the ear, lips flopped over, & keeping me as warm as can be. In 2004, at only 6 yrs old, Sana was dx with MAST cell cancer. He ended up having 3 surgeries over a year & 1/2, to remove the tumors. At the time chemo wasnt indicated. Sana lived life to the fullest after that. He would run like a crazy man onto the beach, & run full force into that water, & then stop, & lie down :) He would then get up & run like the wind through the ocean. Sana was able to do this a few times a week & he never failed to bring a smile to my face. In Dec 2009, his brother Kibo was dx with Lymphoma. We almost lost Kibo early in treatment, & Sana became the big brother, always staying by Kibo & protecting him from any rambuncious dogs around him. Tragically, during Kibos treatment, Sana succumbed to MAST cell cancer, much to quickly, within 6 weeks of diagnosis, very soon after his 10th birthday. He tried to fight, but it was too much for him. I had to release Sana, with his older brother Kibo by his side, & his younger brother Maji nearby. At Sana's last breath, he craned his neck back to look directly into my eyes to say Good-bye as I lay behind him, holding him. My sweet boy. Sana had so much JOY in him, as you can see in this photo of him running through the water. He is in the foreground. Kibo is in the back. Godspeed my Boy. I know you are in Heaven with your brother, running like the wind, swimming every day, & eating every cookie you can get your lips upon! I love you Buddy! Little Guy.~Rebecca Clark
July 1997-Februray 2010
Bookoo - named by my daughter at 18 months old, when she couldnt say Kibo. He was forever Bookoo, after that. My 1st baby. I will never forget my husband having to talk me into getting a dog .... & soon after, I was insisting on 2nd (& along came Sana!)
Kibo was just regal. Sweet, loving, sometimes aloof, but he just was always THERE. A huge part of my life. A wonderful part of my life. My dogs went everywhere with us, & Kibo was no exception. He loved to go to the beach & dig at clam shells, barking all the while, & people would come to watch & laugh. He was calm, loving & so friendly. He had a thing about babies, & just HAD to lick every baby face he saw ... even strangers going by in a stroller. Here would come this big yellow Lab, sticking his face right into the stroller! Kibo always knew when I was sad. He would hop up on the couch, & lick my tears away. The he would Hrrmph around a bit to get comfy next to me, & slowly stretch his legs out, & slide ME off the couch! & bed? Forget it! He insisted on the very middle ... sideways! What i wouldnt GIVE for another fitful nite of sleep because Kibo was taking up too much of my bed!
In Dec 08, at the age of 10.5, I noticed Kibos neck lymph nodes were swollen. My heart literally stopped & I burst into tears. Not my Kibo! Chemo ensued, & my Boy lived a glorious 14 more months. We had a couple bad moments, but all in all, the chemo gave us so much more time to live life together. All of us. Kibo lost his younger brother Sana, in the midst of his OWN battle to live, yet he gave ME the strength to let Sana go. While Sana was being euthanized in our living room, Kibo got up off the couch & lay between the vet & Sana. He needed to be with his brother, & he was. When it was Kibos time, he chose it himself, in my arms. But Maji, his youngest brother, also laid nearby, quietly watching. Once again, as with Sana, Kibo took his last breath as he purposely looked into my eyes. As he left me I told him to go to Sana ... & I know he did. I know Sana met him to guide him to Heaven.
Swim 4-ever free my Boys, in Heavens vast ocean.~Rebecca Clark