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Calling the Shots and 𝙎𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙚𝙯ing the Day

This is one of my favorite photos: Brian and I along with fellow competitors doing a limoncello shot after a dock diving event. Photo Credit: KJ Photography

Whoah! Hold up, Cancer…Limoncello is calling the shots here!

October 6, 2023: Check-Up with Primary Veterinarian

Cello at her check up on 10/6/23

During Cello’s exam, I received both good and bad news.

The bad news:

  • There is a slight change in her skull on the right side. This is caused from the tumor spreading more in the direction of her brain and deteriorating the bone.
    • We will have to continue to watch for seizure activity.
  • Her right nostril that was previously partially blocked now appears to be completely blocked.
    • We will have to continue to watch for nosebleeds

The good news:

  • The left nostril is still clear and Cello continues to be able to breathe comfortably with her mouth closed.
  • Her right eye continues to appear to not be protruding as it once was, and is no longer weaping
  • No pain or discomfort was observed
  • Overall Dr. Campbell said that Cello looks good, all things considered

At this point, I was prepared to hear that it would be best for us to stay home. After Dr. Campbell was done with Cello’s physical, she asked me when we were leaving for our trip to the World Championship. I told her that we were only going if we got the thumbs-up from her after today’s exam, and that if we DID get the thumbs-up, we would plan to leave tomorrow. Dr. Campbell’s response: “So what time are you leaving?” … My eyes welled up, and the biggest, happiest tears poured down my face!

DockDogs World Championship,

Here come The Liver Killers!

Yes, some decline was observed, but not enough to hold back Limoncello from going on her trip. Overall she is doing exceptionally well. In fact, if you didn’t know her you would think she was just your typical senior dog. Of course we know that in the blink of an eye, something devastating could occur, and that we have to prepare ourselves for that.

Limoncello was originally given just a few weeks to a few months to live. We are grateful that as of today, Limoncello has given the paw to cancer for a blessed 5 weeks since her diagnosis. Beware, cancer….Limoncello is taking charge and calling the shots.

🍋𝙎𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙚𝙯𝙚 the Day

Dogs are pretty amazing aren’t they? Regardless of what’s (sometimes literally) thrown at them, they live in the present and savor every moment. Despite being abused, neglected, and let down by humans, regardless of diseases that try to destroy their short lives… dogs not only carry on, they accelerate forward with gratitude, grace and enthusiasm ….without regret…without grudges…and without fear. For dogs, each day…heck – each moment – is an opportunity to seize squeeze the day. So Brian and I are going to try our best to take a page from Cello’s book and do just that…

Brian and I are going to SQUEEZE every bit of this opportunity by doing our best to put aside our fears of the “what-ifs” of this trip and focus on the present – focus on our gratitude for the value of every second we are blessed with on this trip. Not only will we look forward to seeing Limoncello finish up her dock diving season on her own terms and in her own way, but we will also be extremely grateful to be with the community that Limoncello created for us. We will see friends who we often get to spend time with, we will be reunited with friends we have not seen since pre-covid, and we are hopeful to meet new friends as well! Best of all, we will have Limoncello competing as a cancer warrior and Lager as a cancer survivor.

Moments Become Memories…Memories Become Treasures

Some every day moments that made me smile, and some memories that I will forever treasure…

Still the Reigning Neighborhood Fun Police

Don’t think for a second that because Cello is a Cancer Warrior she has neglected her Yard Guard duties…and if you’ve dared to walk, run, or ride a bike by our house, you already know this first hand!

Daily Walks

Whiskey and Limoncello

Showing Cancer Who the REAL Beast is!

I was doing some indoor conditioning with Hooch and I heard Limoncello whining. Thinking she had to go outside to potty, I opened the door to the room I was in … and in runs Limoncello…enthusiastically barking at me and looking at the conditioning equipment! She wanted IN on the workout fun! She was so excited to participate…Beast mode!

Never Give Up Reminder

A key chain that was gifted to me on one of Porter’s Therapy Dog visits…so appropriate!

Lounging on the Couch

Limoncello’s favorite sleeping position:

Watching Phillies Games

One of our most favorite pastimes…made that much more special:

Personalized Painted Box

A very special person sent me this beautifully painted box. The likeness to Limoncello is spot-on! This artist is truly outstanding…the pictures I took of this box don’t even do it justice! I will forever cherish this personalized gift box!

Chase Away K9 Cancer’s Chase Away 5K

Both Lager and Limoncello completed this 5K in several outings with me. My shirt only has Margarita and Lager’s name on it because at the time I ordered my race swag, we were unaware of Limoncello’s diagnosis. Limoncello is sporting Margarita’s Chase Away K9 Cancer bandana.

First Day of Fall

Oh my gourd…it’s Fall y’all!

GSP Rescue Support

Li’l Biscuit Bar

I saw a post on Facebook that mentioned a dog bakery called the Li’l Biscuit Bar. Immediately I thought bringing Cello to the bakery for her to pick out some treats would make a nice memory. When I searched for the business’s page, I noticed that the town that was listed was only about 20 minutes from us. However, I couldn’t find an exact address. I sent a message to the Li’l Biscuit Bar. The owner, Dawn, replied that she is a mobile treat trailer and asked me how I heard about her and if I had an event that I would like to have her attend. I explained I was looking to take Cello to a bakery in an attempt to continue creating memories due to her terminal cancer diagnosis. Dawn said, “I’ll do you one better, and bring the bakery TO Cello!” But that wasn’t all Dawn did for our family…she bought a special “Cello” shaped treat and offered to donate 100% of the proceeds of that treat to a charity of my choice (of course I chose Chase Away K9 Cancer)! In just two hours, thanks to Dawn, The Medford Lakes Lions Club, EMM Loans, and amazing friends and family…we raised $500 for Chase Away K9 Cancer! Thank you do everyone who helped make this happen and to those of you who came out to the event!

Homemade Treats and Chase Away K9 Cancer Donation

A neighbor who heard about the Li’l Biscuit Bar event but couldn’t make the PAWty…so she gifted Cello some homemade biscuits of her own and a donation to the Chase Away K9 Cancer foundation!

Lemon Blanket and Drink Coaster

Love these two gifts from a family member!

Support from Chase Away K9 Cancer

Chase Away K9 Cancer shared our post…I had no idea that Chase had the same cancer as Cello.

Handmade Wooden Sign

A coworker of Brian’s had this sign specially made:

Yellow for Cello

The pack’s Aunt Jackie wore yellow two days this week for Cello and even had lemons in the backdrop in hopes for a good report during Cello’s check-up!


I had been feverishly packing in hopes that Dr. Campbell would give Cello the thumbs-up for the trip all while knowing it is a possibility we would not be able to go. And let me tell you – it has been quite a week…

  1. Y’all, it is NOT easy to move 8 dogs and 2 humans half way across the country in a camper…but I have a routine at this point and usually I have all my ducks in a row. Not so much this time!
  2. I was getting nervous – – not about the possibility of having to cancel our trip – – but knowing a thumbs-down to the trip by Dr. Campbell would mean Cello has declined significantly.

My head was in a million places as I sped down the aisles at ShopRite. As I exited after checking out, I saw a pretty green Jeep parked next to me. Immediately I was excited because I had just filled my Halloween Duck-It-Bucket with some cool Halloween themed ducks and I couldn’t wait to duck a Jeep with one. As I came around to my driver’s side door – – there was a glittery yellow (ok gold – – but I’m still considering it yellow!) duck sitting on Betty White! I’m sure any customers in the parking lot thought I was nuts when they heard me squeal with excitement as I took my new glittery friend and placed her in her new home on my dashboard! I was hoping this was a sign that we would get good news at Cello’s appointment. Of course I ducked the pretty green Jeep in return with one of my skeleton ducks!

Note on From Dr. Campbell on Invoice

Gift Box

The pack’s Aunt Jackie always seems to send a goodie box just at the right time! This amazing box of goodies arrived right after I got home from Cello’s appointment!

Please excuse any typos and choppy sentences…I put this together quickly because, well…. I’ve got some packing to do! Stay tuned on our Facebook page for daily updates as our pack makes their way out to Iowa for the DockDogs World Championships!

One thought on “Calling the Shots and 𝙎𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙚𝙯ing the Day

  1. Sounds like you are all ready and willing to get on the road. Am looking to support you all the way!!❤️❤️❤️❤️

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