We transported this cutie patootie on May 25, 2019. Sport is 6.5 yr old blind Pointer and belonged to a huge hunting preserve in NC. He suffered an infection, which caused him to lose sight in one eye then the other. His owner was going to just euthanize him but an employee convinced him to let him find a home for Sport. Although he has never lived inside, Sport loves people, and craves attention. Sport is Heartworm negative.
Sport was an absolute doll during our 1 hour ride.
He loved to cuddle!
I am thrilled we were lucky enough to spend some time with this sweet soul!
“When someone has cancer, the whole family, and everyone that loves them does too.” ~Terri Clark
When we first found out about Margarita’s diagnosis, there was no question or hesitation for us to put all other things on hold if needed, and fight right alongside Rita in her biggest battle. We vowed to do anything we could to help our 4-legged family member survive, as long as her medical advocates deemed the actions appropriate to continue to improve Rita’s quality of life. We are extremely fortunate to have an amazing medical team behind Rita, whom we trust wholeheartedly. Our family has been understanding, encouraging, and sympathetic. Additionally, thanks to dog sports and social media, we are beyond blessed to have a large network of extended family and friends who have not only been equally supportive, but also have been invaluable resources.
That doesn’t mean we haven’t come across those who do not understand, or cannot relate to our efforts or our bond with our 4-legged family member. I’ve been asked by people who don’t know our family well: “You’re getting chemo for your…DOG?!?!”… “Is it really worth it?” … In keeping the tone of Margarita’s documented journey positive, I won’t even go there – just consider yourself extremely lucky if you are like us and have friends and family who support your efforts to help your fur-child fight such a serious disease. At the same time, be prepared as a PAWrent to be criticized or questioned by those who “don’t get it,” and think your 4-legged child is “just a dog.”
JUST A DOG
From time to time, people tell me, “lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or “that’s a lot of money for just a dog.” They don’t understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for “just a dog.”
Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog.” Many hours have passed and my only company was “just a dog,” but I did not once feel slighted.
Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by “just a dog,” and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “just a dog” gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it’s “just a dog,” then you will probably understand phrases like “just a friend,” “just a sunrise,” or “just a promise.”
“Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure and unbridled joy.
“Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person.
Because of “just a dog,” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it’s not “just a dog” but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.
I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “just a dog,” but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “just a woman.” So the next time you hear the phrase “just a dog,” just smile–because they “just don’t understand.”
If you cross paths with those who don’t quite understand the love you have for your fur-child, you may start to doubt yourself – or may wind up feeling alone and helpless. In addition to the possibility of unsupportive friends and family, you could have financial constraints or other situations that may make chemotherapy difficult or impossible. Remember: NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE! There is support in each area that you can find elsewhere to assist you in your part of the battle to save your pup. First and foremost, ask your veterinarian and/or oncologist if they can suggest any helpful and reputable emotional and/or financial support groups. I’m sure there are others out there if you search, but below are some options for emotional, informational and financial support that I found either through a friend’s suggestion, or a quick Google Search.
Emotional or Informational Support:
Put out a post on social media
You will be surprised at how many others have been through cancer with their pup, and can provide some very helpful tips and information
Also recommended to our by a friend of ours whose dog also battled cancer
Join a Facebook support group such as the examples below or search for groups on Facebook specific to your dog’s needs:
Note: Not all Support Groups have the same goal. Some groups provide support and comfort, and others are focus on the technical side of handling canine cancer. You may want to consider joining more than one group to explore which ones suit your needs best.
This is a privately run nonprofit started in memory of the founder’s dogs. This foundation has helped animals in a variety of ways: from spay/neuter programs, to getting dogs on death row out of high-kill shelters, to providing emergency medical care to animals whose owners have fallen on hard times.
There are many rescue groups and associations that support specific dog breeds. Reach out to your local breed clubs for information on local, state and national groups involved in dog breed-specific veterinary care assistance programs. Examples include groups like CorgiAid, Special Needs Dobermans, LabMed, Pit Bull Rescue Central.
Financially assists pet owners and Good Samaritans who have an animal with a good prognosis for a healthy life, but are at a financial loss.
Week 9 Recap
The week following Oncology Visit #9 was a good one! Rita experienced some mild diarrhea on day two after her treatment, but one Metronidazole did the trick, and she had normal bowl movements the rest of the week leading up to oncology visit #10.
If you have been following along with us for a while, you are probably tired of hearing me say how blessed we are to have found ourselves involved in GSP Rescue of NJ , Pointer Rescue, Org , and DockDogs – and our ever-growing extended family that came about because of those groups. I am blown away with the continued friendship, support, motivational messages, prayers, gifts, and gestures from these wonderful people.
This week, one of our extended-family members who attends daily mass lit a candle for Rita and prayed to St. Rita of Cascia on the St. Rita’s Feast Day this week (May 22).
Another one of our extended-family members sent us two of the “No One Fights Alone” Lymphoma bracelets from the Delmarva DockDogs Canine Cancer fund raiser she orchestrated in the name of our Sweet Reet at the last Delmarva DockDogs event. This amazing woman had no idea that my “theme” this week was going to be No One Fights Alone!
This week Margarita’s passed her physical exam with flying colors, and her CBC was normal (aside form the mild anemia that is continuously monitored). Margarita’s chemotherapy this week is an oral medication that is administered by us at home.
This Week’s Treatment:
Give 2 tablets by mouth on 5/22, and 5/23 and 1 tablet by mouth on 5/24
Do not split/crush tablets
This drug can cause some irritation to the bladder (called sterile hemorrhagic cystitis). This week we will have to monitor Rita for straining during urination, urinating small amounts frequently, incontinence, or blood in her urine.
As soon as our GSP Rescue of NJ foster, Maxeen, went home with her new FURever family, we contacted Pointer Rescue, Org, to let them know we were ready to welcome another foster into our home. They told us that they had a female pointer named Lacey, who was in danger so we told them we’d foster her. A few minutes later, they sent another message that they had a safe place for Lacey, but a young male who was found as a stray was just days away from being euthanized in a high kill shelter in North Carolina. We immediately responded that we would foster him. I asked what his name was… Porter! 🍺
Porter’s transport was set, and he was to arrive in New Jersey on December 15th.
Porter in the NC shelter:
Porter was picked up at the shelter in North Carolina by a PRO volunteer and taken to a veterinarian.
Porter in the veterinarian’s office in North Carolina:
Great friends of ours signed up to do the last two legs of the transport and bring him directly to our home!
With a name like Porter, we had to give him a big Liver Killer welcome of beer-themed toys and even a beer themed collar!
Porter was completely emaciated and exhausted from his travels.
Porter was “weighed-in” on our antique scale.
Porter did nothing but sleep for almost an entire week. He then began to show interest in playing with Whiskey when he started to gain some strength.
On January 2, Porter began to have cluster seizures. After several months of medication adjustments and trips to the ER, we decided that Porter needed us, and had already found his FURever family. On May 9, 2019 we officially adopted Porter!
Tri-State Basset Hound Rescue is an all-volunteer non-profit group dedicated to finding forever homes for homeless Basset Hounds in the New Jersey, New York, and Eastern Pennsylvania Areas.
Each year the Tri-State Basset Hound Rescue hosts BoardWaddle in Ocean City, NJ. There is a fun “Doo Dah Parade,” with hundreds of Bassets waddling to the delight of the crowd.
After the adorable Bassets waddle down the Ocean City Boardwalk, everyone gathers at a picnic. Here owners and their dogs hang out with all the hounds, check out the arts and crafts show, other rescues, area shelters, and/or get something to eat at the food vendors. This is where Rita volunteered all day.
A highlight of the picnic is the awards. There are awards for the top-10 pledge-getters and, of course, awards to the winners of the basset games: Best Trick, Best Costume, Best Parade Float and many more.
Rita had a wonderful time volunteering as a donation dog for Pointer Rescue, Org with her fellow pointers, Lady and Mr. Spock, and friends, Grace and Jen!
On April 2, 2017, Rita attended the Wheaton Arts Paws for Arts to volunteer as a donation dog with her Fiance, the very handsome Mr. Spock, for Pointer Rescue, Org (PRO). All cash that Rita collected was donated directly to PRO.
The Paws for Arts event partnered with the Cumberland County SPCA for a free community event that brought pet owners and their dogs on site for a day of art and fun.
Highlights from the event included:
■ WheatonBarks Dog Show and Parade
■ Several Animal Rescue Groups in attendance
■ Obedience Demonstration
■ Pet Supplies, Treats, Clothing
■ Dog Activities such as Paw Prints, Bobbing for Tennis Balls, and Pumpkin Pie, Photo Booth
Rita got her paw print done and I was able to pick it up in June, after they fired it in the oven!
■ Search and Rescue Demonstrations
■ Agility Course
■ Animal Themed Glassmaking Demonstrations in the Glass Studio
…Well, ok, not the ACTUAL pointer sisters, …more like “sistas-from-otha-mistas!” 😉
Another Pointer Rescue, Org (PRO) transport led us to meet Mollie and Emmie, two beautiful and sweet female English Pointers.
We picked up the two gals from another PRO volunteer, Kirk. He told us how well-behaved the two ladies were on his drive!
Emmie is already adopted, and this transport was taking Emmie to her forever home! She was an absolute joy to ride with in the car, and was so loving the entire ride! Her forever family is very lucky to be adding Emmie into their lives!
“Sista” number 2, Mollie, was fresh out of rescue and on her way to her foster home. Once Mollie is settled in with her foster family, she will be available for adoption through PRO. Mollie was also quite the sweetheart – full of love and affection!
It truly amazes me with each transport we do – and each rescue dog we meet – -that even though these gentle, innocent beings have been wronged – often abandoned or abused – or both, they still want nothing but to be loved by humans, and will still also show so much affection and love toward humans, even after all that they have been through… Dogs are truly astonishing creatures.
There are many different ways to help either at a local shelter – or a rescue organization. Just a few hours can make such a difference for a dog in need! Want to assist, but not sure how? Click HERE !
People who say “Money can’t buy you happiness” have never paid an adoption fee 🙂 …Don’t shop adopt!