A Cruel Twist…When Canine Cancer Strikes The Same Family Twice

Sadie 9

Our family won the dog rescue lottery.   We really truly did.  Some 6 years ago, after my father lost his Shepherd/Collie Theo to cancer, we welcomed Sadie into our lives.  She is an absolute delight.  Since day one she’s been pretty much perfect, other than her knack for middle of the street pavement pooping; which is not very ladylike at all.    She came to us a middle-aged black Labrador/hound with a full grey beard, and crossed eyes.   Sadie is sweet, charming, and incredibly affectionate.

Sadie 14

After Theo passed away, and my father was ready to welcome a new canine into his home and heart, the search began for a dog that would fit our family perfectly.   Given that Beauford is incredibly submissive, we had to be careful not to bring a dog that was too alpha into the family.  We wanted Beauford to remain comfortable, and still be in charge in his home, since this new dog was going to be spending a great deal of time here.

Initially, my father had his heart set on another black and tan, younger male dog.   I tried to be the voice of reason and insisted that he look at both male and female dogs, that were middle-aged, and expand his parameters when it came to looks and breed.   There are so many dogs that are in need of great homes; so, I didn’t fear finding the right one.   He or she was out there.  It was only a matter of time before we met.

Sadie 3

When we found out about Sadie my dad jumped at the chance to meet her.  He was very enthusiastic and encouraged by what we’d heard.  He knew well before I did, that she was it.  Sadie had been dropped at Brampton Animal Services by her former “mother”.  Apparently their family was in the midst of a divorce and she was suffering the consequences.  They had adopted her 7 years prior from the same shelter, and returned her with nothing but a bag of dog food.   Though there was a promise of veterinary records, they never appeared.

The sad fact was that given that Sadie was a middle-aged, black dog, with a full grey beard, she might not be very adoptable.  Kelly, who was working at Animal Services at the time, saw Sadie’s character and wasn’t about to let her spend another moment in that shelter.  You see Sadie was indeed the perfect rescue dog.  She knew all her commands, was in great shape, and was just so incredibly loving.   Kelly took her home to foster her and was absolutely committed to finding our girl the perfect home.   Kelly and Sadie stayed together for several weeks, living in Kelly’s downtown condo and to this very day those two ladies share such a special bond.   Kelly always gets the signature “Sadie hug” every time she sees her.  Sadie 6

Dad met Sadie first.  It was love at first sight.  For both of them.  I was a bit more anxious (admittedly).  I had a dog with special needs and wanted to be certain she was the right fit for Beauford.   Her lack of veterinary records made me nervous; so, I called Kelly, discussed my concerns and she definitely put my mind at ease.

The moment I met Sadie I melted.  She is an absolute gem, just a gem.  She was obviously a snuggle bug, and incredibly patient.  So, sweet and ALWAYS smiling.  I found her crossed eyes to be very charming and was surprised that my father hadn’t mentioned them.  After we’d had her for two weeks he called and said “Did you know Sadie was cross-eyed?”  I laughed and laughed that he hadn’t noticed.  Despite her crossed-eyes Sadie can catch a ball like a professional ball player.  She loves to play ball.  She loves to fetch.

Sadie and Beauford were fast friends.  Admittedly Beauford went through a bit of a jealous phase, but Sadie was content to let him be in charge.  She just wanted love.  After being abandoned by the only family she knew, it took a while for Sadie to reach that level of comfort where she knew she was going to be ours forever.  Three months after she joined our family she started playing with stuffies.  But whenever Beauford was a bit of a jerk and demanded it back she’d drop it.

Sadie 11

The two of them walked together and played together.  They are two peas in a pod, the very best of friends and were meant to be companion dogs.  And now, they both have cancer.   As we began this journey with Beauford we were aware of lump on Sadie’s leg.   We were told to monitor it, and as it grew bigger it was clear we needed to biopsy it.  In the back of my mind I was worried.  Sadie had some episodes recently where she didn’t feel like eating. And knowing what I know about the symptoms of cancer (reduced appetite etc.) I had a nagging feeling.   Though Sadie (and ironically Beauford) have struggled with pancreatitis in the past I couldn’t shake the thought there might be something more.  But I also didn’t want to project my worries about Beauford onto Sadie.

Sadie 4

When my father called to tell me the biopsy results, I sadly wasn’t surprised.  Sadie too has cancer.  Beauford and Sadie are canine cancer companions.  This is news we didn’t need,  two dogs with cancer is no picnic, but we aren’t thinking negatively.  Sadie, much like Beauford, looks great and feels pretty decent.

As we wait for her tissue biopsy results, we have added an additional seat on the spoil the canine train.  Both these dogs are now getting extra store trips, delicious bones, special treats, and a whole lot of love.

The picture below was taken at last years Smiling Blue Skies Walk to End Canine Cancer.  We can’t wait to get this years picture of these together, smiling and loving all the attention they get because they are a really, really good-looking pair.

Sadie 12

 

 

 

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