For each PuppyUp Walk, the Event Manager and their Walk Team select both a Human Cancer Hero and a Canine Cancer Hero, to be honored during the Walk ceremonies.
These Heroes are chosen because of their exemplary attitude towards their particular type of cancer, showing bravery and hopefulness in their fight against this terrible disease. The Canine Hero for the 2019 PuppyUp Chicago walk is Georgia. Her story and photo are shown here:
We rescued Georgia when she was two years old. The breeder who owned her decided not to breed her and told us she “had no use for her” anymore. That was 2009. We brought her home to live with us and our other Golden, Divot.
Last June she was chasing tennis balls in our backyard, one of her favorite things to do. She came back in the house toe touching her back leg. My wife and I assumed she broke her foot, again. She had broken it the previous year chasing a squirrel in our back yard. I took her to our vet who did and exam and x-rays.
She invited me back to see the x-rays and showed me her one good leg and her other leg riddled with bone cancer. I was floored. I brought her home and had to explain to my wife and son that our beloved Georgia had cancer. It was one of the hardest conversations I’ve had with my family.
We consulted with an Oncologist and confirmed the diagnosis. Our options were to do nothing, and she might live three months. We could do chemotherapy and the average life expectancy was six months. We could amputate the affected leg and expect six months. If we did chemo and an amputation, we could expect 12 months. She did not have any contraindications for the amputation, so we did both. We wanted her best chance for survival. She is part of our family.
A few days later the amputation was done. Chemotherapy was six rounds alternating two different drugs. She tolerated them well, so we finished in five months instead of the expected six months. After the last procedure, we asked our vet to do another x-ray of her lungs looking for any signs of cancer. The x-rays showed none, she was clear.
It’s not November, so 17 months past her diagnosis and she is strong as ever. She chases tennis balls, jumps on the couch and climbs up and down stairs. She in not limited by her three legs or her previous diagnosis of cancer. She is a survivor.
We love our Georgia and are looking forward to several more years together.