Canine Hero

Canine Hero

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 Cancer Hero for the 2018 PuppyUp Madison walk is Rohn. This is his story.

Rohn was born on October 1, 2010 and came to us in July of 2013. He was a racer, as is with all Greyhounds. He is our fourth Greyhound out of five. We currently have a female as well, Neko.

Rohn loves his squeaky toys, especially when we get ready for a walk. I say he likes to “pack his bags” before we leave home. He is very sweet and loves his forever home. We have a strong connection, he fulfills my “mother urge”. He seems to understand what I say to him and talks back with those eyes of his.

In June of 2017, Rohn was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his left upper shoulder. He is our third Greyhound diagnosed with bone cancer, so we braced for the worst when we heard the diagnosis as our other two females went downhill very quickly. This time around we decided to try a treatment, so we contacted UW Veterinary Care and discovered Rohn would qualify for a radiation clinical trial for Osteosarcoma. We started the radiation treatments in July of 2017. It was three straight days of a very high dose radiation followed by chemotherapy. The three rounds of chemotherapy began in August of 2017.

It was just before Easter of this year, at Rohn’s six month follow-up, that Dr. Christensen deemed him “cured”. I say that with a bit of skepticism because I’ve seen this disease kill two of our dogs and because the treatments left Rohn’s shoulder very weak and susceptible to injury.

My advice for other canine Moms and Dads would be to try a course of action. We were strongly advised to amputate, but knowing our dogs, we could not go this route. You have to know yourself and your pet well enough to make the best decision possible, and know the whole experience is not going to be easy. Just like life …

After losing our two females from this dreaded disease, I am grateful we decided to try something that wasn’t at first an obvious choice for us. The doctors and staff at UW Veterinary Care are patient, professional and caring. When I discovered from Dr. Christensen that The Puppy Up Foundation was the group that funded the clinical trial for Rohn’s therapy, I was even more in awe. I love that your organization is not only trying to discover a cure for cancer in dogs, but that you are linking it to cancer in humans. I get goosebumps from the scope and majesty of your aim.

I am very thankful for the extra time we’ve been given with him.


Janet Sarnow