By: Mary Rita Sandoval
Our family has been blessed with the presence of our dear Rosie, a beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, for almost 16 years. In those years I’ve become a true believer that by brushing her teeth every evening I have lengthened her life by almost a decade!
Rosie is a sweet, friendly dog who hardly ever barks. My husband, Richard, and I got Rosie for our daughter, Katie, who was 13 at the time. Katie is now 29 and Rosie will be 16 in February!
Rosie has slowed down a little over the years, and she no longer jumps up onto chairs, but other than these minor changes, she is remarkably youthful. She still enjoys a little exercise each day. She is our constant companion, so gentle with our granddaughter and always sitting in her rightful place – right next to us on the couch. Dr. Earley says she’s a wonder dog! I call her Queen Rosie, the Grand Dame Cavalier of Animal Hospital of North Asheville!
I’m so glad I’ve done my part regarding her oral hygiene by brushing her teeth with her favorite poultry-flavored toothpaste. I truly believe brushing her teeth has helped her in many, many ways. She has remained healthy and has blessed our lives for so long with true and loyal companionship. Rosie has never had unhealthy gums or unpleasant breath at her geriatric age; sometimes I still can’t believe that our sweet girl is over 105 in human years!
It only takes a few attentive minutes each day to brush your dog’s teeth. I promise you, it’s one of the best gifts you can give them as well as a BIG hug!
Addy is the third Weimaraner that Laura and Ray Pease have owned – she is also the most affectionate.
“We call her our neck baby,” said Laura. “She just loves to snuggle and be hugged. She’s a vibrant dog with lots of energy. She’s really attached to Holly, our Labrador. Like most Weimaraners she can be a little bit of a handful because she has a mind of her own, but we love her so much. We wouldn’t have her any other way.”
Addy is 9-years-old and like a lot of dogs her age she has lots of benign fatty bumps on her body. Laura and Ray bathe Addy weekly and check that the bumps haven’t drastically changed in size, or that she hasn’t developed new ones.
“And of course every time we bring her in to the hospital, Dr. Earley checks and measures Addy’s lumps and bumps,” said Laura.
During one routine checkup, Dr. Earley found a different kind of bump on Addy that he was concerned about. It was pea-sized, barely raised, with a tiny bit of redness.
“I had noticed the bump on Addy when I was bathing her and it didn’t concern me at all,” said Laura. “I thought it was a bug bite that she had scratched. It looked as if Addy had scratched a scab off. Weimaraners have very smooth coats and you couldn’t see this bump at all. I only knew it was there through touch.”
Dr. Earley performed a biopsy and sent the tissue off to the laboratory to be tested. When the lab received the tissue they called Dr. Earley because they couldn’t find anything other than normal tissue.
“Dr. Earley assured them the potentially cancerous tissue was there, and he asked them to please look again, very carefully. On retesting, they found cancer cells. It was so small that even the guys at the lab had a hard time finding it! Ray and I were so grateful to Dr. Earley. We can’t say enough good things about him.”
Thankfully, after running the appropriate tests, Dr. Earley was able to assure the Peases that the cancer had not spread to Addy’s internal organs. But, over time, Dr. Earley had to remove several more bumps; they just kept popping up all over Addy’s body. Each individual surgery was successful, but the Peases and Dr. Earley had to be vigilant about watching for, and removing, each new growth.
“I can’t stress enough that Addy was showing no signs of illness. She still had tons of energy. She is a 9-year-old dog, but she acts like she is 4 or 5. You would never guess that anything was wrong with her. Finally, Ray and I, with Dr. Earley’s help, decided that something else needed to be done. We didn’t want to continue to cut Addy to remove each new tumor – especially since it was obvious that the cancer was just going to keep coming back. And we were worried about the cancer invading an internal organ. So we decided to put Addy on a course of chemotherapy.”
Addy responded well to chemo. She was a little lethargic for a day after each treatment, but otherwise she suffered no side effects. It has been over 8 weeks since her last treatment, and so far there have been no problems. The cancer has not come back and Addy is thriving!
“Addy is a very vocal dog – it’s just the way she communicates,” said Laura. “She knows the drive to the hospital and when we reach a certain curve she begins to bark to show her excitement. When we walk in the hospital she greets each lady at the front desk with loud barks. They all know Addy is ‘talking’ to them, and they laugh and say hello right back to her. Once in the exam room she sits quietly, but the whole time she is staring at the door just waiting for Dr. Earley so she can bark her greeting to him! Dr. Earley has started to play a game with Addy. He will open the door so slowly, first a crack, then a little wider until Addy sees him and gives a big ‘Hello!’. Addy’s on to Dr. Earley’s game now and catches him sooner every time.”
“We are so grateful to everyone at AHNA,” said Laura. “The staff has done so much for our pets over the years. And I think it’s a testament to how kind everyone is at AHNA that a nervous Addy will go willingly with anyone on staff. She has had so many procedures at the hospital and yet she still trusts everyone there.”