As you may have heard, we recently received some very devastating news about our sweet man, Mr. Yogi Bear. Yogi has been diagnosed with lymphomacarcinoma. This means that lymph nodes all over his body are affected, and he was recently hospitalized due to severe GI internal swelling and partial dehydration. It is inoperable and he's not a radiation candidate for this type of cancer. Sadly, this is also the most common type of cancer found in young dogs.
Yogi's story is what a friend (who introduced me to Yogi, actually) likes to call "Rags to Riches"... Yogi came to me almost a year and a half ago, sort of accidentally. Emailed to me by a friend of a friend, as soon as I saw his picture and knew his story (he was abandoned by his owner, left out in the cold - literally - and was days away from the shelter in a not so-great part of town lacking animal lovers), I knew in my heart of hearts that this was My Guy and that I needed to bring him home. Luckily, I was right, and we've been inseperable ever since. Well, except for that one time he decided to "go on a walk by himself" as Tristan likes to call it, and I ended up in the middle of River Road during rush hour, holding a very confused Yogester by the collar and being very gracious of the traffic that let us safely cross over... :) Ahh, yes. That's about the only stress he has ever caused us, however, and is such a loving and steady presence in our home.
Truly, I just want to be able to give him another year. He's a young dog, and the diagnosis is grim. With chemo, he could live anywhere from 6-12 months, maybe longer. (Most average 8 months, but there are always better chances with a younger dog, so it could be longer.) With chemo in dogs, they almost always go into a remission stage, but only 5% fully recover. In almost all cases, the cancer comes back, and it's up to the responsible and caring owner to discern when the time has come to let go. We are prepared to make that call when it comes time, and we know that Yogi will tell us when that time comes. But for now, there are many things on the bucket list to check off, and many, many more cats to bark at.
The Hard Facts: Chemo and the cost of living for a terminally ill canine is very expensive. At 12 months, (although we can hope for longer) this comes to approximately $4,000.00 in basic extended medical costs and does not factor in supplements, vitamins and other materials needed to care for a terminally ill dog. Unfortunately, this is not a realistic cost for our family to pay on our own.
This is where you come in.
Jenn, Kyle & Tristan