Cash has been there by my side for over a decade, training dogs. Over the years, his ability to read dogs surpassed mine, and his judgment sharpened until I simply believed him if he told me that I'd under or overestimated a problem. He was a hero to hundreds of dogs, offering patience, care, playfulness, or friendly determination depending on what they needed. He befriended dogs that hated him, played daddy to youngsters learning manners, and gave second, third, and fourth chances to dogs who fell back into old aggressive habits when under stress.
He's an elderly gentleman now (never an old man), and partially retired. He's still my go-to when I need a partner for an especially difficult case. When someone tells me their dog has hurt other dogs, I bring Cash out and once more I unclip his leash. We talk while we work. “Cash, buddy, want to say hi?” No, Mom, that dog isn't safe yet. “Cash, stay close.” Sure Mom, but that dog is too hyper. I'm going to sniff this bush until you've calmed her down. “Good dog, Fido, sit and be calm.” That's my cue; he's safe, just excited. Can I come this close? “That's close enough, Cashy. Give him a second to calm down again.” Okay, no problem. Let me know when you're ready and I'll ease closer. “Move back a little, Cash. You're too close.” It's okay, Mom, this dog isn't as aggressive as you think. See? “Someday, you're going to give me a heart attack. But thanks, big guy. I hadn't known.”
Recently, we discovered a tumor growing rapidly from deep within his hip that we can't remove without likely crippling him. There's also a chance it'll kill him. It's a reality, no matter how much I hate it.
A fighting chance requires chemo and thousands of dollars to pay for it. A new chemo, an experimental one, that will hopefully shrink the tumor or at least stop it from getting bigger. We're also using natural treatments to support his immune system and help break down the cancer. We did x-rays and ultrasounds to see if there were other, obvious lumps – there weren't – and learned that his organs are in good condition. There's a chance this will work. There's a chance the chemo will fight the cancer off, without making him sick. There's a chance the herbs will strengthen his body enough to keep going. There's a chance he'll live for several more years, with his doe eyes and his happy smile and his gently wagging tail, reminding puppies to play nicely, and barking to let me know when someone is out of line. As long as he's willing, there's hope.
He's been a hero for a decade. Now it's our turn. Any donation helps. It goes toward chemo, toward supplements, toward physical therapy if the mass affects his walking.
Cash has never backed down from the impossible, and with your help, we can give him every chance to beat those odds again. Our hero isn't done yet.