My name is Josie, and I am fundraising for my beloved Emotional Support dog, Ronan, who was recently diagnosed with a soft tissue neoplasm (sarcoma) tumor on his Achilles Heel.
Although he would probably prefer me to refer to him as Ronan Protector of the Realm or Ronan Destroyer of Toys. The most important title that he carries with extreme pride is ESA Certified. Even though he has only officially had the title for a few years, he has always been my emotional support pup. There to make me smile after panic attacks, lick tears off my cheeks, or just as a snuggle buddy on anxious days. He is my sweet, sassy, vocal gentleman who has been there for me through thick and thin, and I want to give him the best fighting chance to make sure he is happy and healthy.
The Path So Far...
Ronan was recently diagnosed with a soft tissue neoplasm (sarcoma) tumor on his Achilles tendon. With this little man, we have gone through a gamut of tests (x-rays, bloodwork, sample collections, you name it), and all the vets are proud of how well he does for them. Ronan even got the verbal award of “Best Eski,” which he would proudly display if given a trophy.
The good news is the cancer cells seem to be localized to one leg.
Per our vet’s recommendation, we have booked an appointment with a cancer specialist for a surgical consultation. Here they will review Ronan’s findings, do an examination and then provide insight on the next steps with the mass.
No matter which way we look at it, it is expensive.
At this time, our tentative options are
(1) amputation to remove the cancer altogether since it has grown in and on that tendon,
(2) mass removal with some form of supplemental radiation treatment or chemotherapy,
(3) decreasing the mass size coupled with radiation or chemotherapy.
What’s going on with Ronan’s health, aka the meatball.
In mid-April, we took our regular spring trip to the beautiful tulip fields just south of Portland. We packed up Ronan and his two sisters Kahlua (our senior Golden Retriever) and Ember (our young kitty).
As a family, we splashed through mud puddles, awe’d at the rows of blooming tulips, and snapped a ton of adorable and fun pictures.
(Image: Kahlua and Ronan attempting their best impersonation of "American Gothic" by Grant Wood)
After mud puddle jumping, we gave Ronan and Kahlua a leg and belly bath to knock off the lingering mud.
Flash forward two weeks. Ronan was gently grooming his leg when I noticed a massive meatball-sized growth amidst the fluffy Eskimo booty hair.
It was so out of nowhere that we thought it might be a cyst. We just bathed him a few weeks ago after prancing around in tulip fields and didn’t notice it then, so it must have grown quickly.
A few days passed, and the mass did not change.
We took him to the vet to examine it; after taking samples and sending it out to a lab to review, the results came back.
Soft tissue neoplasm (sarcoma) tumor.
I was shattered.
Ronan, my first pup, my little man, was diagnosed with a cancerous growth that needs removal. Typically, this type of cancer spreads out from the tumor and attacks the lungs. Thankfully, we caught it early enough that his chest x-rays came back clear. However, the issue of the tumor still exists, and it needs to be removed quickly but also delicately due to the location. We still do not have a firm plan of action on how to remove/stop the tumor from growing and spreading. We hope to get more insight into the next steps with our surgical consultation appointment in a few weeks.
So, how did we get here?
It hurts us to be in this position to be asking for support.
We normally are the type to have a reasonably sized emergency fund for our pets and general life struggles.
However, that fund has quickly diminished due to Kahlua’s (our 15-year-old Golden Retriever) chronic struggles with Urinary Tract Infections. In 2020, Kahlua underwent a series of cancer screenings, blood panels, ultrasounds, x-rays, you name it, she was tested for it. Finally, in 2021, a mass appeared on one of her ultrasounds, and a few short weeks later, she underwent surgery to remove a third of her bladder where the mass rooted itself into her bladder wall lining. After 2 years of in and out of the vet with our baby girl, and keeping up with recommended urine cultures throughout this year, our emergency fund is nearly drained. We wouldn’t change a thing, Kahlua is fairly healthy, she still experiences UTI’s from time to time that we keep up on. Unfortunately, it has put us in a position where we are unable to provide for Ronan’s upcoming treatment without financial assistance.
How to help our family, but most of all Ronan the Protector…
If you can make a donation for any amount, and I mean any, even if it is a few dollars, adds up. It helps us get Ronan the care that he needs.
If you could share this donation page with your social community, friends, family, anyone, it spreads the word that we need help.
Any positive vibes and love that you can spare would be greatly appreciated.
We are grateful that you are even taking the time to read our story.
These past few weeks have been emotional.
It is hard to have a beloved furbaby have health concerns, it is emotionally draining just waiting for test results to come through and wondering what the next few weeks will look like.
From my family to yours, thank you.
Josie and Ronan