Last night, on 18 August 2017 I found a massive growth or tumour on Jaggers upper jaw. This was incredibly shocking and heart breaking to me as he received a clean bill of health only a few months prior.
April 30 2017, just a few short months ago had marked Jagger's last day as a detector dog with Canadian Government.
Jagger was only 11 months old when he became a detector dog and now after 10 years and two months of serving Canadians as a Currency detector dog he retired. During those 10 years Jagger was always by my side and I truly spent more time with him than anyone else. You can imagine how hard his retirement was for both of us.
Jagger was also a member of the Agencies Ceremonial unit and we committed to continue to support the unit even post retirement. In fact the tumour was only found hours before our scheduled appearance at the Warriors Day Parade at the CNE. He wasn’t able to attend, and it was heartbreaking to think that may have been his last chance.
Anyone who knows Jagger knows he loves people and wants nothing more than to be in close contact with pretty much anyone who is willing to put out their hand. With his natural ability and love of people I thought it would be a shame to retire him when he was so healthy, so in preparation for his retirement in October 2016, Jagger became a certified therapy dog with Therapeutic Paws of Canada. Since that time he's visited countless people in the palliative care and mental health wards at Lakeridge Health in Oshawa. It is so wonderful to volunteer at the hospital with Jagger and bring such joy and peace to those in need.
Patients, visitors, staff, the public, Jagger and I all benefit from from the therapy sessions. So much healing when it's needed most.
When Jagger retired I adopted him and took responsibility for his ongoing care including his food and any future veterinarian bills. Unfortunately for most of his life he was owned by the government and a medical insurance policy was never deemed to be beneficial.
Jagger has always been incredibly healthy and people to this day comment that he appears to look far younger than he actually is.
Truly if his health was not as good as it is I probably wouldn't consider treatment. But despite this tumour and the impending surgery to follow he is in perfect health. An 11-year-old lab with virtually no arthritis who can run and play with the best of the dogs at the park and is eager and happy to attend the hospital and provide therapy to those in need.
My relationship with Jagger is very unique and he is obviously very special to me. Unfortunately, my personal and financial situation simply cannot provide Jagger with all the care and treatment that he has earned and so rightfully deserves.
This week I'll be driving Jagger to the Oakland Veterinary Referral Services (OVRS) in Michigan where I feel he can receive the best and most affordable treatment available.
Oakland Veterinary Referral Services (OVRS) has long been considered a leading center of specialty veterinary care in the Midwest. They now have one of the most comprehensive veterinary specialty facilities in the country.
Oakland Veterinary Referral Services (OVRS) has helped more than 60,000 patients since founded in 1989 by Dr. Lucy Henney, a board-certified veterinary surgeon. Today, our 28,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility consists of veterinarians and offer the following services:Anesthesia, Cardiology, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Emergency/Critical Care, Dermatology/Allergy, Internal Medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, and Soft-Tissue and Orthopedic Surgery.
On Thursday, Jagger will go under anesthesia and have the tumor biopsied. This alone costs over $1000.00. Then once the results come back, next steps will be determined, depending if it is benign or cancerous and then undergoing testing to see if it has spread. If the odds are in his favour of surgical success and his quality of life will be good and he can be happy, surgery will be done to remove the growth, which may have to include part of his jaw. Costs are estimated at a minimum of $5000.00.
I am hoping for the best case scenario, but will not know more until after the biopsy. I will update this page regularly with any updates.
Thank you for reading and for any donation you make. Every little bit helps. Any funds raised will go directly to Jagger's medical bills and to support and enhance his quality of life.
Words cannot express how grateful we are for your help.
*Jagger is retired from the government of Canada and the pictures attached are open to the public, to assist in telling his story. The canadian government is in no way endorsing this fundraisers.