I am heartbroken. Our beautiful, incredible Jupiter was just diagnosed with lymphoma. He’s only seven-years-old and has the heart and spirit of a puppy. He truly is the sweetest dog with the purest soul I’ve ever known. He’s funny and sensitive and adores his brother Jake. He’s the epitome of love and joy all wrapped up into one. Jupey loves everyone, and everyone — even people who don’t like dogs — can’t help but fall in love with him.
I’m convinced that Jake and Jupiter were meant to be with us. My husband and I adopted them after losing our beautiful 12-year-old rescue collie, Jack. We adopted Jack and his brother, Bear, as puppies from a wonderful woman named Evelyn. Ev enlisted the help of her dear friend, Liz, to drive Bear and Jack, along with their brother and mother, from Vermont (where they’d been starved and kept outside) to her home in New Hampshire.
After Jack died, Ev suggested I look at Liz’s website since she raises collies. I thanked her but told her I wasn’t ready. I was devastated. As time passed however, I wanted to find out more about the woman who helped rescue my boys. When I couldn’t stand the deafening sound of our empty house any longer, I called Ev. She told me Liz was expecting a litter later that month. It felt like Jack was pushing me along. I told her we really wanted two boys — there had to be two— so they always had each other. Ev promised to vouch for me since she knew I’d given Bear and Jack a long, happy and healthy life filled with love, despite the fact they were born with a life-threatening medical condition called megaesophagus, which required constant attention. She knew I would always do everything possible to give my dogs the best life imaginable. Thankfully, after meeting Liz, she agreed to let us share our life with two of her puppies.
I fell in love with Jupiter the second I saw him and we’ve been inseparable ever since. (He’s lying right next to me as I write this.) From the moment I met him, I knew he needed a great name. It had to be big and important and fitting so I named him after the planet. Both are fifth in line. Jupiter is the fifth puppy born in his litter, just as the planet is the fifth, and largest, from the sun. He’s also named after the “god of the sky and thunder” and “the god of gods” in Roman mythology. My Jupey is all of that, and then some. He is my heart.
Jupiter likes to sleep on the top of the back of sofas, like his cat brothers. He bounds over stone walls with ease and grace. He knows when someone is sad or sick or just in need of a huge Jupey hug and kiss. He gives the best ‘Smash Puppy’ in the universe — where he purposefully knocks you down, stands over you and kisses your face. And he loves to give ‘car washes’ where he walks between your legs and wiggles his beautiful bottom. This is especially funny when he does it to strangers we meet on walks. When he wants to go outside, he stands by the sunroom door and paws at a large glass bottle filled with beach stones till it pings just so. Once outside, he likes to stand in the crook of an old magnolia tree and pee.
I’m usually a very private person who’s not used to asking for help. I’m the one others come to for help, not the other way around. Unfortunately, we’re now trying to dig ourselves out of a financial mess. The last several years have been trying at best. We’ve overcome a lot. There was a miscarriage, a failed surrogacy, job losses, caring for sick and dying parents, helping friends with terrible illnesses, a tremendously serious car accident, and multiple, unbelievably expensive and unavoidable home repairs. Yes, we’ve had our share of stuff, but we’ve always managed to get by. But this is different. This is going to be very, very expensive and we just don’t have it.
Jupey is scheduled for 16 rounds of chemotherapy: once a week for eight weeks, then every other week for 16 more. Another ultrasound in a month and blood work prior to every treatment. That doesn’t include medication, additional tests, X-rays etc. and most frighteningly, the unexpected emergencies and hospital stays which can cost thousands of dollars. I know, because I’ve lived through it with Bear and Jack.
Not treating Jupiter is not an option, so I’m going against my nature, and asking for help. I have to do everything in my power to save him from this merciless disease. I’m terrified of losing him and terrified we don’t have enough money to treat him.
The oncologist is very hopeful. He says that 85-90% of dogs respond well to chemotherapy. Lymphoma is not curable, but it’s manageable. Just like Bear’s and Jack’s megaesophaguses.
I spoke to Liz the other night about Jupey. She told me that she’s convinced he’ll do well. “He has the best spirit and he has all the love in the world behind him,” she said. I know she’s right. I just wish he didn’t have to fight this battle. Please help me help him. I can’t tell you how much he means to us or how much we love him. He truly is such a special soul.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read this and for whatever help you can provide. Every bit is deeply appreciated. And when Jupey is back to himself, running around spreading love and laughter, barking and playing and making the world a more beautiful place, I’ll donate whatever money is left over to other families who need help treating their dogs with cancer. With tremendous love and appreciation, B xo