Hope’s Journey – Week 7

Hope is so happy to be back at work as a therapy dog.
Hope is so happy to be back at work as a therapy dog.

My goodness, how fast time flies.  It’s hard to believe that seven weeks ago we were just starting our journey together with Hope, our thirteen year old, beautiful Border Collie/Golden Retriever mix who had been diagnosed with lymphoma.

After seven weeks of treatment, Hope’s oncologist, Dr. Hamilton at Blue Pearl Georgia Veterinary Specialists, let us know that Hope is in complete remission.  He said that the remission is both internal and external.  He will still need to complete the full chemotherapy protocol so that there is no relapse.  That should include eleven more treatments.

Just having the diagnosis of remission has made our outlook so much better.  Making the long drive through Atlanta traffic every week seems more worthwhile since we now know it is for a positive outcome.

Hope is still struggling with eating enough food and is taking an appetite stimulant.  Some days we have to offer him several different types of food from his usual raw diet to boiled chicken and rice to canned baby food before he finally decides that he is hungry.  I have even pried open his mouth and put a small amount of food on his tongue to encourage him to eat.  I learned that trick from my small Poodle/Shih Tzu mix who is a very picky eater.  Once food is on their tongue it seems to stimulate them to eat.  It’s almost as if they are thinking, “Hmmm.  I didn’t realize the stuff in my bowl is food.”

I love hearing him bark at me every morning, telling me to get up and pay attention to him.  He is a big attention hog and if one of the other dogs is getting special attention he will push his way forward and bark at me until I turn my attention to him.  Heaven help the people who come to our house.  He will bark and bark until everyone has acknowledged that he must be the most special dog in the house and everyone has to pet him before he gets quiet.  He has trained us all to do things his way.

This week’s photo was taken on Saturday at a local library where Hope was quietly listening to a young boy read a book to him.  Since he is in remission we let him resume his work as a therapy dog because he loves it so much.

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