It’s not an easy job being Queen but somebody’s got to do it. Somehow we managed to run the Wiener Palace with just a Princess for a few years and everything was fine. About a year and a half ago, I saw a post on Facebook that pulled on my heart. It was a scruffy looking pup with basically only an underbite showing from underneath a mess of hair. She was posted on Ruby Ranch Rescue’s page and it said she had mammary cancer that had spread and was in need of a hospice home. We have done some hospice care including our sweet foster Flora who had a big tumor on her back and Cocoa Puff who also had mammary cancer. She needed a quiet house to live out her days which were estimated to be six to twelve months. We have a fairly quiet home full of soft dog beds, were experienced with mammary cancer and thought she was adorable. The biggest problem was that she was in Arizona and we live in Indiana. Through the magic of social media, someone agreed to let her fly with them to Chicago and another person picked her up there and kept her for several days until we could drive up to meet them. Her name was Tatianna and there was no denying that she was meant to be Queen. The rescue made a video showing her story up until the time she headed out to meet us http://youtu.be/4mkjLfO-fWA .
We met two of her guardian angels just South of Chicago. They had picked her up at the airport and pampered the heck out of her while she was there. She even came with a swag bag full of goodies including this T-shirt that has a sparkly heart on the back of it. Doesn’t she look like such a happy pup? So we brought her home essentially to die. But Tatianna had other bigger plans. She wanted to experience the world and live life to the fullest. We took her with us to a few pet events and discovered that she loved people and loved attention. I thought that maybe she could be a therapy dog like Pebbles and Fiona. So even though they say “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, we decided to try. I didn’t tell anyone what we were doing because I wasn’t sure it would even work. But she was a quick learner even at 15 and learned basic obedience and passed her therapy dog tests with flying colors. She loves going to the nursing home and the middle school. She does a great job of sitting still while the kids read to her. She thrives on attention and loves to go anywhere in the car.
She’s done great healthwise since we adopted her. She needed a dental desperately so about a year ago so we had that done and her mammary tumor taken off. The margins were clear and her bloodwork was great so we thought we got it all. About a month ago, she decided to take off on a little journey and the day after that I noticed that one of her little skin tags had come off. The next day, it looked worse so off to the vet with her. The vet commented on the place where she had the mammary tumor removed and thought that it seemed firmer and larger. We wanted to let her back heal before poking around in her belly so I took her back to the vet yesterday to get both checked. Our vet determined that it was not scar tissue as I had hoped. It appears to be more mammary tumors and they are on both sides of her chest now. She did an X-ray and there are also nodules in her chest. Given her age and medical history, we are going to treat conservatively at this time as she does not appear to be in pain and is not having any side effects from them. She will go back in three weeks for a re-check to see if we’ve slowed their growth. As long as she feels good, she will continue to do her therapy dog visits. She gets so much joy out of visiting and the people love her so much. Her 17th birthday will be on Valentine’s Day 2014 so that’s my goal for her. She had such a great Sweet 16 party at the retirement village and had 40-50 people stop by to wish her a Happy Birthday and there were two birthday cakes!
I want to leave you with this-please spay and neuter your pets. There are so many unwanted animals in shelters and rescues out there and it’s healthier for your pets to be altered. Tatianna’s mom loved her very much but didn’t have her spayed. If she had been spayed at a young age, her chances of getting mammary cancer would have been almost zero. Here’s a link to low cost spay/neuter clinics in your area. Hugs your pups tight and remember to Opt to Adopt. Long Live Queen Tatianna!