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Category Archives: Animals

Anything pets or wild

Bone Cancer: Hank’s new battle

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Hank, my 7 years old great pyrenees, got bone cancer. It took me a while to be able write about this. I got him in at the vet early November for a limp. Nothing you can’t see in the winter time. The vet seemed worried about it so we did x-rays of his leg. Came back that the humerus bone was like a sponge. Hank was definitely in big pain. The vet told me amputation could be an option but chances were he wouldn’t make it. We went back home with pain killers and anti-inflammatory to make him more comfortable until it’s not bearable. I will admit it. I cried and and cried for days. My friend Hank at my side not knowing what was up with me but always patient and gentle. Often nudging my elbow for some petting.

Then one day I woke up refusing this fate for him. I had to do something. I got in touch with facebook friends which dogs had cancer. They recommended me to chat with the fellows at This forum is about amputation and cancer treatments. Very nice people. As per their advice I went to meet and oncologist and a surgeon in my area. We had a good chat and I approved that amputation was an option for Hank. They made further x-rays of his lungs and saw not mets. I cried of joy because this gave me the green light for the surgery. The surgeon gave me an  estimate. My hopes went down. There was no way I could afford the amount. I had already spent all my saving in the diagnosis and the consults.

They then showed me a leaflet for ACTSS ( I applied and after filling all the forms they approved me. I was crying again. But then I hit another obstacle. The amount granted to me was not even half of what the estimate was. I lost no time and started talking to people. A friend told me about Clearwater vet Clinic ( in Rocky Mountain House. They made me an estimate that was fitting my grant without putting my dog’s life in jeopardy. They were amazing.

So December 7th I drove the 2 hours between Calgary and Rocky Mountain House to bring Hank for his amputation. The surgery went well and he recovered nicely at the hospital. He got tons of love and treats from the staff. Two days later I was finally reunited with Hank. I was so happy to see him. He stood strong on his three legs like he was born that way. I never saw that boy not looking strong and majestic. The staff at the hospital had bandaged him  and I got told to have his bandage removed in 3 days.

Hank getting out of the Hospital December 9.

Hank also had some neuromas issues. This is caused by the nerves healing a little wrong. It give the dog like a quick jolt. Apparently it’s normal. It’s started randomly and now he as them less often. I hope they will stop because they hurt him. Then the 10th day arrived. The vet undid the wrap and removed the stitches. Everything looked great. Since the cone was not a good option for us and because Hank tried to lick so he had to wear a t-shirt.

The stitches on the 4th after surgery

Hank had to stay quiet and adapt to his new life. Eating was an issue. It was a challenge to find something he would eat. Then he hadn’t had any bowel movements in days so I was getting worried. In between all my worries he seemed happy. He would spend some time on my bed while I was reading. I got lots of support from the tripawds community. That was really needed.


Things went to be better and better. And easier and easier. The fight for the food eased up when the medication stopped. On the 10th day it was suture removal. It was perfect. Even his hair was growing back nicely. I then took the boy for a romp at Nose Hill park.  He loves that park. He had a blast hoping.


Now I’m working on getting another grant with ACTSS for chemotherapy. There’s no bypass, I have to fill all the paper work again. I’m bless to have a family vet so cooperative in sending files everywhere for me. Then the other plan is to get him on a holistic regimen. It might seem much to do but every step is worth it. Hank is doing good. He’s made at home in a chair and runs me over like a bulldozer every time we go outside. He also resumed going to the hospital to visit sick people. He gets lots of attention on his three legs but that’s what he loves best.

Stay tune for the updates on Hank’s fight.

To anyone who as to go through cancer in their pets. There’s hope. My way of dealing with Hank’s osteosarcoma is the way I think is the best for him and for us. You might want to take another route. One thing I’ve learned is that there’s no right way with cancer. Also if you need support or to someone to talk to, send me an e-mail in the contact section. I’m always available to help another guardian.


Hot summer days

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Yesterday I was working outside on my bike pile. The dogs were out with me that’s no question. We had a peak of 30C so it was hot. Not only for humans but for the dogs and cats too. The cats totally disappeared for the day probably hiding in some cooler spot. The dogs were seeking for a hide too. One was digging the ground under a bush to rest on the cool dirt. Another one was in the shade but since he loves the heat he was also laying right in the sun. Then my two car loving hounds were in the car that was in the shade getting cooled off by a little breeze. I caught them sleeping away their hard day in the van. Though life it seems!


Lucy on the driver’s seat


Hank on the back bench


When it was time to go back in for the night they were pooped. Must be the lazy days that took it’s toll on them.

For the record the van was parked in the shades with widows and doors opened. They were free to be where they wanted. Also a pool of fresh water and water bowls are available at all time to them.

Pet Therapy: PALS of Calgary

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After reading an e-mail about new volunteering opportunity with my pet therapy group it inspired me to make a post about it. I’m a member of PALS of Calgary. PALS stands for Pet Access League Society. This group form and screen pets and their human to go visit people in need of pet therapy. The people and pets going through the screening process are gems. The process is taken very seriously and this made PALS an awesome group to be a part of. It’s not just about dogs. There are also cats, a mini horse, hamsters, birds, you name it. All of which as to go under the same screening process. Yes it might be hard to get in and I noticed that it’s either you fail or you pass.

Questions I get asked about the process of being a member of PALS.
-Q: Is it your dog? A: Yes we as handler are also the guardian of our pet.
-Q: Does you pet require special training? A: Not necessarily but a basic obedience is a must have with the dogs. I can’t speak for the other critters tho. A good temperament is the base of it. If you have a calm affectionate animals that is not stressed under strange circumstances chances are it can be a therapy pet.
-Q: How does the screening process go? A: When we get screened we sit in a room with many other dogs and sometimes other animals. The pet needs to remain calm at all time and not try to play or bark or fool around. No sniffing of each other is allowed. If your dog fail one of the previous requirements it is excused. If you still wish to be a part of the group you may come back for another screening round after a certain amount of time. If you are still in the room you will get called in an office where 2 volunteers will test your dog and ask questions about it. They will test its reactions with a sudden loud noise, with a falling crutch, a person in crutches, a person in a wheel chair, a person in a wheel chair moving around and more. Your dog needs to remain calm at all time.
-Q: How old does your dog need to be in order to qualify for the group. A: It needs to be one year or older but not older than 8 years old.
-Q: Does your dog need to be vaccinated? A: Yes he does and we have to show proof of it all along.

I visit with my Great Pyrenees dog Hank. Hank is now 7 years young. He started with PALS at the age of one. You might think he’s a veteran? For a dog yes but 6 years for a human volunteer is nothing. A lady in my visit group have been around for 15 years! More about my friend Hank. I adopted Hank at 10 months old from the Cochrane and Area Humane Society. He was shy and skittish. After a few months of showing him he was safe I saw the gem in him wanting to be loved by anyone. He always have been a very quiet gentle giant dog. Always wanting to please you and anyone so I got him involved in the group. He passed his screening with flying colors. Through the visits he mature to be a better dog. The therapy benefited not only the people but him too. I once visited a school with kids with learning disabilities. While I was there for the first time I almost cried of joy seeing my pal Hank being so at ease with the kids and loving them so much. I don’t have kids so I didn’t know what he was going to think about them. In one of the classroom there was that cute little girl in a special wheel chair. She didn’t smile much. Hank was attracted by her. A few minutes later she started showing sign of wanting to pet him. The then proceed to dig her fingers in his fluffy white fur. A smile grew on her face. The teacher was amazed and very happy as I was told the little girl was not smiling quite often. Hank just knew he could bring something to her and he operated his magic. Hank is an amazing dog that needed to blossom in the right hands. He’s doing therapy with me everyday. I’m happy to be able to share Hank’s talent with others that needs him. We are planning on visiting people until he doesn’t feel comfortable anymore.


PALS is like a family to me. The office people are genuine and their hearts are at the right place. The volunteers are also amazing. I have met so many wonderful people through this group. I’m proud to be a part of this. Pet therapy rocks and will always do. PALS is a charitable organization.

After you read this take a look at your pet (if you have one) and tell them you love them.

To get in touch with the PALS group please visit their website.
If you are interested in giving support or a donation please check the tab on their website.

I would like to had that PALS did not requested me to post about them nor was I paid for this. I did it because I believe in this group and what I do.