Those who know me know that my buddy and companion Golden Retriever Bentley, was diagnosed last summer with a slow growing form of lymphoma. When the UW (University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine) could not determine the cause, they recommended I send his blood to Colorado State University (CSU) where research to determine why 60% of our Goldens die of cancer when the rate is 40% for other breeds. They are both too high but that is a subject for another day.  The Goldens in the CSU study diagnosed with this newly identified form lived 6 to 33 months and some did not die of lymphoma. This length of time is quite unusual. They also see, now, that some of their symptom free (i.e. normal) subjects (sweet Goldens) also have the cells found in and used to diagnose Bentley. This is early in the study for them to know all the pieces of this newly identified form of lymphoma. So far, one year later, I am blessed to have Bentley with me and doing fairly well. He is happy, eats well and outside of periodic rounds of infections, hot spots and loose stools, he is comfortable and I believe, pain free. As I write this on May 8, he and I are dealing with his fourth round of problems in as many weeks.





So many of us who have lost those we love know all about waiting. Waiting for a diagnosis, waiting for a test result, waiting for medical appointments and more . Time seems to drag at these times.

As a child I could hardly wait for Christmas and then I waited to be 16 years old so I could drive. And I waited for the love of my life, Bill, to come along and share his life with me. But waiting took on more difficult challenges as the years passed.
When I started this blog post a few days ago I was waiting for the results of some blood tests for my companion dog/friend/fur baby Bentley. The University of Wisconsin Veterinary Hospital suggested I send his blood to the Colorado State University national lab where they study Golden Retrievers and cancer. I was aware that these results could results in a diagnosis of lymphoma in my beloved Bentley but hoped the problem was an easily treated inflammation.

Living well for many of us includes sharing our lives with a variety of pets. Some of us prefer cats, others prefer dogs, birds, fish or horses. If an animal is truly a pet, s/he becomes a family member and when they die...we grieve.
I have not had many pets in my life. As a child we had a puppy for about two days when it died. I don't remember much about that. As an adult I had a cat named Toby and later I fell in love with dogs. Our first dog, a Golden mix, was a throw away. Our neighbor saw its owner slow his truck a bit near a dump and throw Buffy (pictured left) out the window. He was 4 months old and became our family member for 13 years. He roamed our woods with us, curled up with Bill or me (or both of us) as we watched television, listened to music or slept.


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