When I adopted Dora Mae, she was already grey in the face. The rescue told us she’d been adopted once before and returned for being too quiet. Still, she leaned into my hand every time I pet her. She was my dog; I had to bring her home.
For the first several months we called her “Dora the Doorstop” because she was afraid of everything and rarely left the couch. Then her true colors showed and she became a fearless social butterfly. Over the next few years, I began to realize just how special she was; she seemed naturally drawn to people and people just opened up around her, so with a lot of training, we became a certified therapy dog team.
Only a few months after got our certification, we were struck a blow, and Dora was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She had a splenectomy and began chemo, but we were told she would have 6-8 months left, at best. Still, with the blessing of the oncologist and the vet, we continued our visits – a therapy dog with cancer was something special in the nursing homes where other people were also fighting that terrible disease.
And against all odds, she kept going – eight months, a year, two years, and on… After about 2.5 years, we retired from nursing home visits and started visiting elementary schools and libraries where people could come to her, as it was less taxing, and kids loved her just as much – if not more – than the seniors did. She was truly something remarkable.
She finally lost the battle three years and 51 weeks after her cancer diagnosis, but we made a lifetime of memories and she taught me so much that I will always appreciate her legacy.
Story submitted by Emily Ann Meyer from Frederick, Maryland.
This story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!Whizzco