Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bailey by Sarah Fairbrother

Bailey came to our home as a foster dog through Rudy's Rescue, a Labrador Retriever rescue in Rochester, NY that rescues dogs from kill shelters all over the country and gives them a second chance at life by finding them forever homes. Bailey’s owners had decided to move out of state and left her off the packing list.

She was in rough shape, even for a 10 year old Lab. She hadn't been vaccinated properly in a few years; her teeth were worn and yellow; arthritis caused her to hobble; and she had two softball-sized fatty growths, one on her side and one in her groin area, both of which hampered her mobility even further.

In the beginning she could barely make it up and down the four steps on our porch to go outside for the bathroom. She spent all her time in her crate, often refusing to come out. She was sad, confused and depressed.

Thinking the growths on her side and groin were merely fatty deposits, we still decided that removing them could do nothing but improve her quality of life. We soon heard back from the vet that the growths were malignant Grade 3 tumors. We were devastated but wouldn't know more about her prognosis until we could get her in a week later for a chest x-ray.

In just a week and a half after her surgery, Bailey blossomed and her personality was finally shining through. She would excitedly jump around and play with our two other dogs, even play with toys and bring them to us to tug or throw for her. So the bad news that we assumed was imminent was going to be tough for us to swallow. Here is this dog that finally started living after what we can only imagine was a string of bad years being neglected and unloved… We knew one thing for certain. Regardless of the news we were about the hear, we would do everything in our power to make her remaining time the best it could be, whether it be years or just a few days.

The day we went back to get the results of the chest x-ray was tough. The week leading up to her appointment felt like an eternity, not knowing what we were going to hear, but preparing for the worst. Dr. H. walked into the room and delivered the news. He was shocked at what the x-rays had revealed. He could not be happier about what he saw–nothing! He was expecting her to be riddled with nodules of tumors throughout her body and that just wasn't the case. She was tumor free. He explained to us that the tumors were mast cell tumors, a form of sarcoma that was localized to the growths themselves. It's hard to say what the progression of the tumors were since we don't know how long they were there, but we do know that they are history!

We truly believe that Rudy's Rescue saved Bailey's life. And we are very proud to be a small piece in the puzzle that makes it possible for Rudy's to operate and continue to save the world, one dog at a time. Bailey looked cancer square in the face, saw the new lease on life that Rudy’s granted her and kicked its butt. And now she's running and playing and loving life, and certainly not looking back. TAKE THAT CANCER!

We hope to find Bailey a forever home so she can live out the rest of her retirement and get all the belly rubs, ear scratches and love she could ever possibly want. Her profile and information can be found at www.RudysRescue.org where she and several other Labs are awaiting the loving homes that they deserve.

We hope that someday Rudy’s Rescue will no longer be needed and every animal will have a place to call home, but in the meantime we will continue to be the voice for these animals and let them into our hearts and homes so that they can have a better life.


OtterTail said...

Lovely story about Bailey. She has found some good luck in her old age. Best wishes for staying healthy and finding one more happy home.

OtterTail Art for Labrador Lovers

Anonymous said...

Great story. She is beautiful.
Tim Coolbaugh

rochonne said...

Rudy's rescue is awesome and how wonderful it is that Bailey found such loving foster parents. She is an inspiration to anyone who thinks it's too late or their too old to start living the good life! Bailey is a great role model! I hope when she finds her forever home they give her lots of love and belly rubs..... she deserves it!