Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kava and Taz by Laureen Straw

I had the pleasure of meeting Luke, Murphy and Hudson at the Berks County Animal Rescue League's "Carnival for the Animals" in the Reading, PA. area on October 11. Poor Luke didn't even have a chance to sit down at his booth with the boys before I approached him and bombed him with questions. He was very gracious and answered every one of them. I only recently learned about his adventure and the disease he is bringing so much attention to...cancer. I lost one of my Schipperkes, Kava, in June of this year and I have another one, Taz, who's days with us are numbered.

Luke asked that I email my story so here it is as best as I can tell it.........

My husband and I adopted Kava in March 2001 from the Berks County Animal Rescue League. I'll never forget the day I saw him. I went in to donate supplies and walked through to see the animals. There he was in a kennel as soon as I walked through the door. He had a squeaky toy in his cage and brought it over to me and dropped it at the door with the biggest doggy smile I had ever seen. I fell in love instantly and my husband and I adopted him. It was obvious he had a rough life until then. At the time, our vet estimated he was about 8 years old. When we brought him home, he and our other Schip, Taz, became buddies and our favorite thing to do was to go for walks together along the trails of Blue Marsh Lake.

Last October, Kava developed a tumor on his paw that was surgically removed and disintegrated so they could not conclusively tell if it was cancerous. After that, his weight started dropping and he managed to stay with us until June of this year. It wasn't proven but we are all pretty sure it was cancer. He was always such a happy boy and gave us so many years of joy. Above is a picture of him from October of last year at Halloween.

Now, Taz has a large inoperable tumor on his side and is also losing weight rapidly. Today is his birthday...He is 17 years old! Here is a picture of him with his party hat right after having some special treats to celebrate. We know our time with him is limited and every day is precious as it was with Kava. We take comfort in knowing Kava is waiting for him at the Rainbow Bridge where they will be together again.

I lost both parents and other family members to cancer. It is a disease I would like to see a cure for in my lifetime for both people and animals. As I told Luke I admire him and the boys for drawing awareness and support for a most worthwhile cause. I wish him, Murphy and Hudson a safe journey!


Karen said...

I remember you telling me Kava's calcium counts on his blood tests were elevated indicating cancer. He was a brave boy.
Happy Birthday Taz! Hope you have many more treats.


Brandon said...

Happy birthday Taz! It's comforting to know he has a new buddy to keep his spirits up.