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  • Gone To the Dogs Photography

The C-word

Time with our animals is never long enough. I don't care if your pet is 12 years old or 12 weeks old. One day you'll stop and think "where the heck has time gone?" Let me tell you, nothing makes you slow down more than the C-word.

My Ivy has been a challenging dog. She's not super affectionate, she IS super reactive, and I've never met a dog who is more indifferent to food. All of her quirks have taught me so much acceptance and her aloofness is so intense that it inspired me to enroll in Animal Behavior College's Dog Obedience trainer program. Yep. She's so difficult that I decided I need to be a dog trainer in order to be able to communicate with her! We've been making tons of progress in our relationship and I've finally found the way to her heart - BEEF LIVER!

To say I was blindsided by the call from the vet saying Ivy has cancer would be an understatement.

This shit can't be real.

She's not even four years old yet.

We're just starting to have a fantastic relationship.

Well, it IS real and surgery is inevitable. Chemo is quite possible.

But no matter what happens, we've got a lot of good memories together. And if all goes well, we will have more time to make more memories. I guess what I'm saying is don't wait to start forming bonds with your dogs and committing to spending quality time with your dogs. None of us know how long we've got.

If you've gone through a cancer journey with your pets I'd love to hear from you. Reach out to me via email at We can all use a shoulder to cry on and a fellow animal lover to connect with.

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Heather Wood
Heather Wood
29 apr 2021

Ten days ago, my husband found a small pea-sized lump on our 18-month-old Shiba Inu, Keiko. You could touch it, and she didn’t even notice. My husband and I didn’t think it was a big deal, but I called the vet anyway. As soon as I said the words “skin lump” the vet told me to bring Keiko in that afternoon. I was surprised by the apparent urgency. The vet took some tissue from the lump and told me it looked like something benign, some kind of dog pimple basically, but she wanted to look at the tissue under a microscope anyway. I took Keiko home.

Later that afternoon the vet called to say it wasn’t a pimple-thing after all.…

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