Why did I pick NOW to become a blogger?

A few days ago I was given a diagnosis that rocked my world. I'm a 10-year old Corgi living in Portland, Oregon. I am reasonably healthy, except for that abdominal surgery I had last summer. Ok - I don't know WHY I ate that piece of wire but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

In the middle of March, I was told by the folks at the Veterinary Cancer Referral Service that I have K9 lymphoma. I was gobsmacked! My mom immediately tried to find out everything she could and, while there were many sad stories, there really wasn't much else to go on. There are "support groups" but my mom's not much of a joiner when it comes to those things.

What we decided to do was chronicle this journey so that others can follow along. Those who have their own dogs fighting cancer - lymphoma and other forms. Those lucky enough to have a Corgi. Those just SO abysmally bored they have no better way to waste their time.

So we'll see how this works. Be well - The Barney Dog

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


 Bless me readers, for I have been remiss…again. It has been a month and a half since my last blog post. Normally one might think of the old adage “no news is good news.” That isn’t the case with me. Well, not completely.
Canine lymph node diagram
  On Friday, June 29, my mom found an “abnormal” lymph node. It’s amazing that she found it; it was hardly enlarged. My mom gropes me every morning. She pretends she’s just petting me or giving me a massage but she lingers with her fingers around all my lymph nodes. For the uninitiated, here is a handy diagram to help you find your canine’s lymph nodes. (Excuse the inferior breed pictured but I couldn’t find a diagram featuring a Corgi.) 
 Dr. Freeman at the Veterinary Cancer Referral Center was rather impressed that my mom found it at all. My dad said he couldn’t feel anything and that it was probably just part of my jaw. He was obviously in denial.
 As fate would have it, that Friday was the day before my parents were going to a place called Mexico to go scuba diving again. I’m not sure what that is, precisely, but they do it rather frequently. My mom and I immediately went over to see Dr. Freeman and she confirmed what we most feared: after 14 months, I am out of remission. I started chemotherapy again that same day; the Wisconsin Protocol again. 
 With my parents out of the country, my Aunt Heidi was kind enough to take care of us.  Aunt Heidi always gives us treats.  “Good” treats, healthy treats. She also doesn’t seem to mind following me around with gloves and the pooper scooper since handling “chemotherapy waste” is quite the challenge.  Should my siblings step in my doggie diamonds and then lick their paws (as we all do), it could make them very ill. Heidi was extraordinarily diligent. One might say obsessed.
 Heidi also brought me back to Dr. Freeman the following Friday since my parents were still away. We are certainly very lucky indeed to have someone as caring as Aunt Heidi to watch over us. I was panting for a few days, due in some small measure to the prednisone but more likely due to the higher temperatures.
 While my lymph nodes are back to a “normal” size, we have yet to hear the magic word “remission.”  We are keeping our digits crossed, however, and I am getting the occasional ground turkey with rice dinners. Scrumptious!
Godspeed, Ollie.
RIP dear Draco aka Chewbacca.
 My return to Dove Lewis was not without heartache, however. I learned that Lucy, another Corgi patient, never went into remission and is no longer with us. Her dad must be awfully sad. And Ollie, the pit bull/Basset mix I blogged about months ago, is also gone. And Draco...Fair winds and following seas to you. Good canines, one and all! 
 I did make a new friend, though, Archie. He is a 10 1/2 year old Golden Retriever also going through his second round of chemo. Archie’s dad was very affectionate with me and shared a word of encouragement with my mom. Chemo parents tend to do that when dropping us off for our weekly appointments. It seems to calm them somewhat. And we get treats.
 In the mean time, we will soon be moving to a place called Florida. I suppose that could be considered good news. Heidi immediately put my mom on notice that she will be “suing for custody” (I believe that’s what she said) because she doesn’t want us to go.
 My parents went to Florida to find a house last week and Heidi came to stay with us again. She let us all sleep out on the deck one night with her. She’s always letting us do fun things. And her husband, Mikal, came for a long visit, too. They are quite wonderful people, if I do say so and I will miss them terribly.
Evil triumphs when good dogs do nothing.
  As a family, Yuki, Tomo, Fred and I were also swept up in an unfortunate political cause last month. Once again, the Irish behaved rather badly when they decided to murder a pit bull mix purely because of his breed This poor lad did absolutely nothing wrong yet the Belfast City Council deemed him dangerous because of the way he looked.  Northern Ireland’s First Minister, Peter Robinson said, "Destroying a dog that had no history of aggression is folly and shames society.”  We agreed.  What they did was unspeakably cruel and unforgivable. Thousands of people protested and many offered to re-home Lennox to no avail. 
  Unfortunately, many cities in the United States also have bans and something called legislation that allows people to kill certain dogs seemingly because of a whim, a wild hair. It is called Breed Specific Legislation and makes no sense at all. It is pure rubbish and we had to take a stand!
 So we will be leaving Oregon soon. By the end of next month, I believe. I am looking at it as an opportunity to reinvent myself. I could start training to be a reindeer or start an events’ promotion company to celebrate holidays in style. My mom is frantically looking for a veterinary oncologist down there as good as Dr. Freeman. That might be a tough call because she is quite caring and is very good at what she does.  I’m sure these details will all be worked out in due time.
  I'll be watching the Olympics as much of the rest of the world will and I’ll post my keenly observant commentary in a more timely fashion. I understand that one of the Presidential candidates has a relative in the Olympics. They must be beaming with pride. I wonder what sport it is? Can’t wait to see!
  Til next time, be well. Keep calm and carry on!



  1. We are thinking of you and wishing you the best. My mom does the groping too--after she had found a lemon sized lymph node up under the leg of Bitey (he passed in Feb.) she realized how hard it is to find these symptoms!

    love & wags,

  2. Why thank you for your kind words, River. Since I posted this, my oncologist HAS determined I am back IN remission after 2 weeks of chemo. I will continue with the remainder of the protocol and keep my paws crossed. Stay tuned but, for now, all is good!

    The Barney Dog
    Portland, OR