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Inky was rescued from the East Texas Cocker Spaniel non-profit organization when he was 3 months old after being given to four boys under the age of five as a Christmas gift. Inky was hand-picked by the coordinator of East Texas Cocker Spaniel because she knew that my goal was to train him as a hearing ear dog (service animal for the deaf/hard of hearing).  I had just lost my hearing ear dog after having him for 15 years. My heart was broken, and I was miserable without a service animal and companion. Inky had the desire to work than to be a lazy dog. With a calm demeanor, he was not easily startled by the surroundings outside of the home and tried not to cause too much disturbance while protecting me.   He continues to perform complex tasks that require innate intelligence and decision making, but at the same time he has a friendly disposition. As a loving service animal, he has built and maintained a strong bond while serving my needs in the home. 

In December 2022, Inky started limping and holding up his left paw while walking. I took him to his primary veterinarian who thought at that time that he had sprained or fractured his front leg. He was in a soft cast for several weeks before being referred to an orthopedic surgeon. After meeting with Dr. Angel Thompson, at DVSC, she did not feel that Inky had a fracture and suggested a soft cast for three weeks and CAT scan.  When the CAT scan results and biopsy were completed, I learned that Inky had a malignant soft tissue mass (sarcoma) in his upper left leg. 

Of course, cancer has a rippling effect in life and alters our realities. As I was trying to make sense of Inky’s diagnosis, Dr. Thompson graciously guided me to consult with an oncologist for Inky. Both Inky and I met with Dr. Cecilia Lopez, an oncologist who took a great deal of time to share various treatments and options that would work to help to sustain Inky’s vitality. As the cost of treatments were discussed, my mind and eyes started to become a blur. Dr. Lopez knew I was starting to feel helpless hearing the cost of treatments and suggested that I reach out to Dogslife.     

I truly can’t thank enough for Dogslife’ s generous grant for Inky’s oncology care. This grant will allow me to continue his care and allow him to continue the role he loves to do as a service animal for the deaf/hard of hearing.   


Dogslife makes a difference in the world, and I am incredibly grateful for their generosity. 

- Kerry Tate (May 2023)

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