Where to begin with Johnny...he is my first baby. He taught me responsibility, a mother's love, and patience - definitely a lot of patience, lol. We have been through so many ups and downs together. I took care of Johnny when he got ran over, when he broke his back, after we discovered his first mast cell tumor, and everything in between. He has also been there for me my entire adult life. I got Johnny a month after I turned 18 and moved into my own place. I had no clue what I was doing and he was definitely a handful as a puppy. We got through it together and he grew into the best behaved dog! He's listened to all of my struggled, and at this point, I really think he knows the entire English language. I suffer with bipolar II disorder and there have been times that he literally saved my life. No matter how much I ever wanted to give up, he made it better. I knew he would never be able to live without me. He gave me my sold purpose in life for years - to be his mom and give him everything he deserved.
Johnny went to stay with my mom this summer to get some outside time and run and play in the country, which le loves! At the beginning of September (2020), my mom brought him with her to our family vacation in Galveston, so that I could bring him home afterward. The day before I got there, she said a large bump appeared on his leg. When I arrived and saw how big it was, and that it was in the same spot as his mast cell tumor four years ago, my heart stopped.
When we got back home, I brought him to the oncology department at MedVet Dallas. They said it was a much more aggressive tumor that may have already spread, and even if it hadn't, there was not enough skin to remove the tumor. The oncologist told me that he had three to six months to live if he did not get treatment. After telling me the cost of testing and treatment, I knew there was no way I could ever come up with that amount of money. After a very emotional few hours, I told the doctor that I wanted to bring him to play fetch and then would bring him back to say goodbye. Today, I can't believe that I almost lost him that day - I was just thinking that he wouldn't know and I didn't want him to suffer (for some reason I thought he would suffer immediately). I was not in the right state of mind to be making a decision like that and the doctor recommend him I take him home for the weekend to spend time with him before saying goodbye. A friend of mine told me about charities that may be able to help. When I struggled to find one, I called MedVet and asked if they had any ideas. They told me about Dogslife.
For the first time since I heard about the cost, I had hope. I knew if anyone could survive this and prosper, it was Johnny. Just knowing there was a possibility of him getting treatment helped me enjoy time with hiim while waiting to find out if they would be able to help. That hope allowed, and is still allowing, me to enjoy time with him without thinking this is the end. Now that I know he will be able to get the treatment he needs to live, I know everything is going to be okay because he is happy, doing great, and is the toughest dog I know. THANK YOU DOGSLIFE!
In addition, I meant to mention how much this time with Johnny has meant to our family. My daughter is about to turn two and before Johnny went to spend the summer with my mom, she wasn't old enough to really have a relationship with him. Now, her Bubba (Johnny) is her entire world. He is her everything. It's so sweet that I catch myself tearing up, just so happy that I heard about Dogslife and didn't give up. That hope is why he is with us today and why we'll always have all the memories we have made since his diagnosis. She cares about feeding him before eating herself, which is is a huge fan of. They're so sweet together and I am just so happy that we've had this time and hopefully much more.
- Rebecca Collins