top of page


I met Noel in November of 2018. A classmate in my humanities class had a friend who was giving away puppies for free once they turned 6- weeks old. I told her please save me one, I hoped to convince my Mom later. I was definitely bringing one home. For about 2 weeks or so I sent my mom different articles about dogs to show I would be able to take care of her. During this time my Mom had also been diagnosed with breast cancer. I think this also played a part as to why she ultimately let me bring Noel home.


That same month my Mom had been diagnosed, I scheduled to finish my second surgery on the tendons in my ankle. I had tarsal tunnel release surgery on both of my ankles so I had to be in a boot for a while. I was not able to drive because it caused my stitches to split. With everything going on I really needed something that I could pour all my heart into, that would really bring something positive into my life. I didn’t realize until later, but since the surgeries really hindered my mobility my mental state was really not in a good place. I had even given up on myself at that point.

The day I brought Noel home, I thought I was so prepared.  The first thing she did was wiggle her way under the bed and get stuck, so I had to use my hand to lead her out. She looked so sweet, like she wouldn’t cause any trouble. I was told she was a spitfire and that she definitely was. Noel loved finding anything to get into and chew on. I went through a lot of trial and errors dog proofing everything and she had boundless amounts of energy. The first year I had her she would get a total of 4 hours at the dog park. Two in the morning and two in the evening. I got a break when she was napping in between.

All the attention and work she needed really helped. I needed her to bring back routine into my life, and she gave me a reason that I needed to go outside again. I needed to get up for work, so I could earn money to provide her proper nutrition and diet, vet vaccinations/visits and toys of course. She gave me a purpose that I had lost. I felt the joy she brought into my life, so I wanted to repay that by loving her and making everyday an adventure. I want her to experience as many things as possible.


This past November was a very devastating shock, as her birthday just passed and it was Thanksgiving week. I noticed some swelling at her throat, which I narrowed down to probably being her lymph nodes. Cancer was the farthest thing from my mind. I thought maybe she had some kind of bacterial infection, so I scheduled an appointment for her on Saturday of that week. Her primary vet was full, so they found an opening at another location. When I picked her up, the veterinarian prescribed some antibiotics for bacterial infections. They also called earlier for permission to get an aspiration of her lymph nodes. So from there I didn’t really assume anything I just though the medicine would clear it up. There didn’t appear to be any other signs of discomfort, so we went about our normal routine.


The following Wednesday when I received a call from the vet that she had lymphoma and explained that I would need to get an appointment with an oncologist to do further testing and talk about her future options. I was in complete disbelief, she just turned four. It just didn’t make any sense but I proceeded, and asked for the earliest appointment for Noel. The oncologist was able to get her in very quickly, and the closet one in the area was Animal Diagnostic. We met with Dr. Lopez, who explained the different options for Noel moving forward. I decided to go with the CHOP method since it had the highest rate of putting her cancer in remission. It was a really hard decision but I knew something needed to be done.


I know when you have a pet you are not guaranteed to be together for as long as you would hope, but I was not ready for our time together to end. Definitely not without doing whatever I could to prolong a quality life for her. Dr. Lopez and everyone at Animal Diagnostic have made me feel really comfortable since Noel is there every week. I know she is in really good hands and receive lots of love while there.


Treatments are very expensive. I am currently a senior at TWU (Texas Woman’s University) in Denton, TX with a major in kinesiology and work part time as a receptionist. I rely on financial aid for tuition and pay whatever is left by payment plan. My Grandmother helped with a lot of the payments, with her care credit. I paid her whatever I could. But we ran into a rough spot when my grandfather, who relies on an oxygen tank had other health issues. He was taken to the hospital during this time, so we really didn’t have any further way of paying. I didn’t want to stop Noel’s treatments so I made a call to Animal Diagnostic and asked if they knew of any programs that could offer assistance, and they directed me to Dogslife. I was very excited and beyond grateful to have received the grant. Now, Noel was able to continue her treatment and prolong the time  that we she and I have to be together. I could not have asked for anything more.

-Anevay Chacchia (February 2023)

bottom of page