Matt and I got Maverick the week after we got married, and from that point on, he was part of the family. So much so, that when we decided to move to London for work, we jumped through every hoop required to ensure Maverick was able to move with us. It wasn’t even a question – if Maverick was unable to go, no one was going!
When Maverick was diagnosed with cancer, we were devastated. Along with the diagnosis came so many questions: What are the treatment options? Where do we take him to be treated? Will he survive? Is it common for dogs to get cancer? And, of course, how much will treatment cost?
As we moved forward with Maverick’s treatment, several of those questions were answered. We learned that canine cancer is very common – in fact, fifty percent of dogs will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of ten. We learned that while treatment is expensive, ranging from four to ten thousand dollars depending on treatment needed, there is a high success rate. However, we also learned that many dogs diagnosed with canine cancer go untreated as families often do not have the financial resources to pay for the life-saving treatment needed. Maverick was so important to us. Neither of us could imagine knowing there was a treatment option, but no way to pursue it because we couldn’t afford it.
After Maverick finished his treatment and was officially a cancer survivor, we continued to reflect on how blessed we were to be able to afford Maverick’s treatment and how thankful we were for every single day we got to spend with him. Maverick made every day better – he lit up our lives and we were so happy to have him well again. It would have been easy to just move on and not think about the hard times. But Maverick’s cancer journey had really made an impact on us. And Matt was determined to do something to help those who couldn’t afford treatment for their pets.
When Matt first suggested a nonprofit, I thought he was crazy! It was a great idea, but neither one of us had any experience with nonprofits. But that never stopped Matt. He found a lawyer, got the organization nonprofit status, lined up board members, donors and volunteers. And in the fall of 2018, after becoming a registered 501(c)3, Dogslife officially began taking applications and launched with its first fundraising event at Ozona’s in Dallas. Matt’s determination was not only a testament to his desire to help families facing canine cancer, but also how big of an impact that little Scottish fur-ball had on our lives.
While Dogslife has been able to provide financial assistance for families facing canine cancer, the board and staff know there is always more we can do to help. We want to provide more than just financial assistance for families dealing with this devastating diagnosis. We hope this blog will not only be a resource for families looking for information about canine cancer, treatment options and Dogslife, but also a means of support, comfort and hope for families throughout their journey. Having been through this journey with Maverick, I know how crucial it is to have a support group alongside you every step of the way.
If your dog has recently been diagnosed with, or is currently being treated for, canine cancer, please let us know how we can help! We would love to know how we can use this blog to best support you and any topics you would find useful. Please let us know in the comments below.