Ranger is my soul dog and best friend. He came from an oops litter and when I saw him, and he came over to me it was love at first sight. We completed puppy training together along with obedience training. He is crazy about car rides, and he is my favorite walking buddy. He loves the snow and since we don’t get a lot in Texas, we have taken him on vacation to Mount Charleston to run and play in it. In the summertime we go and visit my mom who lives on Lake Granbury, and he loves swimming and cooling off in the lake. I remember one day I burned my hand bad and had tears streaming down my face and Ranger sat on the couch next to me for two hours with his head on my chest because he could sense how much pain I was in.
During the first week of November 2023, I noticed a lump under Ranger’s chin, and I was worried that it would impede his breathing, so I made an appointment with his vet. I was just thinking infection and he would get some antibiotics, and everything would be fine. During the appointment the vet inserted a needle into the lump and took a sample that she was going to send off to the lab for analysis. Two days later a Saturday I get a call from the vet who informed me that the results were Lymphoma, and that Lymphoma is aggressive, and Ranger has anywhere from two to four weeks to live.
My first thought was Ranger will be gone by Thanksgiving and I dropped to me knees and wailed. When I got my composure back the vet told me she sent a referral to Veterinary Specialists of North Texas, and they would reach out to me on Monday to get an appointment with Oncologist. The whole weekend was a nightmare because there was nothing, I could do but run Ranger’s whole life throughout my head to figure out where I went wrong. Since Ranger was 6 months old, he has been on a homemade diet, he was given holistic supplements to combat fleas, ticks, and other harm causing insects. All this work on my part was to prevent this from happening and he ended up with Cancer anyways. I blamed myself and some days I still blame myself, he depends on me to take care of him, and I felt like I failed him and now I was going to lose him in as little as two weeks a month if I was lucky. I called VSNT Monday morning and asked them how soon they could see Ranger. They had him scheduled the following week. I called everyday begging to get in anytime if they had a cancelation and I received a call the next day and we got an appointment. Ranger had a full body scan because Dr. Rodriguez was sure he had infected nodes internally but thankfully he only had three enlarged nodes on the right side and two on the left. Ranger went into surgery that day because he was already under anesthesia, and they removed the 5 nodes and sent them off. The results showed two of the five were positive for Lymphomas which put Ranger at Stage 2 B-Cell Lymphoma. Ranger started Chemotherapy on November 27th. Dr. Rodriguez was not the Oncologist that day and it was going to be Dr. Allstadt and I love her. She and Ashley both have German Shepherds, and it was the hand of God that I got to speak with her. She was the one who told me about a Dogslife when I was speaking to her about the cost of chemotherapy and how I was going to fund his treatment. Ranger is only 6 years old, and he was only stage 2 which means we caught it early and I wanted to give him the best chance at a long remission because I could never forgive myself if I didn’t try.
Receiving this grant means the whole world to me and it will allow Ranger to receive the rest of his Chemotherapy treatments. Having this grant gives Ranger the best opportunity to achieve remissions and hopefully gain a long remission. With this grant it gives me more time to spend with my best friend and gets to continue to run in his yard, swim in the lake, and play in the snow.
Julie Woods (January 2024)