ritz and sassy  

People Helping Dogs Fight Cancer

Because They Look Up To Us For Help


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A Story of Survival

By Chris

I just started reading your canine cancer website and it has brought back memories of my 2 previous dogs who both eventually died of cancer.

My first GSD died  at 12 of haemangiosarcoma we had no warning She collapsed at the beginning of her regular walk, I took her to our vet who very quickly diagnosed the problem and in little over  a month we had lost her. We were told it was to extensive and had begun to spread the only thing I held on to was that she was not ill for long and hopefully did not suffer as we made the choice at what I believe was the right time to ask the vet to put her to sleep in my arms laying in our garden.

My second dog was a flat coat retriever. I needed to have another dog but couldn't handle another GSD so close to losing Lisa.


Josie was a fantastic family dog very friendly ,fit and healthy. At about 7 years old she developed a sore toe after a few treatments of antibiotics and tests we discovered she had a cancer. We were advised and took the advice to remove her toe. Josie recovered completely within a couple of weeks and continued as if nothing had happened. A year or 2 later she began to limp slightly (not the same leg) back to the vet and medication that didn’t work. So now to test and a diagnosis of yet another cancer! This time we were referred to Davis Vets in Higham Gobiam Herts. Now we had choices to make, they could amputate her leg or try radiotherapy and keep our fingers crossed. After research and talking to others who had been through similar experiences we choose radiotherapy.

To our delight and that of the vet Josie made a complete recovery unless you count the grey stripe that developed along her leg at the exact site of the radiotherapy!

Josie enjoying good health

Unfortunately  a couple of years later our amazing Josie developed yet another cancer. I had just taken her to be professionally groomed for the first time and coming home in the car she turned to look at me and opened her mouth. There on the edge of her jaw was a marble sized lump. Oh yes yet another cancer so back to Higham Gobian and to my surprise they decided the best treatment was an operation to remove part of her lower jaw.

With some reservations I agreed. She came through the operation well and returned home after 5 days packed with painkillers .

That was where the story took an unexpected horrible turn.

On returning home she immediately went outside and drank pints of cold water from a container then slept fairly comfortably through the night. The next day I was not particularly worried  but someone remained with her all day. By the evening she was clearly in pain and panting heavily. We rang the vet who ask us to bring her in as an emergency. It was obvious to even me a lay person she was very ill the vet confirmed this telling me she had a gastric torsion and that she would operate immediately.

Sadly my Josie couldn’t be saved, the vet that operated, told me her stomach was by now paper thin and I had a decision to make. There could be only 1 answer to that dreaded question and I had to let Josie go that night, I had no other choice.

Josie in water

The amazing part of Josie’s story to give people hope is that she had 3 different cancers that according to the vets were not related in anyway and she survived at least 2 and may have survived the third.

So all is not lost if cancer is detected it can be successfully treated better still if we can find ways for early detection and prevention for us all.








Ritz & Sassy Protocol
Outlining our aim for new Veterinary Guidelines.    

Ritz & Sassy's Story
Our Ritz & Sassy and their last photos and the motivation for us to help all other dogs fighting cancer.

Your Stories
Please feel free to contact us with your individual stories of fighting canine cancer for others to read, and gain strength from.