Monday, July 22, 2019

Cancer Free and Our New Puppy, Frankie

Our Vizsla, General, has been cancer free now for the last 3 months!! We are believing he has been healed and beaten cancer unless he shows signs to us otherwise. We are walking in Faith and continuing to trust our Good, Good, Father and Lord in Heaven. Every day I keep filling up his dog bowl and every day he keeps eating...

Our other really exciting news: We welcomed a new Vizsla puppy to our family! His name is Frankie. He was 12 weeks old when we got him last Saturday. Frankie was the last puppy to be sold out of a litter of 8 puppies. He seems a little small, so I think he may have been the runt of the littler. He is very docile, friendly, and sweet. He is not timid but certainly not an alpha dog. And his eyes... Frankie has the most enchanting green/grey eyes. Green eyes are very rare with Vizslas, maybe only one, if that, in a litter.

It was completely love at first sight when we pulled up and first laid eyes on Frankie!! He was outside with the previous owner waiting on us as we arrived. After the 2 hour drive to the countryside, North East of Atlanta, we were eager to jump out and meet our “Little Man”, as they had nicknamed him. It was all smiles, laughs, and snuggles as we scooped him up and each took turns with little Frankie in our arms. We rode home together with me in the back seat with James, and Frankie in my lap. James has never had his own puppy before so he is so excited! James is already doing a great job helping out and playing with him!! He even made a card board box “crate” for Frankie that we decorated.

General and Frankie have totally hit it off! General already loves his new little brother from another mother. General is like a cool big brother to Frankie too. Frankie follows James and General around everywhere. General is so sweet to Frankie. They are quick friends and play so well together. Even when General wants Frankie’s raw hide. Luckily, we have multiple raw hides and Frankie doesn’t mind getting a different raw hide after General takes his. I think it is a sign of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to General.

We started talking about getting a puppy last Fall when we tried to breed General with a female Vizsla. We thought we could keep one of the puppies from the litter, as the stud fee. We were so excited that, “General was going to be a Daddy!” General would even wag his tail when we told him that. We fenced in our back yard and first started dreaming about our puppy.

God had different plans, as you know... General was diagnosed with cancer and then the female had a false pregnancy. That means her body thought and acted like she was pregnant, but in fact there was not a litter. Which, both together, was heartbreaking. We were saddened and yet, still trusted in God’s Faithfulness! 

But we didn’t stop dreaming about getting a Vizsla puppy...

and Saturday we made another dream come true by getting a sweet little Vizsla puppy, named Frankie!!

**In my humble opinion, Vizslas are an awesome breed of dogs.There are not a lot of things cuter than a Vizsla puppy. I have a soft spot for Vizslas, though. Frankie marks the fourth Vizsla I have helped raise. Nicknamed the “Velcro Vizsla”, they are loyal and always want to be right by your side. Their fur is very short and soft. They do not shed a lot, and are considered hypo-allergenic dogs. They are very eager to please and quick to train. They don’t typically bark a lot, but they do want a lot of attention and interaction with people. They are great with kids. They are Hungarian bird dogs and can be trained for hunting, as well. They have a ton of energy and need a LOT of exercise!

Monday, June 17, 2019

How buying dog food can be an act of Faith

Courtesy of Bazemore Photography
When a dog has cancer, even buying the economy size 55 lb. bag of dog food, is an act of Faith.

Our sweet Vizsla, General, was diagnosed with cancer 2 months ago. The journey to discovering the cancer started when he kept losing weight. General has always been kind of skinny. We noticed he was getting much thinner than normal. So I took him to our vet, Dr. Haden, at Animal Medical Center of Holly Springs.

The first thing he recommended was doing three different panels of tests. The results were inconclusive but Dr. Haden thought he could have a problem with his kidneys.  He recommended a more in-depth panel of one of the tests. He consulted a veterinarian endocrinologist and they concluded it was probably not the kidneys, and he recommended an ultrasound. The ultra sound revealed he had a large tumor originating from his spleen; however his heart was healthy and he would be a good candidate for surgery to remove the spleen and the tumor. The tumor was pushing against his stomach and was so big it would explain why he kept losing weight. We decided to have surgery on General to remove the spleen and tumor.

By this time General had been continuing to lose more and more weight. He was skin and bones. You could feel every rib and even his hip bones were very pronounced. His once silky fur was dried out and almost brittle. A male Vizsla is typically between 55-60 lbs. The day of surgery General weighed 48 lbs. After surgery, Dr. Haden said the surgery was more complicated because the tumor had attached to the stomach, the intestines, and the wall of the body. The tumor was the size of an orange! The day after surgery we weighed him. After removing the spleen and the tumor, General weighed 43 lbs.

Dr. Haden sent the tumor off for a histopathology tissue biopsy. When the results came back, it was the bad news we were praying it was not. The orange size tumor was actually a cancer sarcoma. Not only that, but, it was a really aggressive type of cancer. Dr. Haden said he may only have a month or two to live if it had spread.

I cried. Then I prayed. Then I asked my family to pray. Then I asked my small group members to pray. Then I asked my other friends to pray.

We had already prayed to find answers. God answered that prayer, but it wasn't what we wanted to hear. Now we had to pray that the cancer had not spread and that removing the sarcoma would be enough to save General's life.

Only God could answer that prayer. Only God could heal General. Only God could decide if the cancer would or had spread.

Only God.

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24 NIV

This is what we did: we asked God to heal General and we are believing He will.

Courtesy of Bazemore Photography
Now, back to buying dog food as an act of Faith...

Right after General had surgery, exactly two months ago today, General was getting really low on dog food. I was standing in Costco wondering if I should buy the dog food there or at the grocery store. Should I buy the 55 lb. bag or the 23 lb. bag? I had a moment. Would I buy the big bag and believe our prayers would be answered? Or the small bag in case he didn't make it?

I took a step in Faith and bought the big 55 lb. bag of dog food, believing God would answer our prayers. I believed we would have our miracle.

Here we are, 2 months later, and General is doing so well!! He has gained 17 lbs., has filled out, his fur is silky smooth, he has energy, and shows no signs of slowing down or terminal cancer.

And today, I bought another 55 lb. bag of dog food...

A special thank you to Dr. Haden for being part of saving General's life!