Draco came into the world 8/19/02 as a fuzzy ball of affection. Weighing 3 lbs he blossomed into one of the most handsome German Shepherds you could ever lay your eyes on. Many people asked if he was a purebred and if he was up for stud service because he was such a handsome gentle giant. Peaking at 130 lbs he encountered some health issues that together we beat the odds: swallowing a string from a toy and having surgery to remove it at 6 months; sensitive stomach, bite to the ear from another dog causing a hematoma that left his ear flopped over, hypothyroidism and the worst: Osteosarcoma.
This once vivacious creature that was an avid ball player and traveler was now facing the fight for his life. He lost weight down to 95 pounds, which was very thin for him. He was my guardian, my protector and my best friend. When I first noticed a small lump while brushing him in 2011 I took him to my vet. Tests revealed it was just a fatty cyst and not to worry. A year went by and it grew in size, almost doubling each month! When I noticed his appetite started to decrease I took him in and learned that simple fatty cyst turned into soft tissue bone cancer.
The oncologist and 2 other specialists informed me the lump had metastasized into his shoulder and ribs and that surgery and chemotherapy were not options. I kept him comfortable for 6 weeks and knew his fight was sadly ending when he no longer wanted to take his favorite treat or get up the stairs. We took our last car ride together to a park where he could enjoy the warmth of the sun. I remember him looking at me with grateful eyes, like he knew his time had come. On 4/17/12 my best friend passed in my arms with his other four-legged siblings around him. I share this story because I encourage pet owners to pay attention to anything unusual, any lumps or changes in lumps, activity level and appetite and have them checked right away.