TIFFANY'S STORY

Tiffany was one of four puppies born to Ginger on
January 15, 1990.  She was considerably smaller
than her two sisters and her brother.  I believe it
was her tiny size that influenced us the most in
making the decision to keep her with us.

Tiffany remained very small.  This helped her get
into spots where no one would ever imagine she
would go.  There was one time in particular when
Tiffany was about six months old  that she did
exactly that.  One day there seemed to be a lot of
activity at our house.  A lot of people were going
in and out the front door.  That evening when I
began fixing dinner for the dogs, I realized that
Tiffany was no where in sight.  I phoned the kids
at their friend's homes and asked if they happened
to see her go out when the door was opened.  No
one had seen her since that afternoon.

Panic began to set in.  We went out and walked
around the neighborhood for a good part of the
evening calling her name and asking everyone we
saw if they had seen her.  When it was too dark to
see anything, we started back home.  As we walked
back into the house, we heard a noise in the living
room.  Tiffany had located a very small opening in
the back of the lazy boy recliner and had managed
to take some toys, a chew bone, and herself
through that little opening.  Apparently when she
was done playing with her toys, she decided to
take a nap.  She was just waking up when we
returned from our many trips around the
neighborhood.

Sitting up and begging was the one trick that
Tiffany knew, and she knew it well.  She improved
on the sitting up by adding a front paw wave.  I
would stand in front of her, she would sit up, I
would wave with both hands as if to mimic her, and
she would then wave back.  This was all a big game
to her and she loved it.

When Tiffany was five years old, she showed signs
of having back problems -- the same kind of
problems that paralyzed her mother.  Without
haste, we took her to the vet who found a couple of
calcified disks.  The surgery was done immediately
but with a warning that the disks might have
caused permanent damage.  Tiffany was a fighter
and was back to her normal self within 2 weeks.  
She never had another back problem.

In October of 2002 at the age of 12 ½ Tiffany
started showing signs of experiencing some kind of
pain.  The first examinations didn't reveal exactly
where the pain was coming from.  One night I
noticed a small lump on her left side.  The vet
pulled some fluid and said the fluid didn't reveal
cancer but we should take her to the Cancer
Center in Tampa for further testing.  We dropped
her off at the Center and spent the day in a
nearby mall waiting for a call.  The call finally
came but the oncologist said the tests they did
were inconclusive and a biopsy needed to be
performed.  Our local vet could do this.  So the
surgery was scheduled for the following week.  
The biopsy was done but we had to wait almost a
week for the results.  The diagnosis came back
that Tiffany had a hemangiosarcoma tumor.  We
needed to take her back to the Cancer Center for
treatment options.  

The tumor was growing through Tiffany's body
wall.  This made it inoperable.  The only chance
was radiation and chemotherapy.  The outlook was
very bleak.  We were told that this type of tumor
in most cases was fatal and that Tiff would
probably only live a few months at the most.  Her
quality was life during this time was uncertain.  
We opted for treatment if only to make her
comfortable but at the same time praying so hard
for a miracle that the tumor would shrink enough
to be safely removed.  Radiation did shrink the
tumor, but not enough for surgery.  The next step
was chemo.

We would have to drop Tiffany off at the Cancer
Center on Sunday nights and go back to pick her
up on Monday nights.  This went on all through her
treatments.  She had four radiation treatments,
eight chemo treatments, and then four more
radiation treatments.  The growth of the tumor
slowed down considerably but didn't stop.  Even
through all of this, Tiffany remained in good
spirits.  Not once did she become ill or complain in
any way.

During the second round of radiation treatments I
can so plainly see the last sentence in one of the
reports sent to us after each visit.  It read, "This
cancer will ultimately end Tiffany's life".  The
tears still flow whenever I remember this battle
we fought so hard to win only to hear that it was
hopeless.

Tiffany did fight right up until the end.  She
became so well known and loved at the Cancer
Center and became known to all as "the little
trooper."  She never lost her love of life and was
so brave all through the treatments and the weeks
before her death on July 7, 2003.  Even with a
tumor the size of a baseball sticking out of her
side, she still sat up and waved to anyone who
would wave back.

I grieved for Tiffany in the months that followed
her death and still grieve for her today.  One thing
that I have realized, however, is that in a way my
prayers were answered when I asked for that
miracle.  When first diagnosed with cancer,
Tiffany was only given two or three months to live
with an unknown quality of life.  We were blessed
with having her for nine months with an excellent
quality of life.  Tiffany was very special to me and
will never be forgotten.
TIFFANY AND BART AS PUPS  
PEEK-A-BOO  
TIFFANY WITH BART IN
THE BACKGROUND  
SITTING UP AGAIN  
TIFFANY
TIFFANY ENJOYED CHEWING
TIFFANY (BACK)
WITH GINGER
THIS WAS TAKEN SHORTLY
AFTER WE DISCOVERED
TIFFANY HAD CANCER
THE TWO PICTURES ABOVE SHOW TIFFANY'S TUMOR.  THE SPOT IS
SHAVED FOR THE RADIATION TREATMENTS.  THE PICTURE ON THE
RIGHT IS OF TIFFANY AND TARA.  EVEN WITH THE LARGE TUMOR,
TIFFANY STILL WANTED TO SIT UP.
CLICK BELOW FOR GINGER'S
STORY
Click HERE to Visit
Tiffany's Rainbow Bridge
Residency.
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