31 May

“Jasper has cancer.”

As soon as the vet said the words, my stomach felt queasy and my mind went blank. I barely recall the rest of the conversation. Something about sarcoma, surgery and 40 percent. Or was it fifty percent? Doesn’t matter because I can’t recall what he was referring to anyway.

Jasper just chillin'
I don’t care if it’s your friend, sibling, parent or pet. Hearing those words – “has cancer” – causes everything in life to stand still. And then flip upside down.

Jasper was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma – aka cancer – in September 2009. That was eight months ago.

Why a blog about a pet with cancer? Jasper is more than just another dog. He’s my best friend. A part of our family. In the days, weeks, and perhaps, months ahead I hope you’ll come to know and love him like my wife and I do.

I’ll tell stories about torn up linoleum, an Akita named Tomo, snow caves and nearly drowning in an icy river. I hope to hear stories about your beloved pets along the way. And, yes, you’ll probably learn more about canine cancer than you care to know. I have.

I’ll smile and laugh as I tell these stories. And probably cry a bit, too.

The blog is a way of celebrating Jasper’s life. Selfishly, I also need your help as the end grows near. I’m sure there’s a community of people out there who’ve already gone through this and have wisdom to share and shoulders to lean on.

Thanks for reading. Tomorrow we’ll start at the beginning, but for now there’s a beautiful dog named Jasper waiting for an evening walk on a warm summer night.



10 Responses to “Jasper-Roo…”

  1. Veronika May 31, 2010 at 5:54 AM #


    Thank you for doing this. Jasper is truly a special dog with lots of stories… it would be a shame not to share them and celebrate his life. It’s hard to believe that he is almost 9 years old. I still have very vivid memories of the day we picked him up to bring him to our home for the first time… but, I guess I should save those stories for tomorrow. Tonight, I am simply grateful that J is sleeping peacefully on our bed. I am thankful that he can still walk around and that he is not in too much pain. I am hopeful that the radiation therapy he completed recently will work so that he can enjoy one last happy summer of swimming, running, and, chewing sticks… when Jasper’s happy he fills my heart with joy also.

    With much love,


  2. lahikmajoe June 1, 2010 at 2:35 AM #

    Am in tears as I read this. We have Vizsla siblings (Ella and Louis) and I can’t begin to imagine how I’d deal with such news.

    I look forward to your Jaspar’s full recovery. My thoughts are with you as you and yours go through this.

  3. Margarat June 1, 2010 at 3:05 AM #

    I look forward to reading your blog. My blog about life with a raw-fed dog became a blog about life with a dog dealing with cancer. The past year-and-a-half or so the blog has become mainly about what I’ve been learning and doing for my dog. The last couple of months have been more intensely so as I my dog went through a month of radiation and just came off the steroids that accompanied that treatment.

    Readers want to learn everything they can about dealing with their pet’s cancer, so don’t think that there will be too much information. There is always so little detail in the information given by vets that the day-to-day stuff that owners can share is invaluable.

    I look forward to reading.

  4. Carole Leonard June 1, 2010 at 3:46 AM #

    What a beautiful idea you have with this chronical of Jasper’s life. It will help both of you and you’ll have a wonderful “keepsake.” No matter what the end brings.

    • Carole Leonard June 2, 2010 at 11:21 AM #

      I can’t wait for the next edition. I do hope you plan on going forth and publishing your work as a hard cover book. What a read it will be for all to enjoy.

  5. Kari HInkle June 1, 2010 at 2:58 PM #

    Good luck to you and Jasper! I am Mandy Morris’s cousin and like you I am way into my dogs. They are my children! I nosed around online for some holistic approaches to cancer treatment and found lots of stuff.. I believe Eastern medicine has so much to offer about taking control of one’s health through diet and herbal remedies.. There is a ton of info out there, but here is a start..


    Keep up the positive energy and give lots of massage!


  6. Anita Leonard June 2, 2010 at 6:52 PM #

    Just like that I have found my summer reading. So far, so good Todd, your writing is beautiful! It is amazing how a “non-dog person” can adopt a dog one day and grow to love it so much. You may or may not have already heard the story, but like you, I never wanted a dog. I lost my battle when “Gracie” was adopted by us at 7 weeks old, which was six years ago. We almost lost her a few years back when she was hit by a UPS truck. She was in the hospital for over a week when I realized how much I loved this dog. I can appreciate now what you must be feeling and I hope your writing helps you both. I look forward to your stories and I do hope that Jasper is not in a lot of pain.

    • treubold June 2, 2010 at 11:00 PM #

      Anita, the story about Gracie is really moving! Yeah, it’s amazing how much pets can become part of our families. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the stories so far. It’s great for us to share our thoughts and hope to hear stories like yours from others.

  7. Gary Olson June 25, 2010 at 10:54 AM #

    I am so glad Matt F. directed me to your blog. As you may remember, Debby and I have had a large dog pack for many years. Unfortunately, we have lost 3 dogs since Xmas. We were down to 2 dogs for one week, and then I spotted Buk (aroo) at our local shelter. We think he may be a “Mastidor” which is a mix of yellow lab and mastiff. Whatever is mixed in with his obvious labrador it has resulted in a VERY large, goofy dog.

    My only advice is not to wait too long to bring another dog into your life. The love a dog brings to your life can soothe the pain of grief and loss.

    • treubold June 25, 2010 at 12:13 PM #

      Thanks for the comment, Gary. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your dogs. I appreciate your advice about bringing another dog into our lives, too. As we go through this, I find that hard to imagine, but I’m glad to hear you say it helped soothe the pain. Thanks.

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