A Hero for us all // National Dog Day
August 26 - National Dog Day!
We're celebrating our furry friends today with a little behind the photo story about Adrien and her dog, Hero.
Photo request //
Back in July, my friend Jason reached out to me with a request. He asked if I took dog photos, and if I'd be interesting in photographing his girlfriend Adrien and her dog Hero. The details were a still a little fuzzy to me, but I knew that Hero was at least going to lose his leg. I didn't ask too many questions, but said "Yes! Of course I'd do the photos!"
We waited for a few weeks to schedule so Hero could heal up and so they could both adjust to his new life as a three legged pup. In August, we got together for a photoshoot. I asked Adrien to share a little more about past few months with Hero.
April 2019 // Bone Cancer
A large bump the size of half a grapefruit appeared on Hero's shoulder. As Adrien recounted to me, it's like it showed up overnight. She immediately called the vet and went in. The roller coaster ride of emotions started. The doctor recommended x-rays and after that, less than 30 minutes later, said - "bone cancer." Chondrosarcoma. Adrien left with a packet of information, another appointment scheduled with veterinary oncology, and the knowledge that her dog would most likely lose his leg.
Adrien was scared, sad and worried about losing her dog and really, her best friend. She didn't know if he was in pain and she didn't want for him to suffer. On top of that, she didn't know how she'd pay for it all (just one appointment already set her back hundreds of dollars and they hadn't even started treatment!) It was time to make a decision - and Adrien decided she would do whatever she needed to help Hero.
After a discouraging oncology appointment (and another hefty bill), they found that the best option was limb removal. Can we finally get some good news? Yes! Hero's regular vet could perform the procedure and that would cut down the costs!
May 2, 2019 // Surgery
Adrien expected to take Hero home after surgery - but the doctor recommended another overnight stay at the emergency clinic for additional monitoring. When Adrien walked in the room, Hero perked up. He even attempted to walk over to her! While he needed the support of a sling to walk, he was going home. Unfortunately in the one week after Hero's surgery - they made 5 visits to the vet clinic and the emergency clinic to manage dehydration, severe bruising, pain management issues, and suture care. He continued to improve - he was stronger and more confident in his mobility, but seemed pretty mopey and depressed. Adrien felt guilty.
Day 10 rolled around - the stitches came out and Hero was free to move around without restriction. They went straight to the dog park. Hero ran around and smiled the entire time.
Post surgery update // Not out of the woods...yet.
Since the surgery, they've had to do a series of follow up x-rays. The concern is that the cancer could metastasize to the lungs. But, so far, the x-rays have been all clear - and fingers crossed, the news stays good!
So for now, Hero continues racing around the dog park, saying hello to every dog and human in sight, all with a smile on his face.
She truly is a great momma and wonderful friend. Love this story of two heroes!
Adrien is Hero's Hero(non-registered)
What a wonderful way to show the love Adrien has for her family member. I love your words and pictures that make the story come to life. Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful story of sacrificial love.
Theresa K (colleague of Adrien)
Hello Hero, I'm so happy you're doing well. I cried sad and happy tears when I read your story. What a great Mama you have that takes such good care of you. Hooray for Hero & his Mama too.
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