"Living with 3 legs wasn't any different than with 4 once I got used to it. Dogs don't have the same hang up with outward appearances as humans do when they meet each other. In fact, I don't think Sarge even noticed that I only had 3 legs when I got back home. He saw that it was still the same me. I didn't change at all. I still loved to run and play after I healed up." Grizz
Grizz faced every challenge with the heart of a lion: I remember being in Madison for one of his check ups and a lady seated in the waiting room actually got up and moved when we entered. I think that she was shocked at the sight of a 3 legged dog. We sat down and began chatting with some of the people that had become so familiar to us. A family that we had not seen before asked us about Grizz and I began to tell them about his cancer and his amputation. As I spoke, I began to lower my voice just a little at a time and sure enough the woman who had moved to the other side of the room began to move closer. That, of course, was my intent all along. Before she realized it, she was seated directly across from us and I simply released Grizz's leash. He promptly walked over to her and looked her square in the eye as if to say, Hi! What took you so long? Don't pity me or be frightened of me. I am not disabled, I am being given a chance to survive! Glad to meet you! The woman stroked Grizz's face and looked at me and said, "Oh, he is so beautiful." to which I replied in a very gentle manner, "Yes, he is beautiful and loved. He is just as beautiful and loving with 3 legs as he was with 4 legs and we love him every bit as much"...I think that she learned a very important lesson that day and that is not to judge too quickly what you see, for it is what is inside that matters much more than outward appearances. I do believe that Grizz came into our lives to teach us to love with total abandon, regardless of the adversities you face. Grizz gave his absolute "all" in every aspect of his life. His resilience and determination to beat the odds was incredible. We have loved every one of our dogs with all of our hearts but there was something very special about Grizz and the impact that he has made in our lives and the lives of all who have known him. Our lives will be forever changed. He will always be our little "3 legged hero"
Introduction to Grizz's Story-A Great Courage:
This is the true story of a very special Siberian Husky named Grizz and his battle with cancer. It is a unique story because it is told from his prospective. It is our hope that by sharing Grizz's story with others who are faced with cancer, and/or disabilities, either with their animal companions or in their own lives, that we can inspire hope and courage to those who read it. It is Grizz's courage and resilience in the face of adversity that has inspired us to share his experience, and ours, with you.
A few definitions of a Hero, shared with us by Furr-Angels and printed with their permission, that we would like to share with you:
A dog or a cat who triumphs over adversity.
A person who in their kindness has made possible a life for a dog or a cat who would never have otherwise experienced.
One who will always live on in our memories and therefore has attained immortality as a result of their actions, love, courage or deed(s).
The highest recognition one can achieve
Being of extraordinary courage and love.
"Grizz" will always be our Hero, our 3 legged Hero.
The path that we walked and the choices that we made were with the help and guidance of many highly skilled professionals who knew that our top priority was to insure quality of life for Grizz, while giving him every possible chance for survival. That was a promise that we made to Grizz and kept.
This may not be the path for everyone and not all treatment options mentioned in this story will be appropriate because each and every case is unique. Some cancers are more treatable than others. Early diagnosis is still the best advantage in obtaining successful treatment. We wanted to give Grizz a fighting chance and we will never regret the choices that we made for him. He was, and always will be, the light of our lives and we were blessed for having had him in our lives and a member of our family. He has taught us about faith, love, courage, forgiveness and strength, among many other things. His willingness to keep fighting and his ability to bounce back, time after time, has amazed us as well as all those who have heard or read his story. He left his paw prints on the hearts of all those who knew him and grew to love him.
It was challenging and frustrating at times. We laughed, cried, clenched our teeth, jumped for joy and prayed very hard and very often. The last chapters of this book are about how we dealt with the triumphs, the fears and the disappointments also. It is about how we recovered after his loss and the lessons that we learned from his life. The important thing is that you are comfortable with whatever you decide and that you explore all options available to you. Don't be afraid to ask questions. The more questions you ask, the more knowledgeable you will be about this disease, and the better prepared you will be to make important and crucial decisions. There are never any guarantees when you come face-to-face with cancer. It doesn't play by rules nor does it discriminate by species. Animals are not immune to this disease that also plagues the human race. In fact, statistics now show that cancer, in companion animals, is rising at an alarming rate and has now become one of the largest, non-accidental, causes of death in dogs today. The battle for a cure rages on every day and with each new case comes another chance that a cure may be right on the horizon.
Whether you have a human friend or a furry companion that is fighting cancer, this book may give you a better understanding of the obstacles that one may face. We have joined the fight against cancer and will be donating proceeds from this book to help fund the needed research for the treatment and cure for companion animal cancer. That is our gift to Grizz. If this book gives you more insight or a heightened awareness about cancer, or has simply given you some comfort in your own situation either with cancer or a disability such as an amputation, then we are part way there.
Our continued prayer is that one day, soon, a cure will be found for this killer along with all the other deadly diseases that prematurely shorten our beloved companions lives.
If this book can help that happen then Grizz's Story will not simply be, just another dog story and his memory will live on. So please, sit back, get comfortable and prepare to meet our lovable hero, Grizz, as he shares his story. Perhaps he will leave his paw prints on your heart as well. God Bless you! And may He always bless you with the unconditional love of a furbaby..........
Jo, Barry, Sarge, Kodi and Grizz in shining spirit
Please help us to help them. Those who can not speak for themselves. We are their only voice, their only chance. Stand with us, please. Fight canine cancer.