Dog blogger and broadcaster Steve Friess says he’s not going to spend $5,000 to put his dog though chemotherapy that could extend his life a year or more — and he’s going to try not to feel bad about it.
Even when he says his final goodbye to Jack in what could be less than a month.
In late October, Friess noticed the dog he’d adopted nine years ago was getting lethargic, and that his weight had dropped from his usual 11 pounds to around eight.
A vet diagnosed that Jack had an aggressive form of lymphoma that was spreading quickly through his body.
Friess did some research, checking with friends, and vets, and friends who were vets: One of the latter urged him to “do the full chemo protocol ASAP!” It could send Jack into remission for nine months, or 12 months, or even longer.
Friess and his partner researched, debated and decided against chemotherapy — not because it would be all that rough on the dog physically (they handle it much better than we do). The main reason, he admits, is the money, which, he also admits, they just doesn’t have.
There will likely be those who second guess Freiss, or maybe try to lay a guilt trip on him: Take out a loan, hit up your friends, get a second (or third) job, launch an online fundraising campaign, let me be the first to donate.
We’ve become a nation of such overflowing compassion for dogs, with such promising new medical technologies, and such handy online fundraising tools at our beck and call, that it’s easy to lose sight that decisions about life and death — both ours and our dogs — are still our own, and that throwing in the towel, for financial reasons, or others, isn’t always a shameful choice.
We suspect Friess will receive some support for his decision, but will hear from many more questioning it. His decision to write about it, as he did in a post for Time.com, is brave, but also an open invitation to second-guessers. In any case, the decision on what’s best for Jack should be (and has been) made by the person who knows him best, and deserves to be respected
Friess, a freelance writer and co-host of The Petcast, said neither his advisers nor his vet seemed to be trying to make him feel guilty about his choice. But, as is the way with guilt trips, we often don’t need a tour guide. Feelings of shame can start as soon as we ask our vet the question Friess did:
“How much will it cost?”
For Friess, the estimate was a minimum of $5,000 — more than he and his partner had.
“(It) means we have about 30 days. The end will probably come in time for holidays … ”We’ve received a lot of advice, both solicited and unwelcome, through social media. Nobody comes right out to say it, but the disappointment some express at our decision shows that they question our love for Jack. In an era when people spend big on animal clothes, artisanal foods and medical intervention, and when medical science makes it possible to spend $5,000 so Jack dies slightly later than sooner, there is pressure to go as far as we can.”
There’s one more twist. Friess and his partner are trying to adopt a human baby, and they’re working on saving the $15,000 fee for that.
“If that $5,000 could cure the cancer and restore Jack’s full life expectancy, maybe we’d do it,” he wrote. “Maybe. It certainly would be a tougher choice. But to buy a year during which we’d be waiting for his lymph nodes to resume their swell? We could endure the end stages either now or later.”
(Photo of Jack by Steve Friess)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 17th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cancer, care, chemotherapy, choices, costs, death, decisions, dog, dogs, financial, guilt, health care, jack, life, lymphoma, medical, options, ownership, pet, pets, shame, steve friess, technology, treatment, veterinary
And apparently it was — at least in one person’s view.
It sold for $378.
That’s at least $100 more than a new pair of the Cole Haan wingtips costs.
The shoe, size 11-1/2, was the work of an “emerging canine artist” named Jack, according to the listing on ebay.
“This unique presentation of a meticulously destroyed dress shoe is the first of its kind by Jack. The piece features absent toe and vamp portions of the shoe, removed through a secret chewing process, known only by the artist, with razor-like precision but requiring brute strength…
“‘Half-Chewed’ exhibits only the finest craftsmanship, as is characteristic of works by Jack. For the performance aspect of the piece, the artist ingested the dissected portion of the shoe. In a post-modern twist on interdisciplinary performance art, there was no audience for his act of passion … The work has been interpreted by contemporary art critics as a statement on class in the wake of the American recession, a painful and complex subject for the modern American dog.”
According to the owner of the dog and seller of the shoe, Jack is a two- year-old Dalmatian mix “who started his life on the streets of rural Virginia before being detained by a county animal control facility and then adopted by his current owner, whose many possessions have become blank canvases for Jack’s defacement techniques.”
The ebay post says some of Jacks earlier works include ”Berber Carpet Removal, 400-Thread-Count Sheet Shredding No. 1, A Million Pieces of a Bluetooth Headset, Exposing the Mysterious Innards of a Couch Cushion, Urinating on My Owner’s Sister’s Bed, Freeing of the Garbage from the Shackles of the Glad Bag, and of course, the well-known 400-Thread-Count Sheet Shredding No. 2.”
The seller says he will donate part of the proceeds of “Half-Chewed” to a Washington D.C. area pet rescue organization.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, artist, chew, chewed, cole haan, dalmatian, dog, dogs, ebay, half chewed, jack, mix, pets, sells, shoe, shoes, wingtips
Petfinder.com has announced its annual ranking of the 10 most popular names for adoptable pets in 2009.
For the third year in a row, “Buddy” and “Max” came in at first and second for dogs, with “Lucy” and “Smokey” topping the list of cat names.
While many of the most common names have remained consistent year-to-year, there was one new name turning up on the list for both cats and dogs – “Bella.”
The top 10 dog names were: 1. Buddy; 2. Max; 3. Daisy; 4. Lucy; 5. Charlie; 6. Bella; 7. Molly; 8. Jack; 9. Sadie; 10. Lady.
The top 10 cat names: 1. Lucy; 2. Smokey; 3. Midnight; 4. Bella; 5. Molly; 6. Daisy; 7. Oreo; 8. Shadow; 9. Charlie; 10. Angel.
Petfinder.com is also sharing its favorite quirky and unusual names of the year, selected from more than 170 submissions received via Facebook and Twitter. Here are their favorites:
Shyanne Thailand Moo Goo Guy Pan, Mr. Tomfoolery Scardeycat Eliot, Rusty Buckets, KeelHaul, Too Fancy for You, Angry Donut, Maple Syrup, Hoseclamp, Prince Xavier Binxley, Hoku-ho’okele-wa’a.
“While funny names are always a big hit, we are also seeing a trend of pet parents giving their furry friends middle names, such as ‘Sunshine Ray,’ ‘Roxanna Bobanna Little’ and ‘Madison Wisconsin,’ suggesting that these animals are more like family members than family pets,” said Betsy Saul, the co-founder of Petfinder.com.
Petfinder.com is an online, searchable database of animals that need permanent homes, compiled from 12,900 animal shelters and adoption organizations across the USA, Canada and Mexico.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: angel, bella, buddy, cats, charlie, common, daisy, dogs, funny, jack, lady, list, lucy, max, midnight, molly, most, names, oreo, pet, petfinder, petfinder.com, pets, popular, quirky, sadie, shadow, smokey, trend, unusual
The police dog purchased by heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his son, Jack, arrived in Indiana last week to spend time with his partner and start training on the streets of Muncie.
“Jack and Ozzy sure came through for the department,” Muncie Police Sgt. Jay Turner said. “The Osbourne family, they donated the money for the dog without even thinking about it, they just did it, which was very nice.”
Turner received two checks, one from Ozzy and one from Jack, each in the amount of $4,500, Muncie’s Star Press reported.
Jack Osbourne spent time in Muncie as a reserve officer during the filming of the CBS reality television series “Armed and Famous” in 2006. He has kept in touch with other officers, and convinced his father to help buy the department a police dog to replace an aging K-9 officer.
In other Ozzy Osbourne dog news, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne last week gave daughter Kelly Osbourne a dog for her 25th birthday. Kelly Osbourne told her Twitter followers: “OK are you guys ready to see what I got for my birthday from my mum and dad? He is called Sid!”
Sid isn’t a police dog, but a black Pomeranian, who has helped Kelly cope with the stress of competing on “Dancing with the Stars,” Dogchannel.com reports.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: canine, dancing with the stars, family, indiana, jack, K-9, k9, kelly osborne, muncie, ozzy, ozzy osbourne, police, pomeranian, rock, sid, television
Dave and Debbie Adams, who opened their home to Hector — the homeless, toothless, but far from hopeless American Eskimo dog we introduced you to last week — have filed an update on how he’s adjusting to his new long-term foster home.
From all indications, Hector is getting stronger, more emotionally secure and bonding well with his new family, including Jack, the family’s Jack Russell mix. Here’s what Dave says:
Hector continues to improve. We have seen a physical improvement as far as his back legs getting stronger. When we first brought him home there was difficulty getting up on the sofa. Since then we notice he is able to jump up on his own.
There is an emotional improvement as well. He has become more at ease with the environment as well with his want to be close. Last night for instance Debbie left the bedroom and closed the door behind her and I noticed that Hector waited at the door for her to return (he’s becoming a mama’s boy).
We purchased a new doggie pillow for him to lay on. Debbie and I laid on the floor and called him over to it and he laid on it and licked my face as if to say “Thanks”. This morning we left Jack and Hector at the house and went out for breakfast … When we returned Jack was there to greet us like he always does by jumping up and down, but then for the first time Hector jumped on me standing on his hind legs as if to say “Hi Dad”.
So far this has been a great experience for us and we are appreciative for the opportunity to put love back into Hector’s life.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 22nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american eskimo dog, animals, bait dog, dave adams, dog, dogs, healing hector, hector, jack, jack russell, ohmidog!, pets, project, rehabilitation, rescue, shelter, stray, toothless
It may not take a village to save a dog, but the more people that pitch in, the easier it is.
Take Hector. His headed-for-a-happy-ending story is the kind that happens thousands of times a day. At it’s simplest, it’s merely a matter of well-intentioned people communicating. But when you take a closer look, it’s amazing, and a little inspiring, how many people can get involved to save one dog.
First, in Hector’s case, came the animal control officers who swooped him up.
Found wandering at a Baltimore park, Hector — believed to be, beneath all his scraggliness, an American Eskimo dog — was taken to Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), where staff and volunteers cared for him, gave him a name, arranged to have him neutered, and assessed his temperament and condition. The former was fine. The latter needed some work.
Hector was not just underweight. He was toothless.
He showed no other apparent injuries, but some suspect Hector, because his teeth appear to have been pulled, might have been used as a “bait dog” by dogfighters. Because the wounds in his mouth were still open, and subject to infection, Hector was taken to veterinarian Marcella Bonner, of Swan Park Animal Hospital.
She tried to repair his gums, but the holes were too big. Hector probably needs a specialist, and even then — once the holes in his gums are healed — isn’t likely to be gnawing any bones.
Hector was returned to BARCS, but, because of his medical problems and his less than stellar appearance, he was an unlikely candidate for adoption — the only alternative to which is to end up on the PTS (put to sleep) list.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, american eskimo dog, animal control, bait dog, baltimore, barcs, bob barrett, cruelty, dave adams, dog food, dogfighting, dogs, downtown dog resort & spa, flexprint graphics, foster, franky fund, healing, hector, jack, k-9 kraving, makeover, marcella bonner, no teeth, ohmidog!, oral, pet, project, raw diet, rehabilitating, rehabilitation, riverside park, sally ann jennings, shelter, stop killing dogs, stray, surgery, swan park animal hospital, tamara granger, teeth, tobey mcguinness, toothless
It’s time again for the most popular — and most unusual — pet names, as determined by Petfinder and its adoptions list of 145,242 dogs and 140,269 cats
For the dogs, Buddy was the number one name, and Max was number two, for the second year in a row.
The rest of the top ten, in order were: Daisy, Jack, Lucy, Molly, Charlie, Sadie, Jake and Lucky.
For cats, the top ten names were Lucy, Molly, Oreo, Kittens, Smokey, Princess, Shadow, Tigger, Angel and Missy.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 5th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: buddy, cats, charlie, daisy, dogs, gwyneth poultry, jack, jake, joe the plumber, lucky, lucy, max, molly, names, naming, pet names, petfinder, pets, sadie, woe izmee