Amazing Stories

Bea - Grand Marshal of Barkus 2023

One of our patients was selected as Grand Marshal of the BARKUS Mardi Gras parade in NOLA!

NOTE: All of these dogs in the parade are Rescue Dogs. They are voted into their "royalty positions" BEA is owned by our clients Brian and Aimee Broussard (live in Baton Rouge). They are very active in King Charles Rescue organizations.

More About Bea

From Barkus's website:


By virtue of her commitment to the community and of service, Bea Broussard has been chosen to lead the 30th Anniversary Mystic Krewe of Barkus parade as Grand Marshal.

Bea is an eight-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who is the daughter of Brian and Aimee Broussard of Baton Rouge with familial ties to New Orleans. Puppy mill mama turned princess, Bea’s luxurious ears and sophisticated style are a far cry from the rural Missouri farm where she endured the first 5 years of her life churning out puppies for profit only to find herself dumped at the Dogwood Animal Shelter in Osage Beach as part of a massive downsize of 140+ dogs. And though her missing front teeth (she was left with only 4) and aversion to certain people tell a tale of days gone by, Bea has made it her mission to lead with kindness and hope; hope that one day commercial breeding will be a thing of the past and that more people will choose to adopt, not shop.

She spends her days recipe testing in her mom’s southern kitchen and will be the first to tell you that landing herself in an award-winning cookbook author’s home certainly has its perks. Much more than a pretty face and a batch of pupcakes, however, Bea serves as Team Captain of Bea’s Blanket Brigade- the handmade blanket division of The Rally Bear Foundation, a registered canine cancer nonprofit established in honor of her brother, Tucker Bear; who was also a rescued CKCS.

Her freedom obtained by The Cavalier Rescue in 2019, Bea will be escorted in this year’s parade by cavalier rescue coordinators from five different states, all who work tirelessly to protect the breed from harm and share in the excitement for her “grand” debut on the 2023 royal court.


Best Friends Forever

Everyone needs a best friend and so do dogs…. Best friends snuggle, comfort, understand, and often play together.

When certain dogs spend time with us we get to really know and love them. We have observed that they also can pick out other dogs to befriend. We have been privileged to observe and promote these best friends.

Mattie and Riley

First attraction probably that they are labradors. I have observed that dogs can recognize dogs of their own breed. Both females are close in age. Mattie is black and born 5-21-06; Riley is yellow and born 7-28-06. These dogs are really compatible; when they come in to SSVH, they look for each other. They greet each other with joy and a nuzzle and a bump. Then being thirteen, they nap together. They both relish their meals, get up more slowly, and enjoy their quiet walks together.

Both gals have their challenges, and they seem to truly support each other. Mattie is a one year and eight months survivor of non-operable cancer; Riley is aging rapidly with advancing cognitive dysfunction and arthritis. The example that these gals set is an Inspiration to all of us.

Benji and Daisy

A May and December relationship between Benji and Daisy has developed. They had “eyes for each other” after a few visits to SSVH. Platonic, of course; both are neutered. She is a slender, graceful, red Golden Retriever younger than her eleven years (born 4-1-2008). He is a handsome, muscular, and active Golden Doodle born 2-20-2016. They enjoy each others company checking out squirrels and birds, being groomed, and catch me if you can. Benji and Daisy are both blessed with good health and will be best friends for a long time.

Matt Dillon, Hero East Side of Tiger Bend Road

I’m Matt Dillon and I’ve roped in 6 years of cowboy wisdom. Cowboys have a way of looking at things a little differently than the rest of you. Cowboy wisdom is simpler and more down to Earth.

I had just completed my annual trip to the Dr. Beier. She’s Ok, but a VET ! Poked and violated was not my idea for a Saturday morning. I thought “Let’s blow this pop stand” . Slick as a whistle, I was out of that carrier. FELINE FREEDOM !!! YEEHAW !! But lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back.

I chose to burn some daylight to plot my strategy. Dear God; please tell Momma that real cowboys don’t get lost. No Stetson, Justin’s, no six shooters--will have to live my my wits.

Mosquitoes were plenty; bothered by bees and ants. A hawk took a good look at me --mean as a hornet. Just then mice ran by--lights out. I was feeling lower than a crawfish hole; just waited for sundown.

The mantra “Go West Young Man Go West “ but instinct said go East. Head’em up and Move them Out !

Whoa! Mangy dog. He was just born sorry. Looks like a cat-killing dog. Fortunately dumb as dirt. He was willing to mosey along without seeing me.

Traveling at night, I knew that my home was more than a hoot and a holler away. Should I take the northern or southern route?? Took the night to ponder.

Howdy Ma’am. You’re purtier than a new kitten in springtime. Her name was Lola. Pardun Lola Ma’am, could I interest you accompanying me to Lake at White Oak? She jumped on me like a duck on a June bug. She seductively purred and rolled, “I would accompany you anywhere in a New York minute”. But she was vaccinated with a Victrola needle and talked my ear off. I knew she had an agenda, and I’m a neutered boy. Had to leave her a fur piece behind.

I was happy as a hog in mud to go North. Scary to cross Tiger Bend Road, but I looked both ways. Cross Gate was no spiderweb maze for me; made it to big ole Antioch Park. Nice open spaces; loved rolling in the grass; felt relaxed and easy; fast as greased lightning a HUGE owl swooped me. His shadow on the grass was frighteningly gigantic . Jumped down this hole and crashed into a opossum. I said Howdy Partner, but he was sore as a boil and did not return my Howdy! We were not on borrowing terms, but I had to bunk with him until Mr. Owl turned left past yonder that night.

Time to rustle up some vittles; my stomach was talking to my backbone. I was born on concrete, this was going to me my first. A brown frog hopped by; remembering my kitten lessons --stalked and attacked; wrong; it was a nasty toad. Left a bad taste in my mouth; note to self; know when to shut your mouth and leave a toad alone. I was happy to go hungry for a few days and nights.

I decided to hunt in daytime, but food was scarce as hen’s teeth. I was still hungry; I dreamed of IAMS.

Squirrels sleep at night; I would have to settle for a fat and sassy rat dinner. Not too hard to find in affluent Rose Hill. I wouldn’t say sweeter than baby’s breath, but I held my nose & ate one. Lots of water here, I’ll drink upstream from the herd.

Peaceful crane at waterhole. Wonder what he tastes like? My cowboy wisdom said, “Don't mess with something that ain't bothering you”.

At the waterhole, saw some fox—“crooked as a dog’s hind leg” is their reputation.

So.. Just 'cause trouble comes visiting doesn't mean you have to offer it a place to sit down. My fine feline horse sense told me--Best to follow their trail but far behind them.

Suddenly all kinds of Hoopla !! May a Shindig ?? NOPE !! It’s the Coyote Cartel in war paint ,running through some farm property trying to make everything buzzard bait. I ran like house on fire and hide in this pile of dirt by a tree for rest of day. It was ruff as a corn cob.

Lost the foxes’ trail, and it was hot as blue blazes. Had to use my own sense of direction--Yes North and East. That’s the way. Speaking of a sense of smell -- Never approach a wild pig from the front, a skunk from the rear or a fool from any direction. Somewhere was a potent pole cat skunk. Change of direction…. That’s all she wrote for today. Detour to home; then lay low.

That skunk encounter turned by trip home cattywampus. Down the road a piece that night, I found a family of masked bandits. To my Howdy There, they were a group of clowns. “Look what the cat dragged in”. “You look chewed up, spit out, and stepped on” I decided not to be persnickety and joined them. You ride with the outlaw until they lead you to grub. I was hungry and bone tired. I don’t cotton to what they do, and I won’t die with these outlaws. Just this one time, I told myself.

In their pokey mosey way ,we were all heading North. Yippee !! Our grub tasted as good as my memory of Cookie’s campfire chuck wagon. I hit the sack and slept like a log. The Racoon Ramblers snuck off in the night; useless as teats on a bull.

Just when I thought things were going to hell in a hand basket, I heard something. It had been a week, but I knew my momma’s call. God could not be everywhere--therefore he made mommas, and my momma’s home was the best. Lickety split I was sprinting thru the brambles and over the back fence. H O M E !! It’s been a hell of a party..aint it !!

Barkevious Takes Matters into his Own Jaws

Barkevious is a big boy with a big problem—“Happy Tail”.

He wagged that big whip-like tail often and hard. He struck the walls, the door facings, and the furniture. He beat his tail so hard that finally the tip began to bleed and it would not stop. Specks of blood flying everywhere. Barkevious just couldn’t leave it alone. A padded bandage was applied to protect the tip of the tail. For about a week, it was going well. Then the skin under the bandage reacted, and the entire tail ulcerated with infection. A trip to emergency on New Year’s Eve….

Things were getting better; the size of the bandage was reduced; the E collar was removed, and the tail looked like it was healing.

On Saturday, the 13th, Barkevious had a plan of his own. At 2 AM, Sugar alerted her sleeping owners that there was a problem. Her owners thought she wanted outside; without turning on the lights, both dogs went outside. When Barkevious and Sugar came in, something was not right. Turned on the lights, and it looked like a massacre had occurred in the living room.

Barkevious has amputated six inches of his own tail !!!!

Arterial bleeding was spurting blood all over the house. Image the scene…Grabbing the tail of a 149# Great Dane to control hemorrhage and then getting him into the car for another trip to emergency in the middle of the night. Oh, and remember to find the tail piece. At Sherwood South emergency clinic, bleeding was controlled with a pressure bandage. E collar was re-instituted.

When the emergency was over, it was found that Barkevious did an outstanding and professional amputation at the joint between the caudal tail vertebrae. Unbelievable, he didn’t chew his tail off; he made a swift cut and proper amputation declared Dr. John Maurterer, veterinary speciality surgeon. There was little for Dr. Beier to do but to close the skin over Barkevious’ amputation.

Barkevious was awarded honorary degree of “veterinary surgeon” for outstanding achievement in veterinary field amputation.

Louie needed a Make Over

About Louie’s eleventh birthday, his skin went into decline. He was a proud Maltese, but his long flowing white mane was gone. Looked more like a unrecognizable dog.

All of a sudden he was itching, chewing, flaking, hair falling out, and smelling real bad. He was unpleasant to touch and no longer wanted to play with the kids. He looked like a real monster. Treatments had been tried, but nothing worked or lasted. The underlying diagnosis was missing.

When Louie was first presented, he had multiple issues with all parts of the body that were derived from skin--his eyes, tear glands, ears, feet, toenails, and scent glands. The skin was black, crepe-like, scarred, stretched, and baggy. It harbored multiple secondary organisms--bacteria and yeast. Blood work was done to evaluate internal organ function. Treatment began with a general clean up of the body shaving all the hair that was left and a bath schedule. Clean up of home environment. Treatment of the secondary infections with antibiotics, anti-yeast medications, anti-pruritic medication. Supplements for his immune system, skin, thyroid, and dry eyes.

Clean up and treatment proceeded well for two months to control secondary infections and itch. Family vacation to Florida with Louie brought a severe down-turn to Louie’s skin. On the top of his head, between his ears, circulation was lost and the skin fell off from “dry gangrene”. A dermatological skin biopsy and culture was preformed and the underlying etiology was discovered.

Louie had mature onset generalized demodicosis (demodectic mange). Mites had invaded his hair roots, sebaceous glands, and lymphatics. The entire structure of his skin was destroyed on top of his head. His feet were also severely affected.

Demodicosis is normally a localized juvenile disease ( under 1 year of age) and most cases spontaneously heal. In adult onset demodicosis, the immune system is unable to control the mite allowing wild over-population causing massive skin problems. Adult demodicosis is also often associated with cancer. In Louie’s case there was no cancer, but a severely depressed immune system that was not working for Louie.

One of the newer methods of demodicosis treatment was added to Louie’s treatment plan. He began to respond within four weeks.

Now Louie has healthy skin and is a functioning part of his family. He can grow the long white mane, but everyone prefers his hair short now.

Two diseases are Better Than One ????

Riley is a smart and perky 12 year old West Highland White Terrier. Acquired as a eight week old pup, he has been protector and companion to his family of mom, dad, and has raised 2 girls and a boy for all of his years.

In middle age, he began having problems with his weight, drinking extra water, and developed a “pot belly”. Neither his diet nor eating habits had changed. But Riley had developed the hormonal, metabolic disease know as Cushing’s Disease. Riley’s adrenal gland was producing too much cortisol (natural form of cortisone) Diagnosed and treated, Riley has responded positively to the medication, vetoryl.

But shortly after vetoryl, Riley seemed like he was panting all of the time. It didn’t seem to be a problem; until a year later, the panting progressed to shortness of breath, severe lack of energy and lots of coughing.

With radiographs and blood work by Dr. Beier then echocardiogram by internal medicine specialist, Dr. Kenny Arceneaux *, Riley was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

The treatment for IPF is steroids and brochiodialators delivered by inhaler.

Yes, Riley got an inhaler.

Actually Riley had both diseases concurrently. The extra cortisol from Cushing’s Disease was “treating” Riley’s IPF. When vetoryl corrected Riley’s Cushing’s Disease, it allowed the symptoms of IPF to present.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is similar to COPD in humans. It was first described in 2002 in a Westie, and it is almost always a disease of older West Highland White Terriers. The cause and prevalence in the Westie breed is unknown.

There is no test for early detection of IPF, but the breed and symptoms will be suspicious. The alveolar tissue in the lungs becomes scared ( fibrosed). The lungs cannot inflate properly, and the dog is starved for proper oxygen.

Riley is now functioning better and has grown even more precious to his family.

* Dr. Kenneth Arceneaux, DVM Diplomate ACVIM Med Vet New Orleans

Still Golden: The Millennial Girls at Shenandoah

Good family, good genes, and the best in preventative dental and medical care with proper nutrition keeps these girls going and living well into their “golden” years.

The oldest gal at Shenandoah, Genevieve was born November 26, 1999. She is a dainty toy poodle that insists that her hair is always done and her bows in place. She is feisty and loves her momma the best. She rules those youngsters in the family with a look, a toss of the head, and a snarl of the lip.

Coming in 4 months younger, the diva, Jinger, a poodle mix. Her birthday is March 13, 2000. She rules her house with her stubborn determination to do what only she wants to. She has never put up with sisters and brothers, but has raised the roof a lot.

Perdie is the youngest golden girl; born about July 1, 2000. She missed all the fireworks of the change of the century, but creates her own celebration at the house. She is a dalmation mix with the fine black spots on the sleek body of a Italian greyhound. She is mild mannered and a gentle, obedient girl.

Shenandoah South is proud to celebrate our millennial Girls.

The Oldies: But Goldies Millennial Boys at Shenandoah South

It was an incredible visit -- two boys, Sully and Vawarc, both going on 18 years old.

They came to Shenandoah South on the same day at the same time !

And neither boy had any major problems--one wellness blood work and one blood pressure reading.

It was a “Kodak Moment”. OK, if you remember that advertising slogan you are of a “certain age” . Hint 1961…

Both boys are millennials (in the nicest sense) as they have January 2000 birthdays. Sully is a labrador retriever mix and Vawarc is a boxer mix complete brindle (tiger) stripes.

Sully has traveled the United States with his owner. He has his special fixed bed in the vehicle and is the perfect travel companion. When out of town, he resides in residence type hotels. He says it is a good life.

Vawarc is a Baton Rouge native who is known to all in his neighborhood. On his walks, he chooses the path and stops at certain houses to say hello every day. Oops, except rainy days; he hates the rain.

Jinger is also a Baton Rouge native who enjoys going to the doggie beauty parlor and prefers her walks in her own yard. She says getting old is the pits !

Both boys and our diva have owners who have kept up with all the years of wellness care--good diet, heartworm and parasite prevention, vaccinations, dental care, surgery as needed, and regular walking exercise.

Vawarc is Seventeen !!

A unique looking tiger-striped dog with a spunky attitude presented as a lost dog to SSVH back in 2002. He was medium size with a stocky stature and estimated to be about one and a half to two years. Unfortunately, this was before the days that microchips were widely used. There was no way to ID this lost boy.

His winning ways got him adopted into a family with four other dogs, a true dog pack. Unique name, Vawarc , for a special fella. Named after Vladimirovka, a missle base. He is a very special dog with a special inner acceptance and peace.

Vawarc lived with his sisters and a brother. Daily walking, wrestling, and chasing the “monster” at the bottom of the pool was the life. Into advanced middle age, one day Vawarc, zigged when he should have zagged and tore up his right knee. His ACL and a meniscus was gone. Vawarc celebrated the 2012 New Year with surgery --meniscal removal and TPLO knee repair done by speciality surgeon, Dr. John Maurterer…

Dr. Beier originally diagnosed Vawarc with anal sac tumor by a rectal exam during the annual exam and vaccinations in April 2014. This would become Vawarc’s biggest hurdle. Vawarc had tumor removal surgery performed by Dr. Brian Bufkin, Med Vet Mandeville. The biopsy confirmed anal sacadenocarcinoma. Vawarc soon began a successful chemotherapy program with Dr. Elizabeth Kergosien at MedVet - Mandeville. He continues to be monitored and is still in remission three years !!!

Ironically Timber, Vawarc’s predecessor ( April 1985 - Aug 2000) also was diagnosed with anal sac carcinoma. Fortunately canine cancer surgery and chemotherapy techniques have really evolved since 2000. Timber could not be saved.

Vawarc has developed other problems over the years, but he continues to be happy and thrive in his daily routine. To help with mobility, Vawarc uses laser therapy on a regular basis so that he can make his rounds in his neighborhood each day. Exception are the rainy days; Vawarc will not walk in the rain.

During his semi-annual exam April 2015, a heart murmur was found. Vawarc defies the odds and continues to do well without cardiac medications. Vawarc celebrated his 15th birthday , with laser surgery by Dr. John Maurterer to remove 2 large, painful, infiltrating lipomas of his neck.

Without the lipomas, his quality of life was much improved. Feeling frisky in May 2016, he just had to launch at the squirrel in the yard. Oops, tore his left ACL. We called Dr. John Maurterer….for surgical repair. Once again, he celebrated his 16 th birthday with ACL surgery. Vawarc rehabilitated like the champ that he is.

Vawarc is the last of the original “dog pack”. He doesn’t just overcome and survive; he thrives.

This tribute is to Vawarc for showing us all how to preserve and live life to the fullness.

My sunshine doesn't come from the skies,
It comes from the love in my dog's eyes.
-Unknown Poet

Yoda's Survival

I want to introduce a sweet boy, Yoda. Yoda has had a tough life and in early May he had to fight for his life.

Yoda was attacked by 2 dogs on May 4, 2017. He was able to get free and hide. He stayed in hiding almost 3 days. When he was found Sunday May 7th, he was taken to Sherwood South Emergency (thank you for being there) Yoda was in bad shape.

From the dog attack, he had a head injury; teeth were knocked out causing jaw injuries, and his rear legs were severely chewed. Yoda spent the better part of the week in emergency because he could not be easily moved. On May 12, Yoda was transfered to SSVH for continued intensive care. Yoda couldn't sit up or walk, eat or drink on his own, couldn't maintain body temperature, multiple wounds, and was anemic. Yoda did not give up and neither did Dr Beier, the SSVH staff , or Yoda's mother. The routine every day was IV fluids, force feeding, flush wounds, physical and laser therapy on the back legs. Yoda was a terrific patient with a sweet attitude. He even required some minor surgery on an area that developed gangrene. The first sign of hope was when Yoda pushed (flopped) out of his cat bed. He wanted to move on his own. It was a great sight to see. Next he was getting enough food to maintain body temperature, and he did not require the heating unit or the swaddling. Although he was force fed from a syringe, we noticed at night he was picking up pieces of dry food. His rear legs remained spastic and stiff. With his determination and laser therapy, it took until the 14th day for his coordination to effectively return. He began eating an drinking on his own on May 25; "walking" on May 26th; he was able to go home. Yoda, his mother and father still have challenges. He has a residual head tilt, slow progress in his weight gain, slowly healing wounds, doesn't climb into litter box, and is still taking epogen for the anemia. We have seen the "never give up attitude" in Yoda. We expect recovery to be a "new normal" for Yoda. He is one lucky kitty cat.

Brandy the oldest patient 35 ½ years Young !!

Originally purchased as a fledging in a New Orleans pet store, but Brandy was hatched in 1982 in Mississippi. His two state origin was just the beginning of an incredible travel life for this parrot. Brandy is a blue and gold Macaw. The bird is native to South America; macaws are a large parrot with striking blue feathers on top and gold underneath. These parrots are known to bond to humans for life. Brandy is bonded to his daddy.

Brandy was “the” parrot of White Oak Plantation for over twenty years. He ruled the kitchen area and yelled at “passer-bys”. He lived with Vegas, the aged boxer, Flash and Wonder Woman, the intimidating Dobermans. Brandy never did like the dogs and would have loved to take a chunk out of their noses pressed into his cage. They were just too fast. After the Age of the Dogs, Brandy tolerated an imprinted wood duck, Woodie. He and Woodie sometimes shared an outdoor enclosure.

Unlike most birds, he hates water and does not bathe. He displays a temper and throws food or his water.

Brandy goes to work everyday with his wood working specialist daddy. He has multiple enclosures made to fit the work site. He is truly the most cosmopolitan parrot of these parts. Brandy has worked and lived for the past fifteen years in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Oregon, California, Washington, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho, and Utah.

He travels crosscountry in a specially fitted work van with his 5X4X2 foot cage. If it is a rough road, he responds to the command “Hold On” by grabbing the cage with his beak.

Brandy’s “Bird Speak” can be literal or up for interruption.

“Get out of here, dog” is said to chase off a dog or when he doesn’t like something. If he is mad at daddy, he’ll say that when daddy comes home.

“Hello or Hello Brandy or How are You?” is the usual greeting for daddy.

“ Polly wants a cracker “ means I want to eat what you are eating.

“Bye Bye” in a crescendo-ing voice means he knows you are leaving him.

“Apple” is for get out of the cage because he can’t say “outside”.

He sounds like a duck, but he is really an incredible and intelligent macaw.

Ginger's Story

I came into this world in the usual way right before Christmas 2003.

Then I found my family--or they found me. They loved me at at first sight. What is not to desire? I’m a blonde. I threw my long locks everywhere, and they still loved me.

I finished rearing two amazing girls; I saw them go to college and then come back home briefly. and lived through two weddings. And the big move to Houston. And in the last year, a precious grandchild to love and rear. Life is a big cycle.

I got my Mom and Dad to finally retire. Mom was a school administrator. Dad is an engineer; still gets called for consulting when no one else can handle the problems. My Dad is so smart and wonderful. Dad loves woodworking.

Then Friday night April 17, 2015, I was having trouble breathing, pressure on my diaphragm. I started bleeding internally and collapsed. Luckily the bleeding stopped.

My spleen had a large tumor. I thought OK simple take out the spleen. But there was a complication. The tumor was in an unusual location. It had grown on the head (top) of the spleen & attached to my back bone, aorta, and diaphragm. Darn tumor !

I was very weak and stayed in intensive care until Dr. John Maurterer of Baton Rouge Specialities removed my huge spleen and took biopsies of my liver. I loved everyone that pulled me through and cared for me, but oh boy ! I was glad to get back home.

Almost immediately I was transferred to oncologist, Dr. Liz Kergiosen of Med Vet in Mandeville. She was so nice and very positive about my high grade splenic-stromal Sarcoma--really a fibrosarcoma. One of the meanest tumors that there is. Several options were given to my family, and they chose the best for me. A plan of chemotherapy after surgery. It was adriamycin IV. That stuff was strong and I really didn’t want to eat. My family helped with nausea medication. I got more IV adriamycin doses every three weeks. Then another chemo drug a pill, cyclophosphamide, was added. Dad tried to fool me but I knew it wasn’t a treat. I got really weak; My CBC on June 17, 2015, showed that I was anemic. So I had to stop the cyclophosphamide, but I got to eat cooked liver. At first it was a treat, but everyday? Come on.. But I started to make red blood cells again just had to get stuck for a CBC every 10 days. So I had to go back on the cyclophosphamide and I continued IV adriamycin for a total of 7 treatments.

September 2, 2015, I thought I was really doing well. My abdomen and chest were clear for mets. But Dr. Liz started a new chemo cocktail, IV carboplatin. That stuff bottomed out my WBC. So although I received it every 4 weeks, a smaller dose was given. All the time, I’m really doing what I can to keep the family positive. My cutest butt wiggle was very effective.

November 16, 2015, I was back for my usual re-evaluation. Oh Oh, a small nodule near my left kidney was found on ultrasound. My chest was clear; so I was happy, but Dr. Liz was cautious. Dr. Liz knows more about ugly cancer than I do. IV Carboplatin treatment continued December and January. February, Dr. Liz stated that my tumor was re-occurring and began monthly palladia treatments.

So, I’m still here. I’m mildly anemic; my appetite seeks out the finer foods in life. I keep my Dad guessing as to what I want to eat. I’m not losing weight, so he is doing a good job. I get to go on family trips to Texas now; no boarding for me. I can see the wear on the family, so I don’t have as many demands for play and walks.

Here is my life with Cancer 460 days later. Cancer has not changed my love and devotion to my family. Cancer cannot change the memories of the great times with my family.



Ginger passed away June 21, 2016 surrounded by her loved ones.

Vie's Story

Closing time had come and gone, the hospital was cleaned, and the patients tucked into their kennels. Dr. Beier, Victoria, and Jessica were about to take their tired bodies home. The emergency bell rang, and groan, we knew somebody’s pet was in trouble.

At the door was a young girl, ultra pale, ultra thin, about sixteen years old accompanied by an older man who did not move or say a word. The young girl was clutching a shoe box with a laid out and “way too still” cold kitten about six or seven weeks old. The kitten was literally covered with blood sucking fleas stuck in his skin. We had to really look to make certain the kitten was even alive. Everyone went into exam room one for a better look.

The girl’s pupils were pin point and her gait was unsteady. She began to explain that the kitten’s mother was a “bad mother cat” and would not nurse the kitten. Dr. Beier asked about the other kittens in the litter. The girl replied that this kitten was jumping around and playing with the other kittens just this morning. Doubting the accuracy of the information, Dr. Beier questioned if the kittens were nursing or eating solid food. The girl in protest got up from the chair and almost fell face forward. Doctor Beier grabbed her by the shoulders seating her in the chair and told her to stay. Again Dr. Beier questioned the girl; she blurted out that all the kittens were dead as if she didn’t realize that she had just pronounced all kittens well and jumping around in the morning. She stated that the mother (queen) was fine and this kitten needed to be saved. Taking control of the dialogue, Dr. Beier stated that the problem with this kitten was not a bad mother! Showing the palour of the oral cavity, nose, and foot pads to everyone, Dr. Beier stated that this kitten did not have enough blood left in his body to be alive. The flea infestation was severe enough that fleas had sucked all of the blood out of the kitten’s body. The queen also had to be covered in fleas. But the girl protested that all the cats lived inside with her and fleas had not been noticed or treated.

Dr. Beier explained that the kitten needed an immediate blood transfusion and then flea removal. Due to the moribund condition, she explained to the girl that the transfusion might not be effective, there might be permanent damage to organs, and flea removal with a flea product was high risk to life. The girl agreed, signed consent for treatment, left a modest deposit and both people were escorted to the door sending flea medication home for the queen.

Then the scramble began. Victoria and Jessica knew their responsibilities and quickly got the transfusion equipment together. The kitten was placed on a heating mat; fleas were running up Dr. Beier’s hands as she handled the kitten. Jessica sealed the infested shoe box in plastic. Victoria set up a warming chamber. Ethel Anne was selected as blood donor; everything was OK until Ethel Anne realized what was happening; she flagrantly declined to give blood by jumping off the table and climbing to the top of the kennels. Dorie was the back up plan. Dorie was cool with the procedure. She got her neck clipped, cleaned, and a large needle placed in her jugular to collect blood. Dr. Beier calculated that this frail kitten could probably take about eighteen to twenty cc’s of Dorie blood.

Now the blood was collected; Dorie was given special treats and put back in her kennel. Time to transfuse. Small mosquito catheters failed time after time as evidenced by lack of red blood flash back to find a vein in the kitten. There was some unfamiliar white material accumulating in the catheter needle. The right and left cephalic (front legs) and saphenous veins (back legs) were not accessed. The tiny catheter could not even seat in the two jugular (neck) veins. It looked hopeless as the fleas continued to jump off the kitten to Dr. Beier’s hands.

Dr. Beier stated that the last chance was to put the blood directly into the heart’s left ventricle. It was risky, but the kitten was dying, and there was nothing to lose. She warned Victoria and Jessica that if this heart stick failed, it would be hard to watch. By a miracle, Dr. Beier accessed the beating left ventricle. The little kitten was so out of it that he never moved during the heart needle stick and the slow addition of blood to his body. In amazement, Victoria and Jessica noted that the pink color from the blood was slowing filling the kitten. Starting with his foot pads and ending with his tongue, the kitten became rosey pink. It was like he filled with blood --like putting gas in a gas can.

Kitten was still unconscious; now to eliminate the blood suckers. Cotton balls were saturated with Adam’s flea mist that was streaked on the body to stop the fleas. A 0.1ml drop of feline Advantage was applied to the skin of the neck. The kitten was wrapped in a towel and then in the cocoon-like heating unit. And that is the way that he stayed for the next four hours. In that time, perspective gave insight that the unfamiliar white material in the catheter was actually white blood cells from the veins. There was no flashback because there was just not any red blood cells in the kitten’s veins. He really should have been dead.

Later that night, the kitten began to stir and we thought, he might make it. Canned kitten food and water was left with the kitten. A really tired and good team went home. Well, this kitten was a fighter with strong survival instincts. In the morning, he had eaten all the food and was climbing on the bars of the kennel. We were amazed that the only residual effect was a slight left head tilt. The kitten was abundantly grateful and friendly. He never looked back or missed a meal from that day. Dorie was praised on facebook, and Ethel Anne was shamed. Ethel Anne stated that transfusions was not in her “job description” , and she was never going to let this bother her.

On the next day, it was time for kitten to go home. But the young girl was offering reasons why she couldn’t pick up the kitten. This went on day after day for two weeks. The very day that Dr. Beier sent a registered letter to pick up the kitten, the young girl called and stated that she could not take care of the kitten. She revealed that she had two young boys and needed to take care of them. That revelation shocked Dr. Beier, who had become a kitten admirer. Dr. Beier assured that young girl, if she would come into the office to sign ownership of the kitten, a good home could be found. The young girl complied. The next day, her phone was disconnected; we have never heard from her since.

So that is how Dr. Beier became Vie’s (french for life) new owner.