Dottie update

Forgive the typos. Writing this on my phone.

We’ve been in College Station since yesterday in hopes that the great vets at A&M can offer us better options with Dottie’s bladder cancer. Tomorrow she’s going to get a CT scan and a cystoscopy so we can have a better idea about what we’re dealing with.  Depending on what they find we may be considering radiology. It’s great that they have that option here, although it would mean a month of treatment and since A&M is about 4 hours from us she’d have to stay here for the month. It also costs as much as my first car but if it worked we’d get another two years with her so…

long story short, I don’t know the answer but we’re in a good place to find all the options. Currently Victor, Hailey and I are holed up a hotel room and although it’s not ideal Dottie is loving the attention and is thrilled that we’re suddenly letting her eat steak and visit dog parks and stick her head out of the window on country drives and other things that normally I’m way too paranoid about. Last night I took her to play pool, went on an hour long walk and watched her as she jumped on the bed.

And it was good.

More soon.

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Nothing better than jumping on hotel beds.

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141 thoughts on “Dottie update

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  1. Aw, the sweet girl looks like she’s still loving life. And she’s got wonderful people taking care of her and loving her. There’s not much more anyone of us could ask for! I’ll be keeping all of you in my thoughts, keeping my fingers crossed, and praying for good progress. You’re a good one Jenny Lawson!

  2. It’s true. About the jumping on hotel beds, I mean. That was the best.

  3. Prayers and positive thoughts are with you and your entire family.

  4. Here’s hoping radiology’s in the works, and it works for a looooooooong time. Love and hugs from a total stranger and avid follower. <3

  5. You are an amazing dog mom. Really hoping for the best outcome from her scans and test tomorrow. Sending all my good vibes!

  6. If you have the money and it can extend her life and give her quality of life, I say go for it!! She’s a member of the family and she’s young and strong. A good candidate for treatment, it seems. I lost my dog of 13 years last August and I miss her every single day. You and your family are in my heart. Give Ms Barker a nose boop from me

  7. Sending love and support. Only you can decide what is best for your family. It takes a lot of courage to deal with this head on. My heart is with you.

  8. That bed-jumping video made my day. Much love to Dottie and the whole family. We’re all pulling for her to live the longest, happiest little Dottie life full of steak and car rides and hugs. ❤

  9. Best wishes and many treats for Miss Dot! She is quite a trooper. A month will go by fast!

  10. A human friend of mine in his 80s just beat bladder cancer. Wishing Dorothy Barker the same luck!

  11. It makes me want to shout “Gig ‘Em, Aggies!” and hopefully the vet oncologists know that means they’re being encouraged to kick cancer’s ass with their brains, not go out and play football really hard.

  12. A&M has great vets. If anybody can help Dottie, they can. Wishing her and your family all the best. Looks like Dottie is having the time of her life! We could all take a lesson – enjoy life no matter what is happening. It’s hard sometimes, though…

  13. All that matters is that she’s happy doing all the fun stuff! Sending love and good thoughts y’alls way!!

  14. ALWAYS take an opportunity to jump on the bed. <3
    I know Dottie is enjoying her well-deserved “spoiling” at the moment and no dog could ask for anything more or better than what she’s been given, being a part of your family. This is a love story no matter what happens.

  15. That video is the BEST! Dorothy B is obviously having a blast! Just don’t give her the keys to the car. Sending good vibes to Miz D and her hoomans…

  16. I’ve had the dog in trouble, go to A&M experience too. I wish all the best for all of you and of course Dottie.

  17. As someone with chronic anxiety, I feel like my dog was in my life to teach me to stay in the moment. Sending healing thoughts your way.

  18. How’d she do at pool?

    I know what you’re going through is hard… Making the time you have amazing is the absolute best thing you can do right now, for her, and for you.

  19. She looks wonderful. I’m so glad for her and hopeful for you guys getting treatment for her

  20. I have groomed dogs that have had bladder cancer for more than 5 years. I don’t know Dottie’s exact case, but it’s not always the immediate end. Hopefully the vets have some treatments that will help, and never give up on her.

  21. We’ve been through similar things with a cat who had fatty liver disease and had to send her to stay in another town. It cost me my entire raise for that year, but the time we had with her was worth it.

  22. Positive thoughts from here. Totally support your efforts. I’m a major thrifter, never pay full price, second hand, etc. But, if it’s for my fur babies, nothing is too much. Best of all luck to you guys.

  23. Keeping your family in my thoughts. Paws crossed. 😘😘😘 To Dottie

  24. She looks to be in good spirits! An extra year is a lot. If you’re willing to spend the money and she can tolerate the treatment, I say go for it. Maybe one of you can stay in Texas near her? I’m know you’ll make the right decisions. My 18 yr old cat was diagnosed with kidney disease, heart murmur, and a lung mass 14 months ago. Given his age, I opted not to treat the mass and it’s also cost prohibitive for me. The good news is there are still no symptoms from the lung mass, the murmur has stayed the same, and renal cat food have gotten Stu’s kidneys back to normal function. His weight has stayed steady and he seems to enjoy life. We’ve been lucky! But the day I was given all the diagnosis at once was awful. I know it hurts to get ominous news for our pets. Wishing all of the you the best outcome! Beat cancer’s ass Dottie!

  25. Sending loving & healing thoughts to Dottie and bright blessings to your family; our fur babies are part of
    our families ❤️🐾

  26. As a former Veterinary Oncology Tech, I can assure you that IF you choose RT, and that is a tough choice, those Doctors and Nurses will love your sweet baby as if Dottie were their own. I don’t personally know any aTm staff, but speaking from experience, we would lay with our RT patients before and after treatment. We would walk them many times a day as they wanted/needed or play if they were feeling up to it. If a patient was feeling down and dumpy, we’d take turns sitting with them and loving them extra hard. If they didn’t want to eat, we’d sneak a couple treats and hand feed them. I’ve personally purchased toys, blankets, and other items for former patients. We take pictures EVERY day, and usually include them in email updates. (I never texted clients, but my Dr did every single day 🙂 )

    It will be a long, hard, expensive month for sure, but take heart that she will be loved as if she were family to the staff, as well.

  27. I worked at the Ohio State vet school for nearly 10 years and it’s amazing how much cancer treatment has advanced with academic research. (And I remember some of the folks who worked at A & M – another good school with good people.) Cancer side effects for dogs are not as bad as for people, too, so be sure to ask about her quality of life. ALSO – if she has to stay for the month, you might consider bringing her home for a weekend in the middle – or at least going to see her so she can jump on the bed some more. Good luck. Praying for her healing! (And one more thing – the odds used to be that one in three or four dogs will get cancer. Advances made in there treatment helps advance treatment for people, and vice versa. You are at a good place to make the right decision! Ok, that was three things. Sorry.)

  28. Dottie is just about the most delightful pup I’ve ever seen. When I was a kid, I always wanted to be the dog when we played house. Clearly I made the right choice because dogs truly know how to have fun in spite of whatever crap is going on around them.

  29. With apologies for the typo and I wasn’t using my phone, either. Advances made in THEIR treatment helps advance treatment for people, and vice versa. So embarrassed….

  30. My mom lives in College Station, and would 110% drop by and send you proof of well-being pictures and videos of Dorthy if she ends up there for radiology!!!

  31. … I’m totally letting our floof stick his head out the window now. 🙁 I always stress that he’ll get stuff in his eyes, but should it be something that we never allow? ;_;

  32. I’m so glad there’s hope for longer time with her! Crossing my fingers they can get it for you! <3

  33. Thanks for the update. You’re such a good doggy mom. Fingers crossed for Dottie. Love to you all.

  34. A different perspective- dogs only count the days they are happy, and in a place that they consider safe and familiar. If Dottie is happy at the clinic, that’s great. But if she is attached to you and will be stressed, do keep that in mind. And no matter what you decide, think about it as if it were free. She may not care about the extra time she may or may not have, and humans are the only beings who think things that are expensive are worth more. I have had many dogs, attended many veterinary oncology seminars,and have learned to make these hard decision as if I were my dogs. It’s hard sometimes, but when I listened, it was always the right answer. Just beware. I wish you all the worthwhile treatment in the world. ❤

  35. So many positive vibes and healing thoughts being sent in Dottie’s direction! Much love and peace to y’all, always ❤️🥰

  36. I am glad to see her enjoying herself. She MUST be cured! She is too cute to have health problems. Pay whatever it costs to help her and I will send you whatever I can to help out!

    I love you, Jenny! ❤❤❤❤❤

  37. I’m so happy to hear you’re looking into all your options! It’s always a wise choice to get a second opinion when something big like this comes up. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being so proactive. I hope very much that you receive much more empowering news this go around. I had a medically compromised pup and I have medical issues myself. I know what it feels like to be at the will of the tide. In life all one can do is her best. There are no wrong decisions with how you handle this with Dottie. You are a great doggie mom and you will do whatever works best for you and your family.

    So glad you’re letting her eat steak-with our dog Angel her weakness was chicken so toward the end I gave her some Raising Cane’s fried chicken for the first time. It was like we made her whole life with just that little meal. Lol. It’s wonderful you are enjoying Dottie, but it’s also ok to have your moment too. You’re not a robot and this is HARD stuff so please be kind to yourself. HUGS!

  38. There is a doggie heaven where she will be healthy and not hurt any more. If/ when she is miserable let he go to doggie heaven, don’t be selfish at Dottie’s expense. When it’s time to go, let her go. Later get a new puppy

    Sent from my iPhone


  39. Love is hard. You can do hard things. I am glad you can afford to give Dottie the very best of care, and am sending all the prayers and good intentions into the universe for you all. May you have so much more time together!

  40. Let her live every moment to the fullest!! Just don’t let her her eat something so rich she gets pancreatitis! Sending more love and healing vibes her way!!

  41. I paid for a few of my vets vacations. If possible get meds from pharmacy instead of the vet & don’t be shy about asking how much things cost & stop vaccinations if she gets any. You can check for discounts offered by drug companies. I was able to save over $300 per refill on insulin for my cat by signing her up as a 19 year female. I’m not crying………ok I’m crying g/d it Dottie you stole my heart

  42. Best wishes for a good outcome, and strength for whatever comes your way! Be like Dottie – love the life you have 🙂

  43. Sending up prayers for Dottie. Hugs and love to you, Victor, and Hailey

  44. Sending warm and fuzzy thoughts your way. I love that you are doting on Dottie though. She just wants to keep being a fun dog, and, I like to believe she thinks she has no idea about her diagnosis. I hope you get the answers you need. Sending lots of love from the Lucas Clan: two teenage daughters, two dogs, one cat, and one husband.

  45. Everything crossed for good news!! Hugs and ear scritchies! 💜

  46. I love this little dog! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that A&M can offer some hope.

  47. I see why you love this little dog so much! I’m keeping g my fingers crossed that A&M can offer some possibilities and hope.

  48. B is for bed and bounce and Miss Barker. She knows the good things in life! 🙂

  49. We should all live life like that. Our pups know how to live in the moment. I could watch that video all damn day. Prayers for you all.

  50. I don’t know how to phrase this well but someone once told me that although we are sad when our dogs leave us, be it to soon or at their time, we should be happy that even though their death leaves us suffering be happy because we were their whole life. We made their life here joyous and that is all we can do. I’ve seen you with Dorothy and I know you made her life the best life she could have had. It may be a small solace, but to her it was everything. You made her everything amazing

  51. Well as far as Dottie is concerned, there is nothing wrong with her! Positive thoughts and Juju coming your way!
    When my furry soul mate “Waldo” was diagnosed at 15yrs old with cancer I opted to only treat him with Prednisone and I high volume of love. I was told 3-6months at most. I got almost a full year with him to “say goodbye”. I needed that year. I still miss him all of the time, but cherish the 16years I had with him. Our bond was like no other I’ve ever had…..
    I also have an African grey parrot who talks (and swears). Almost a year after his passing I was packing and getting ready to move back home. I was looking at his pictures, but not anywhere near my bird. I then heard in a sweet voice in the other room. “Waldo, come here… Good boy Waldo, good boy.” I stopped and the arm hairs stood up. I can tell you right now that dog came to me, to tell me he was ok. I know this, but it was confirmed by my swearing, usually hostile parrot.
    What may come off Dottie? We don’t know, but I do know she will be ok with whatever happens.
    Much love and fingers crossed for you!!

  52. I went to TAMU for undergrad and veterinary school, and I can tell you Dottie is in wonderful hands! I was on the oncology rotation for a month. During that time, we had a pup undergoing radiation therapy, and he became the mascot of the service! We love and cuddle these pets like they are our own. I’m pretty sure the pup thought he was at camp. I know you’ll make the best decision for your sweet girl!

  53. Hi there – I never post on anything but I am a huge fan and I adore Dorothy Barker and I know how much you love her. Several years ago our beloved dog, Lizzie, got really sick with some sort of complication from Lyme disease. I took her to multiple vets, finally ending up with a specialist who treated her with steroids and injections for a year before she finally was so sick that we couldn’t let her suffer anymore and we let her go. I didn’t realize until looking through pictures of her over the course of that year how miserable she was. I was shocked and ashamed when I realized that we had put her through so much more than we should have because we wanted more time with her. I felt so selfish. Please take time to think about each and every treatment, the value of it, and how much it will cause Dottie pain. I’m sorry if this seems cruel, but I’ve been there and it sucks so much. I’m so sorry. I’ll continue to hope for a miracle for you.

  54. Dottie will be happy every second she lives. That’s her spirit, cancer or no cancer. Time is meaningless to dogs, they live in the moment. So keep her happy and that will be everything to her.

  55. Jenny and family,

    I hope Dottie becomes TOTALLY and unalterably spoiled on this trip and that you have to spend the next ten years looking at each other and saying, “We created a monster.”


  56. PLEASE, please, ask if IMMUNOTHERAPY is a possible treatment❗️ It cured bladder cancer in a person I love. 👍 Sending healing & hopeful thought to Dottie, and to you all.

  57. This made me cry and laugh at the same time. Dottie looks sooo happy and I know it’s very hard for you not knowing what is in her future. But I know one thing, she has the best damn family any dog could ask for! Heartfelt wishes for a good prognosis.

  58. We were fortunate to have local availability of vet-oncology for our beloved house-panther, Benjamin when he was diagnosed with lymphoma. He responded well and enjoyed ruling the roost for 14 months before the treatments lost efficacy. It took us three years to pay off that cost, but it was worth every single lovely day we had with him. Best wishes and lots of love to you and your human family and Dottie and I know you are cherishing every day you have her.

  59. Poor Dottie. Poor family that loves her. I’m glad there are options and that she’s truly living right now!

  60. Jenny, be sure to ask the vets about her quality of life during/post treatment. If you get more time, make sure it’s good for Dottie too. Love and belly scratches to you both.

  61. Sending y’all love and strength. I decided to give my cat eye surgery last year – at a sizeable cost. It’s a hard decision. The 3 of you will make the best and right decision for your family.

  62. They’ve got pet rooms you can visit her in when you’re in town. My boy had to stay in the cat ICU for a few days and they let me kind of park in one for an afternoon before he was allowed to go home. If you leave her favorite treats and food, they’ll try and get her to take them from those weird humans shaving her fur and whatever else they’ll have to do. For you and the family, there’s airbnb’s and game day housing that’s empty right now all over town. You can get one of those with a nice backyard. I also suspect that if you wanted, any of us on here that live in College Station would be willing to let you use our backyards for doggie hijinks. There’s at least two dog parks around and most of the metro parks have dog friendly walking trails. Sadly, we only have big box pet stores. The nice thing is they’ll both let you bring her in on a leash. Some of the restaurants in down town Bryan have out door seating where she could hang out with you. The LaSalle is even supposed to be haunted. (the hotel part not the bar/restaurant). Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need to know where things are in town.

  63. I’m so so sorry you’re dealing with this. Please think about making a video of you petting Dottie. My cat died a month ago, and my partner had made a five-minute video of him petting her a few years ago (when it was still a shock she’d let him). It’s been a huge comfort to me to see her enjoying some people time. I desperately wish I’d made a similar video of me petting her.

  64. So sorry to hear that Dottie has cancer. I will be sending every good thought her adorable way.

  65. I get it! My Arnie is 15. ( rat terrier) He’s not eating and is limping around. We take him to the vet every 25 days for his special shots for Addison’s disease. I gave him bacon this morning. He loved it. When you’re that old, you deserve bacon.

  66. Gosh, must be great to have that kind of $ to try help her. I love it that your willing to do that for this beautiful baby. You GO Dottie Girl!

  67. I have paid a lot for medical care for my furry children. I am glad I can> afford to.

  68. The Aggies have an outstanding veterinary school, and we’re all pulling for you!

  69. smithridege vet center, south Salem NY – specialize in cancer, changed our world, we have met MANY from around the country who come here with dogs/cats given months to live who are alive years later. Please check them out:

  70. You have one happy pup there, and I have a tear in my eye. Good luck to you all.

  71. I just picked up my cat, Lucky… aka Luckzilla, from his radioactive isotope treatment for thyroid cancer. It was worth the week away, the weird quarantine I’m trying (and might be failing?) to follow, and the small fortune it cost. Now I’m just waiting for him to turn green and start meowing about smashing things. My partner says that it’s the wrong isotope for becoming a Hulk cat, but a girl can hope. =)

  72. I love that little doggie! Hoping you get the answers you need to make the best decision, and the most time with her adorableness. <3

  73. My dog went to a doggie cancer center on the north side of San Antonio. The people there were amazing and kind. Maybe they could do the treatments A&M recommends closer to home so she wouldn’t be so far.

  74. There aren’t any words Jenny, so I’m just sending my love and best thoughts and prayers to you and your family

  75. Spoil that puppy and make every day special! I took my dog to our LSU Vet School when he needed chemo and treatment, so it’s good to explore all options. Just enjoy your time with her, keep her comfort in mind, and make lots of special memories, family photos, trips, and lots of yummy treats! Good luck and hugs to you all!

  76. Howdy! Waving at you from the main A&M campus. While you’re in town, you’ve got to eat at Mad Taco. Try the par-gar fries. You’ll thank me later. (If you were in town for something fun and not dealing with stress, I’d say hmu and we’d do lunch, but I won’t add the stress of meeting a stranger to your mix today, just sending cyber hugs for you and the pupper.)

  77. I’m not one for leaving comments, and I know you don’t know me, but I feel a strong urge to tell you that I love you. Love doesn’t necessarily cure anything, but it helps … always. So I’m doing this. I love you. And Dottie, of course.

  78. 18 years doing wildlife rehabilitation, plus many feline and canine family members, taught us that it’s best to let animals tell you when they’re ready to leave their bodies, and especially when they’ve had enough medical intervention. It’s hard enough for humans to endure treatments, and we know the purpose and possibilities. Animals don’t fear death like many humans do, but they can feel lots of fear when procedures are imposed on them, even brief ones. Best to listen to their wishes. And they’re not hard to read if we keep our own fear of death from getting in the way. Separation from one’s pack is one of the scariest experiences for a canine, especially if they are in a weakened condition. Best to avoid any treatments that mean more than a day away from the family. You can shorten their lives with such a separation, and it will take away time you could be spending together. Here’s wishing you all and Dottie a delightful rest of her life, celebrating the love and joys of being a pack together.

  79. Ditto Anonymous 57. Please re-read this comment over and over and let it sink in.
    Wishing you all peace and happiness every single day.

  80. I want to give All of you a gift/gifts of some more of the positivity and love and strength that comes with healing positive thoughts and prayers, for Dorothy and for You. My thoughts and prayers are with you 💕

  81. I’ve been thinking so much about all of you though this but I haven’t known what to say. It’s all just a little too close to home. I’ve just found out that me 17 year old “kitten” (I’ve had him since he was a tiny floof) has irriversable kidney disease and the most we can do is give him a digified passing. I’m just gutted… I know it’s silly, I KNOW he’s 17… I’ve spent all that time with him. I KNOW that’s a long time and more than most get and it just all feels WAY too soon.

    You have all my love and comfort and sympaty. You are NOT going through this alone, any of you. We’re not just aunts/uncles to Hailey but to Dottie and Hunter and Victor and whoever else I’ve forgotten (i know I have) as well.

    Squeeze Dottie while you can. Enjoy her and love one another. This too shall pass. (((HUGS)))

  82. So sorry to hear about Dot. As a lifelong companion of animals, I totally feel that pain.

    It’s weird, when you think of it, that we humans tend to wait until we find out someone is dying before we jump on the beds, eat the ice cream, hang our heads out the window, etc….. and yet, we’re ALL going to die someday. Why don’t we all enjoy the hell out of every minute before we get the bad news?

    I mean, not excessively dangerous stuff. I don’t think we should all snort mountains of coke, or skydive without parachutes (or skydive at all, necessarily), or drink up our paychecks. No licking unwashed spinach leaves, or walking on balcony railings with freshly-lotioned feet. Nothing like that.

    Just do the joyful things while there’s nothing (yet) to worry about.

  83. I am so sorry to hear about Dorothy. My thoughts are with you and your family and her. A&M has helped me with pet health care in the past; their doctors are top notch.

    I actually saw you come out of the rare book store in downtown Bryan earlier today. I’m glad that I didn’t bother you. Peace to you and your family during this difficult time.

  84. Hoping that she’s some kind of miracle dog who survives decades with something normally terminal…

  85. I have two dogs that were given the big C diagnosis and both are currently doing very well. Happy to share my experience if you wish… Much love and hope!

  86. Thinking of you and your family (two and four legged) and sending so much love…..

  87. Remember back when you didn’t particularly want a dog? And then one day, poof, Dottie. And you love her and she loves you and she just fit. So remember, even if she’s not with you as long as you’d like, there was so much love in the time you did have.

  88. I hope for a great outcome and send good energy to your family and to Dottie. I lost both of my cats to 2 different types of cancer in the last 6 months, it is a cruel disease.

  89. I’m not a vet but I am a physician and I urge you to just always hold to the tenant that joy MUST outweigh suffering. Quality is so much more important than quantity for human life I have to believe it is the same for canine life. Regardless of the path you choose you will always wonder if you did the right thing, you will always question yourself and that is normal but then the answer has to be YES, you did the right thing because you made the decision out of love for her.

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