Atticus Finch is my four-year-old boxer. He is sweet, kind-of-lazy, comical and definitely in charge of his other fur siblings. I got him at 10-months-old from a young couple who were recently married and had more dogs than they could care for. He was bought for my female boxer who seemed depressed after the death of her doberman buddy just a couple of months ago. While she did love Atticus she didn't perk up like my daughter and I expected and we shortly found out she had a brain tumor, so at three years we had to euthanize her. As time went on Atticus got a little chunky so we put him on a diet. One year later he lost some weight....then more....then more. Everyone commented how good he looked but I felt it was too sudden a weight loss to be normal. During his yearly routine exam, the vet commented on how good he looked but seemed a little quiet when I mentioned the "sudden" weight loss. After examining him he had me feel two lymph nodes behind his knees. They were quite enlarged and I knew that combined with the weight loss this was not likely an infection. My vet treated him with antibiotics but on recheck all of his lymph nodes were now enlarged. I could not believe I was facing cancer yet again in a young dog!
I didn't want to sit by once again, watching one of my dogs dying in front of me. When my vet told me how much the chemotherapy would cost I spent days trying to figure out how to come up with money I didn't have. He referred me to Florida Veterinary Specialist oncologist Dr. Kane to see if there was any other options. FVS got me in right away and Dr. Kane (who is quite awesome!) pretty much gave me the same treatment options and price as my regular vet. I saw a pamphlet for Frankie's Friends and asked the vet tech about it. She said she would refer my name to the "powers that be". It took about three days and I received a call from Bonni Voiland telling me that Atticus was approved for Frankie's Friends and FVS to cover the cost of his chemo with a small co-pay from me every week!
Words cannot express the joy I felt knowing that Atticus would get the opportunity to fight this lymphoma that was trying to take him away at such a young age. I felt that I had won the lottery! How can I explain how much hope is worth in mere words?
Atticus has started his treatment and is doing well so far. He is a young, strong dog so I have faith that he will do well. If it were not for Frankie's Friends, Bonni and Dr. Kane, Atticus would probably not be here but for another couple of weeks. You are all awesome and I am encouraging everyone I know to donate so the next dog with lymphoma can be give the same hope Atticus is being given.