Golden Retriever Maggie now Taking Bite out of her Cancer — Updated

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Maggie’s story has already been detailed here and here and here.So, if you do not know about this unbelievable story, go and get the background.

Hi Rochelle, I have some awesome news to share with you. Maggie’s tumor in her nose seems to be gone after her exam at Tuft’s the other day. She is truly an ANGEL with four legs. I sent you a few pictures of the girls to enjoy. Maggie has been taking two all natural supplements and a multi vitamin since mid October and I changed her diet to somewhat of a holistic type. Maybe its just being lucky but I have to say having positive energy does help. — Mike

UPDATE: Here is a photo slide show of Maggie!

Since I know we all live for the photos in order to bring these stories alive, I always try to please. The following photos are of Maggie and her puppy sister Sadie, who is currently in training to follow in her big sister’s pawprints.

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Old allies against cancer, Jay, Maggie gain ground
By Megan Woolhouse, Globe Staff | February 25, 2007

Maggie, a golden retriever, worked as a therapy dog visiting children at University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center until she was diagnosed last fall with cancer. To remove it would have meant removing nearly her entire snout.The news devastated her owner, hospital staff, and the hospitalized children who had come to expect her weekly visits. It particularly affected a 13-year-old boy named Jay Davis.

Jay also had an inoperable tumor, in his chest. He has been living in the Worcester hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit since August.

Both boy and dog have been undergoing chemotherapy and receiving steroids to help fight the growth of cancerous cells. And despite many highs and lows, both now appear to be doing better.

Maggie’s veterinarian, Meredith Gauthier , says the dog’s tumor — nearly the size of a golf ball last fall — “appears pretty much gone.” Gauthier, an oncology resident at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, said she has not biopsied the area because the procedure is pointless. If the tumor did not respond to the chemotherapy, Maggie’s future would have been bleak.

The chemotherapy itself took a toll. Maggie underwent the treatment for three weeks. She had to be carried outside to relieve herself. Veterinarians said additional radiation treatment was not an option because the chemo had already weakened her so much.

Michael Kewley, Maggie’s owner, gave her nutritional supplements and vitamins to help her along. Kewley, who runs a therapy pet service, Shrewsbury Paws for Patients, has adopted a golden retriever puppy named Sadie and hopes to train her to follow in Maggie’s footsteps as a comfort to hospital patients and the elderly.

Her recovery has stunned Kewley, who has returned to the hospital with Maggie for visits.

Meanwhile, Jay has been in the intensive care unit for more than seven months. Intense chemotherapy treatment in December left him unable to muster enough strength to open his eyes.

There’s more . . .

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Golden Retriever Tessa is sharing motherhood

Golden retriever proud mom, ‘house dog’ at the Twin Rivers Care Center
By L.A. Jones, Union editor

Call it maternal instinct. Almost five-year-old Tessa is quite naturally more fond of her 10 golden retriever puppies than the much older senior residents at Twin Rivers Care Center in Anoka. But you wouldn’t be able to tell it the way Tessa splits her time between feeding her 10-day-old litter and giving her much-sought attention to the seniors and the strokes they so need.

“It’s just the touch, the feel; they (the residents) put them (the puppies) up to their faces and they love it,” said Felicia Paulzine, nurse in charge at Twin Rivers who brings Tessa and her pups in every day that she works. It’s a routine that has roused the spirits of the residents for about eight months since Tessa first made her presence known at Twin Rivers.

“This is a great thing,” said Suzanne Havemeier registered nursing assistant. “The residents really love it.” “The ones (the residents) who get agitated, we can usually bring them out here (to the lobby area) and it calms them,” Paulzine said.

Tessa has been what owner Paulzine calls a “house dog” or “facility dog” since she was about five months old. She has learned to answer to her name when a resident calls her and more importantly to give that resident the affection they so much desire.

The Twin Rivers residents who had become so attached to Tessa were also very much a part of her pregnancy, following her courtship with Kokey, a golden retriever stud from Oklahoma, at every point along the way. “It was kind of an arranged thing,” said Jacquie Lewis, activities director at Twin Rivers Care Center.

Once Tessa had her little ones, it didn’t take long for the entire staff and all the residents at Twin Rivers to find out about it, either.

There’s more . . . .

Golden Retriever Brutus ‘makes the pain go away’

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Furry therapists a hit with seniors
Dog visitation program in Annapolis Valley offers healing effects of companionship

The Chronicle Herald

BERWICK — Brutus is getting impatient. Tail wagging furiously, the golden retriever paces in the family room of Grand View Manor in Berwick, jumping up on owner Tami Maillet to tell her he’s ready to start visiting residents of the seniors home.

Finally it’s time to go, and Brutus heads out into the hallway and down toward Rob MacDonald’s room. He knows the route like the back of his paw, and pads into the room, where his host is waiting for him. “Hello, Brutus!” Mr. MacDonald calls, patting his bed to tell the dog he can get up.

Sitting side by side with his guest, Mr. MacDonald opens a small plastic bag with bacon-flavoured treats inside, and Brutus gently takes one from his hand. For the next few minutes, he leans into Mr. MacDonald, getting patted and enjoying more than one extra treat.

Ms. Maillet and Brutus are part of the St. John Ambulance dog therapy program in the Annapolis Valley.

There’s lots more . . .