Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy 1K Day Rilley!

Wow, 1000 days and still going strong!
Today marks yet another significant milestone in Rilley's life.  It has now been exactly 1000 days since his surgery to remove a lethal brain tumour.  That is certainly much longer than the six weeks he had been given at the time of diagnosis.

We couldn't let this momentous occasion pass without giving it the recognition it deserves; this truly is a landmark day.  If a simple beagle from small town Ontario has won the fight against cancer thanks to the work being done at the University of Minnesota, the future looks very bright for the human beneficiaries of the research he took part in.

A screen capture of the "surgery" counter from earlier today.
We can honestly say that, aside from thrice daily medication, life has returned to normal...almost as if the tumour never existed.

Happy 1000th day Rilley!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Inside Story: The Life of Rilley

Now that Rilley is on his way to three years since he underwent treatment for the meningioma, there is a renewed interest in his story.  In June the Toronto Star published an article about him in their spread on veterinary medicine.  I know many people saw that story, but it also drew the attention of Avery Haines from CityNews. She contacted us and asked if we would share our story for her series "Inside Story".  This story has always been so much bigger than Rilley himself, so any time we can draw attention to the advanced research being done at the University of Minnesota, we are always up for it.

Avery's story aired tonight (three times in total) and Sara and I are very happy with the way it turned out.  It was a great balance of the seriousness of the subject matter along with the lighter side of life with Rilley...fridge lock, anyone?  The whole family took part.  The girls were in it and we even managed to get Sara on camera as well.   I know it's hard to tell a complex story like Rilley's in the timespan of a news story, but Avery and her team did it very well.

After it aired, Sara noticed that the @CityAvery Twitter feed had some chatter on it about the story.  All the feedback seemed to be positive.

Have a look for yourself, just follow this link:

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rilley the Water Dog

In all of his 12 years, there's one thing that Rilley has never done.  Unlike most dogs, he has never before gone swimming.  Well, this past Saturday that all changed.  With the current stretch of hot weather we thought the timing could not have been better.  So we took him down into the ravine near our house where a creek runs through.

Nice cool water on a hot day.

We found a great spot where we could just walk in with him, but with deeper areas so that he could try to swim.  He seemed to welcome the cool water running across his paws, but was a bit tentative with the deeper water.  So, to help out, I picked him up and lowered him into an area where he could swim without touching bottom.  When I let go, he kept his head above water and swam back to shallower water.

"I can do it!  I can swim!"

Given that this was his very first time in the water, he didn't seem to stress about it at all.  He swam as if it was the most natural thing for him to do.  However, while he really seemed to like it, a few times in and out and he had enough and trotted off to shore.

If the dog days of summer continue to be hot, Rilley now has a choice to chill in the air conditioned climate of the house, or to go for a short walk and cool off in the the creek!