Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Little Town that Rilley Loves

An interesting concept was presented to me a few weeks ago.  The website has a photo sharing campaign through which you can show how your dog represents his or her home town.  Now I'm not one to randomly promote commercial endeavours, however it was through DogVacay's online forums that Sara had found some of the dog-friendly hotels that we used on our road trips to Minneapolis.  While that was a huge benefit for us, their main purpose is to help you find a dog sitter near home.

As those who have followed the blog from the beginning know, we adopted Rilley from the SPCA in nearby Orangville when he was two years old.  Since then he has been an official Georgetown, Ontario resident for 10 full years and he couldn't be happier!  Here are a few of his favourite things about our little town.

Going for car rides.
Exploring the trails of Hungry Hollow!
Winning the ribbon for "Dog with the Longest Ears" at
the Georgetown Fair! (Okay, this photo is a bit old...2004
but he did return to claim his crown again a few years later!)
Halloween!  Rilley dressed up in 2007 as "Underdog" to
"rescue" as many treats as he could.
And just looking adorable and happy to be alive!
Photo credit: Chris So of The Toronto Star
We may live in a small town, but thanks to the second chance Rilley has been given by being a cancer survivor he still has time to experience the many other things that our beautiful little part of the province has to offer!

To give credit where credit's due, this idea was passed on to me by fellow pet-blogger Shaye Walsh of Milwaukee who wrote a similar post about her dog Sheba.  Check it out:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rilley Goes International!

Publishing a blog results in a lot of information being posted, read, picked up by search engines and distributed.  Every once in a while we will sit down and Google phrases related to the blog in an attempt to track where our posts and stories about Rilley end up.  Most hits are links back to the blog or to the newspaper and television stories on their originating websites.

Today, however, I came across a German magazine called "Partner Hund".  They describe themselves as "Das Magazin für Hundefreunde" or "The Magazine for Dog Lovers."  Image my surprise when I found, in a section of their August issue entitled "News from the dog world", a short article about Rilley.  Judging by the pictures, they must have pulled the story that was written by Isabel Teotonio of The Toronto Star (June 1, 2013 - Saturday Edition) off a newswire service and written their own, condensed version.  Their story was called "Second Life for Rilley".

The interesting thing is that, despite The Star being a major Canadian newspaper, we never imagined it would be a conduit to his story appearing as far away as Europe.  As for the article itself, it was simply a very brief synopsis detailing the diagnosis, prognosis, clinical trial at the University of Minnesota, treatment and the promising outcome (with a bit of little-girl-loves-her-furry-"brother" thrown in to tug at the heart-strings). 

It's just too bad that they didn't try to contact us directly, I could have impressed them with my (very rusty) ability to speak German.  Well...maybe not...perhaps in the end it's best it didn't come to that.  (I had to use a translation website to help me read it...some of those German words are long!)

If you can read German there is an online version of the magazine, simply follow this link:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pet Cancer Awareness Month

November is Pet Cancer Awareness month and throughout the month the Veterinary Medical Center at the University of Minnesota, where Rilley was treated, has been posting related stories on their Facebook page.  Today they wrote a post to commemorate Rilley's third anniversary as a survivor, including a brief outline of the their involvement.  I hope that their compassionate, caring and amazing team is aware of the far reaching impact of their work.

Taken from the VMC's Facebook page:

Please take the time to visit their page.  If you are a pet owner, there is a lot of useful information and tips there.  If you're not, I'm confident you will find the stories interesting.

Monday, November 4, 2013

MILESTONE: Surviving for 3 Years!

Rilley with his new stuffed friend.

Today we celebrate another major milestone in Rilley's life.  It is hard to believe that it has already been three years since Rilley's surgery in Minneapolis.  Time has certainly flown since November 4, 2010.  It may be cliché, but it really does seem like yesterday that we were packing the Jeep to hit the road for the first time.

A lot has happened since then and we have documented all the ups and downs right here on the blog.   There have been many helpful and dedicated professionals along the way and I always thought it would be fun to list them all.  So here it goes:

Mountainview Animal Hospital
Dr. Stephanie Ewing

University of Minnesota
Dr. Elizabeth Pluhar
John Ohlfest, Ph.D
Dr. Matthew Hunt
Brian Andersen, Ph.D
Jessica Bedi

University of Guelph
Dr. Fiona James

Mississauga Oakville Veterinary Emergency Hospital
Dr. Meredith Gauthier
Dr. Carolina Duque

It is thanks to all those people, and the legions of staff that work with them, that Rilley has been able to make it to this point.  As I had said in a post near the beginning of this journey, Rilley really does have more doctors than most people!

Another pair of characters that have seen him through his surgery and beyond are his favourite stuffed animals, Winnie the Pooh and Bunny.  They've had put up with a lot.  Winnie not only came along for the ride on our first trip to Minnesota but he also comforted Rilley during his stay in ICU.  Bunny came along on subsequent trips and through it all they have been his favourite toys.  They have seen better days though.  Sara has had to perform many a reconstructive surgery on both of them whenever Rilley decided to go Tony Soprano on them and take out his frustrations.

As a way of commemorating today, Sara picked up a new stuffed buddy for him, complete with a scarf imprinted with the year.  Hopefully he gets welcomed into the fold of Rilley's little clan.

Here's to celebrating many more anniversaries Rilley!