How My Dog Helped Me Through Cancer

Do you have a pet that helped you before, during or after a cancer diagnosis? In this guest blog post, Amanda shares how her dog, Schatzi helped her stay positive during her cancer journey.

My family, well, we are all dog people. When I moved out of my parent's house to go to college I really wanted to get a dog of my own, but it just wasn't practical. I was in school and working plus doing ROTC so I just didn't have the time to properly care for a pet. Then cancer happened. I had to withdraw from school and move home. Silver linings people! What better time to get a dog, right? Of course my parents weren't going to say no (see this was a Cancer Card/Pity Purchase combo.)

I did my research and had everything lined up to pick out a pup just a few weeks after I finished the induction phase of my treatment. The puppies made my choice so surprisingly easy; one particular young lady curled up in my lap and only left to greet my family members--but then came right back!

She came home with me that day. Her name is Schatzi. She also goes by the names "Schitzi" {used for those "special" puppy moments} and Schatzi Ann. When she was small we went everywhere together. She took care of me when treatment made me feel crappy and she got me up and moving when I needed to most. Puppies don't care if you have cancer...they will shit in the house if you don't get up and walk them. FACT!

We learned and grew as a team. She approved of my boyfriend Kyle and even helped us "break in" a new addition to our family; our little dog LT. "The Girls" then let us get married. A couple of moves and many long road trips later, Schatzi is now helping us raise our daughter, Mallory.

I could literally have an entire blog filled with stories about BOTH of my wonderful dogs, but I thought it was important to share the story of my Schatzi and why she is so extra special. We have been through a lot together! She turns five this year and I could not be more excited to watch her develop a relationship with Mallory.

When we were discussing names for our baby girl I suggested only half jokingly that we give our daughter Schatzi's middle name, Ann. Kyle's response to me was; "she should be so lucky. That's quite an honor."

He is exactly right.

Do you have an extra special pet? I'd love to hear about your best friend.