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Our perception of time is always changing. Some days, time seems to pass slowly, but all too often the day disappears in the blink of an eye. As children, perhaps time moves slowly because each day is a larger span of one's life lived. John and I will be 60 this year, and each day seems to fly by.

Many of our rescues at the Sanctuary arrive older and a lot less healthy than we would like. Some have been so sick that they never left our hospital barn before we have had to say goodbye. Sometimes we have young healthy rescues, and frustratingly: young unhealthy rescues.

In December 2011, John and I lived in Wellesley MA, and I had a Christmas holiday season unlike any that had come before. I received a breast cancer diagnosis. During the months of cancer treatment, we made the commitment to living each day to the fullest and paired that up with moving to Sherborn MA. Within two years we had the dream to build the Sanctuary! And in December of 2016, just five years after my cancer diagnosis, we officially began the Sanctuary.

Five years later, we are fully engaged with the day to day joy and hard work of the Sanctuary. I believe each day we wake up to the gift of this day, there is no promise we have tomorrow.

Last week, you learned that Shiro the Great Pyrenees was rushed to an emergency splenectomy (removal of the spleen) after he was diagnosed with internal bleeding. Scans at Angell Memorial Hospital did not find masses anywhere in the chest or abdomen, except the one nodule on the spleen which had ruptured.

Shiro will be 10 at the end of June, and we hope very much to be able to give him a 10th birthday party. This week, I received the call that no one ever wants to hear: Shiro has hemangiosarcoma. We don’t expect that chemotherapy will buy him extra quality time, although we are still in consultation with the veterinarians.

He has healed up well from the splenectomy surgery, and we hope that the limited scope of the cancerous masses will give us a lot of time with him. Volunteers have given so generously of their time to keep him company while he heals.

I have been lucky to be in remission from my Stage III cancer for ten years now. I don’t take remission for granted at all, I don’t take any day for granted either. I think that Shiro will also take each day as it comes, filled with love in the special way he shines.

We love you so much Shiro.


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1 Comment

Apr 22, 2022

I know you must be sad about Shiro, but he may hang in there a long time, yet. My St. Bernard mix has the same thing and hers has presented on the skin and on a third eyelid. Luckily no major organ, yet, but I'm sure it's lurking. That was 2 years ago, so I hope Shiro hangs around a lot longer. And I'm glad about your remission and what you've done since then. Very inspiring. Many hugs.

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