Sadly I don’t have good news

Jose’s brain tumor came back and this time inside his brain instead of in between his brain and skull. He started having seizures, first one and then again 3-4 weeks later, then 2 days later, then 2 days later and every 2-3 hours. We rushed him to the emergency vet at 2:30am. They stabilized him and we waited to hear from the neurosurgeon who, with our permission, did a CT scan and delivered the sad news.

Thanksgiving has not been the best time for us. 3 dogs were diagnosed with cancer of some sort around Thanksgiving and 2 passed away right before Thanksgiving.

Jose 1 yr 7 months cancer free and then it came back

Jose was diagnosed with Multilobular Osteochondrosarcoma (MLO) back in 2021. He did well after recovering from surgery and radiation therapy 1 yr 7 months ago September. Unfortunately, it grew back but again, we didn’t realize it right away as it did not affect him the same way as previously. This time, all of a sudden he seemed to loose his eye site! However, his balance was fine. My husband then noticed that the ridge on his head was smooth on one side. Needles to say we went from vet to NC State to CVS in Winston Salem, NC

Now he is 16 days post surgery for removal of that tumor. This time they did not have to remove any skull or create a titanium mesh skull cap which is good as that means less time under anesthesia. He will not have radiation as NC State said he got a good dose the first time. His neurosurgeon is looking into chemo and I’ve contacted a holistic vet in Davidson, NC who is going to review his blood work that we drew specifically for her.

He came home from the hospital on a muscle relaxer, gabapentin, an antibiotic and prednisone. Today he is on .5 of prednisone and we put him back on .25 of a pill of gabapentin 2x a day as he had a seizure last night. Ugh. Hopefully, it was just part of his recovery.

Here are some pics from before he was ever diagnosed till. today.

This is way back, probably 2019.

After the first surgery (Dec 2021) and radiation(Feb 2022) . The fur on top of his head where they did radiation grew back mostly light tan. What looks like a bump is his skull. His head never entirely filled in with muscle.

Shortly before his second diagnosis.

This was 13 days after surgery. Oct 25th. I had to take him to work with me. I have someone who comes for 4 hours to walk him several times and feed him lunch but she couldn’t make it this day. He finally got bored and tired.

Waiting for his “care giver”.

Jose Cuervo

Meet Jose Cuervo

When I first joined Tripawds in 2017, like many, it was because my beloved dog, Gabby, lost her leg to osteosarcoma and sadly lost her fight 4 months later. We still miss her greatly. She arrived at our home a year before our older dog died. Jose Cuervo, you read that right, arrived at our home a year before Gabby died. Yes, I was nervous when he showed up. He was skinny and about 2. We tried to find his owners but no one claimed him or was looking for him.


Convinced he was a mutt, I had him DNA tested. He came back American Bully with no know health issues. Fast forward to today and on Monday he came home from having surgery for osteosarcoma and multilobular osteochondrosarcoma (MLO). Skull cancer! 

We took him first to our vet because he would sway from side to side and back and forth. She couldn’t find anything but some back pain. about 2 weeks later, he was walking like he was on a boat on rough seas and would fall down if she shook. We took him to an ER were originally told he most probably had wobblers and the bump on his head (which appeared to have gotten bigger from 2 weeks ago) was nothing. We were referred to a neurologist that couldn’t see him for 6 weeks so I contacted my vet to find another and it’s a good thing. She knew immediately what was going on and a week later he was in surgery.

Here he is now home. We are still waiting for the results of the tumor and once we have that, then we make plans for radiation. He is also on homeopathic meds from Dr. Loops in Pittsboro. He also treated Gabby and I found what he sent was very helpful. I wish I did more extensive bloodwork or asked more questions. Maybe she would have lived longer.

This was before surgery. You can kinda see the bump.

This is an older pic. Happy Holidays!

2 years 1 month 18 days

It’s been 2 years, 1 month and 18 days since Gabby passed.  The other day, like many days, I was reflecting on her and in my thoughts I said, “She was the best dog ever.” WAS. I never since she has passed every thought of her in the past tense. I always said, “Gabby’s the best!” As soon as I did this, I realized what I had done and my eyes, like now, filled up with tears. “Was.” The saddest word.  My heart is breaking all over possibly worse than before. She IS the best dog ever. To me.

The finding of a puppy in the woods

Today marks a year that Gabby has been gone and I think of her always and miss her terribly. I was going to post this soon after but wanted it to be perfect. One day passed into another and I kept making excuses as to when to reread before posting and what to add to it. In a sense, I was dreading having to look at it as if by my not acknowledging this page would mean she was not gone. Not so. She will be forever missed. We will continue to be heartbroken. I keep hoping the movie A Dogs Purpose is real and she will find us and come back.


I was working in my office when my husband said to me “There is a puppy out front in the woods. Help me catch it.” I thought, Really? So I went with him out front thinking how hard can it be to catch a puppy. Well, she did not want to be caught. She was tiny. Only 8 weeks old and about 11 lbs. She finally hid in the stump of a tree that had fallen. I went and got this canned dog food that we had to feed our dog we had that passed away from cancer. She wouldn’t eat anything so we resorted to this canned food. Anyway, I figured it was the only thing we had that was stinky that a puppy might like. I fed it to her on my finger in the tree stump bit by bit. She still would not come out but she did eat the food and lick my finger. I finally told my husband to scare her out and I will grab her. I had to go back to work and this was going to take all day at this rate. He scared her and I grabbed her and she bit me! As I got up holding her in my arms, I said, “That wasn’t very nice.” She just looked at me.

We had another dog that was quite large so I told my husband to get the crate and I will put her in it to protect her from our large dog not knowing what he might do. So we did that. Set up a towel for her to lay on, a bowl for water and gave her more food to eat. She did not seem at all upset by all this loss of freedom. But she did watch everyone very carefully.

We took her to the vet the next day because she was covered in ticks and did not know what to do. They were able to remove them and they gave her a parvo shot. I can’t remember if there were other shots but whatever the puppy shots are, she got them and 3 days later she spent 5 days in the hospital with parvo! I’ll never forgot that after one night there, the vet, a different one than the one who admitted her, said to me I may want to consider putting her down! I said to her, “She has not even been her a day!” She never said anything else to me. I could understand if she were concerned that we could not afford 5 days but say so and then let me decide. Geeze! We visited her every day twice a day while she was there. I was so surprised and touched when I went to visit her and she wagged her tail.

They wanted a name at the hospital. I am Catholic and I found her on the Feast of the Annunciation so I named her after the Archangel Gabriel. I know a girl named Gabriela. The female of Gabriel. Gabby for short.

And something you should  know, at this time, I never intended to keep her. I was going to get her shots, train her and put her up for adoption. I was still sad at the passing of our other dog and did not want another.

I would carry her everywhere because she was so tiny and we are in a 2 story house. I’d carry her upstairs and keep her by me while I worked so if she had to go out I would know. I remember one time I had to run upstairs to get something and I put her at the bottom and said I’d be right back, stay here. I know she had no idea what I was saying but it felt good. I ran upstairs and moments later, she was right there next to me all pleased with herself. She did the stairs all by herself. I had to teach her how to go down but she picked that up just as fast and made sure I understood I did not need to carry her anymore. She was big girl now.

We originally thought she was a Border Collie mix because a friend of mine said “Looks like you found a Border Collie.” I thought “What?” I searched for info and started to follow all the training advice which thankfully worked, like telling to her to “go potty”.  Because she had parvo, I could not take her to training classes until she was 6 months old and fixed. She was the smallest in the class and we learned she had lots of fear based aggression issues which we continued working through. There were many days I told her I was going to send her to Cell Dogs. The popular show at the time.

She was very smart. We had a game for the first 2 yrs of her life called Tricks for Treats. She not only learned tricks but taught us many things as well. Like that she understood concepts like choosing toys or treats or if I told her not to growl at the other dogs, she would just “smile” at them. The silent threat. Lol

She would listen attentively to anyone who had something to say which was funny to find people start telling us something finish by telling it to her who would sit there in front of them looking at them.

She knew what was meant by Grandma and Grandpa are coming. We had to stop telling her that weeks in advance because she would go looking for them. And when they were almost to our house, she was there waiting, knowing they were almost here.

Sometimes when we would leave the house without her, we could hear her howling. I would say she is singing the blues. She sounded like a wolf. A beautiful sound.

She would come with me to the barn and lay out front waiting for me to finish. I would cherish looking at her so peacefully looking out and then I would think one day she will not be there.


Many nights, she would go up to bed early and I would here all this grumbling and growling. I went upstairs only to find she had “pulled down the blankets” and gotten into bed. She could do no wrong. LOL  How can I be mad when she was so happy to see me?

I started calling her my therapy dog, my little stress reliever. She is terribly missed.