Thursday, June 28
Churchill Update, Day 8
Churchill has touched so many of us: volunteers, long-time supporters, even strangers have seen Churchill's photos and been moved to visit the website and the blog and to read his story. We have seen an outpouring of donations for his care and messages of love and pity and comfort for him that have given us heart and helped us know that people's essential goodness is undeniable, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. And the notes and messages of encouragement to our volunteers are helping to ease our own anger and pain when we consider how Churchill's light has been spent. The photographs of Churchill enjoying himself with the children in his family are a source of joy to us, and we will continue to post photos as time goes on.
Last night, the veterinary dermatologist called with Churchill's diagnosis. It was not what we were hoping for. It is what we feared it might be. Churchill has Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, an incurable skin cancer. If the cancer is caught early, it can be treated and go into remission. It may be that the dog's owners mistakenly believed, as they told the shelter workers, that Churchill had mange. Mange is a common skin condition in the Southern US. His owners said he'd had mange for five years. We'll never know what his people thought or whether he saw a vet, and at this point, it doesn't matter. Churchill will see only the best vets from now on.
Thanks to our donors' generosity, Churchill will be seeing a veterinary oncologist on July 9th. Though his condition is incurable, we will do everything we can to provide treatment and care for Churchill. And Churchill will know love and he will eat nutritious, good food, and he will have the company of a good Frenchie friend and in his house will be 3 active boys who will have nothing to do all day but play and snuggle and give Churchill attention and throw his ball for him.
Here's part of the note we received from Churchill's foster mom last night:
"Try not to be too sad everyone, he is in great spirits! He does not seem to be in any pain, and he eats like a little truck driver. He likes to roam around outside and mark his space; he likes to sniff the other dogs, especially his little chocolate mama Peyton; he loves to roll around on his back on the rugs; and he seems happy to be here.
He is very talkative and loves to have his belly rubbed. We will keep him here until God calls him home as long as he is comfortable and happy.
He has probably been happier being in rescue than he has ever known. Knowing that he knows what it is to be cared for and loved is what matters. We all did our job by saving him and we will all continue to pray for him daily. I will keep everyone updated regularly. In the meantime, I am sending some photos we took this evening."
Today, Churchill will spend time sleeping on a comfortable bed, eating until he is tired of eating, playing with the children, and maybe wading in a cool, shallow pool. He will also have another bath to help his sores heal and to soothe his skin.
We know Churchill's future is uncertain, but volunteers are seeking out clinical trials to join, and we are looking forward to hearing what the oncologist has to say.
The volunteers of FBRN are deeply grateful and profoundly humbled by the world's generous and compassionate response to this Frenchie's condition. Churchill has a life of comfort, friendship, pleasure and peace stretching before him. We should all be so fortunate.
The Frog Princess