Riley is the BEST dog any family could ever ask for in life and he has blessed our family with his un-conditional love in the most touching way. Riley would swim with my daughter & son in the pool playing fetch, tug of war and he would even do “Cannon Balls” as he played Marco-Polo with them. Riley, as with all of our animals has ALWAYS been an in-door member of the family with his very own bed and areas of the home which he lounges in. He is a very healthy boy and very active and loves to run, play hide and seek and to collect his “chewey toys” and stash them about the house so his little brother “Woody” doesn’t find them and taken them away.
One night, when Riley was about 2 ½, my wife had felt a golf-ball sized lump on the inside of Riley’s arm. We took him to the vet to get it checked and the Dr. took a biopsy, (which turned out to be benign) and had instructed us to keep an eye on it to see if it would get bigger.
About 6 months later and a couple vet visits in between, this golf ball turned into a baseball. We decided with the vet to have it removed, as it was just a “Fatty Non-Cancerous Tumor”. During the operation, the Dr. was able to remove about 65% of the tumor as the remainder was “too far embedded into his muscle and further removal would significantly increase the possibility of paralysis”. So the Dr. stitched him up and sent him home with a cone around his head as well as post-operation instructions to care for him until he was all healed up. This is where it begins.
As time went on, Riley’s tumor grew and grew and grew. His tumor soon became the size of softball. We took him back to the vet and was told that the surgery exacerbated the tumor and made it grow with vengeance and further surgery at this point could result in death as the tumor was embedded around his main arteries. Given the fact of how rapidly the tumor has grown already, the Dr. told us to just enjoy Riley while we can until such time his quality of life has become so impaired then we would need to put him down.
Riley was still a healthy dog, EXCEPT for the fact of this darn tumor. As further time went on, the tumor had grown well into his shoulder to the point where his leg became “bowed” and his paw inverted inwards. The tumor then spread over to his other leg, up his arm, his left paw became “swollen” and both legs became full of lumpy tumors, then finally over his chest. During this time, we took him to a couple other vets for a second and third opinion and it got to the point where the Dr’s were amazed by the growth as they have “never seen anything that size before” then it always turned into what appeared to be a “Money Issue” where they wanted $2300 for a CAT scan, then $5000 for surgery all at the same time as having “minimal chances of survival”.
The tumor on his chest had grown into the size of a cantaloupe. We began researching natural anti-tumorous supplements such as tumeric, green tea extracts, ionized water, mushroom extracts from Asia and more all to no avail. During this time, Riley’s right leg and shoulder kind of grew together as the tumor began to overtake his entire front side. He could no longer go on walks with us as his pads on his paws would bleed and this hurt us the most as he would almost “Cry” when he would see us go out the door for our evening walk. Riley became depressed, as did we as a family feeling helpless as we saw our beloved Riley overcome by these tumors.
The tumor on his chest grew into a watermelon then doubled! His chest tumor alone is about 30 pounds and throughout all of this, Riley is still healthy, wags his tail, likes to play tug of war and likes to play with his little brother Woody. Riley limps along to get up and get water, eat his food and go outside for his restroom breaks. He is not in pain as much as discomfort. We now have to use gauze bandages and wraps for his tumor as the tumor drags on the ground when he walks and creates openings to where it will leak fluids and we are worried about an infection so we treat him daily. After we treat his wounds with bandages and antiseptic, we put a shirt on him and tie the top to keep everything contained and the shirt lifts the tumor about 3 inches to prevent it from dragging.
I know I’m rambling, but we have sought help from all over. Even posting him on You Tube. We are feeling totally helpless and do not have thousands of dollars to spend as I am in the construction industry in Central California and bidding opportunities have shrunk by 50% within the last few years. We have spent many moments crying as we think his time is near to where we need to take him in to put him down. The problem is that Riley absolutely LOVES to “Go-Bye Bye” as those words are his que to grab his leash, (Which he will do and put it in his mouth and bring to us to leave the house). We cannot bear the thought of having him so happy to leave the house only to not return home with us. We want to have his chest tumor operated on to just “reduce” its size to buy him some more time with his family. He’s only 7 and if it wasn’t for this tumor, he would easily have another 6 or 7 years left in him! We would really like to create some sort of fundraising event so we can afford to take him to a top specialist and maybe by posting his story, maybe somebody reading this can offer Riley a chance of hope.

— John from Clovis, CA