TRIPAWDS: Home to 20819 Members and 2043 Blogs.
All sites currently ad-free!

Hoppy Triday from Luna

Tripawd Spirit Luna is one of our oldest and dearest Tripawds members. Her Momma Sandra shares a wonderful story about this sweet German Shepherd girldog.

Luna vom Burghard–Tripawd

“Strong. Fast. Brave.”

These are the words which described my beautiful black two year old German Shepherd dog, ‘Luna vom Burghard.’ She was an active and athletic dog who was one of ten puppies born to my two German imports, Eik vom Blausteinsee and Kora von der Bultersteige. I kept all of these dogs as a family group. They are my pride and joy. Luna was a dog full of joie de vivre, prey drive, and personality.

“Shock. Disbelief. Despair.” These are the words which described what I felt on October 5, 2007 when I received a phone call from Luna’s vet with a stunning diagnosis. Her words hit me like bullets: “Hemangiosarcoma. Primary bone. Unusual presentation…a few months to live. Options: amputation… hemipelvectomy…chemo…no cure…aggressive.” That same evening as I walked Luna in the back yard it was raining hard–it matched my emotions. I wrote in my diary that night, “I don’t know what is falling harder–the rain or my tears”.

It was the beginning of a long journey with Luna. Through amputation, hemipelvectomy, chemo, metronomics, and SAHA, nearly a year after diagnosis, Luna’s spirit shone through the adversity like a full silvery moon in a clear night sky. We would lose Luna on September 16, 2008. She inspired the first “Luna Award for Advances in Canine Cancer” which was presented at the 5th International Canine Cancer Conference in 2009 in Orlando, Florida. Luna fought her battle well, so strong and full of life. Shine on, Luna, shine on.

Read more of Luna’s heroic battle with cancer here.

Share this #tripawds story using the social buttons below!

Read all Tripawd Awareness Day stories or browse the three legged dog blogs directory for more inspawrational tales. Post in the forums or start a free blog to share your own story!

The Luna Award for Advances in Canine Cancer Research

Luna Hemangiosarcoma survivor

The following Guest Blog post was generously written by our friend Luna‘s Mom, Sandra Thomas, Owner/Breeder, Burghard Shepherds, Lake Mary, Florida.

After learning about Sandra’s generous donation to the AKC Canine Health Foundation in memory of her beloved Luna, we asked her if she would share her exciting story about the day she got to present the first “Luna Award” recently in Orlando, Florida.

Luna’s Memory Lives On

Shortly after my two year old black German Shepherd dog, “Luna” was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma on October 5th, 2007, I learned through the American Kennel Club AKC’s Canine Health Foundation of the research of Matthew Breen, PhD, (Professor Genomics), and Tessa Breen (Canine Genomics Sample Coordinator, Canine Cancer Genomics Program, North Carolina State University of Raleigh). I thought if nothing could be done for Luna, at least Luna might be able to do something for someone else. In fact, I enrolled all 12 of my dogs, including Luna’s parents and nine siblings, in his research program. I hoped that this family group might be useful to Dr. Breen in some way.

Luna had a long journey, she outlasted all of her vets’ predictions of two weeks to two months to live. She lived another 11 months after her formal diagnosis (and she had been limping several months prior to her diagnosis when we didn’t know what was wrong with her). Her journey included an initial surgery which removed part of the bone in her right hind leg to get the diagnosis, followed six months later with an amputation of the same leg, hemipelvectomy, chemotherapy, metronomics, and SAHA treatment. She lived life to the fullest as a “tripawd” for nearly another six months.

The Big Day: Presenting at Conference

Sandra Thomas ACK Canine Genetics ConferenceWhen Luna, then 3 years old, died on September 16th, 2008, I wanted to do something to try to keep her memory alive and to help further research in the field of canine cancer. That is when I made a donation to Dr. Breen’s research program in memory of Luna.

In response to the donation, Dr. Breen suggested that part of the donation go to an award to the “best presentation or poster” at the “Genes, Dogs and  Cancer: 5th International Canine Cancer Conference” to be held February 13 – 15, 2009 at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Breen, who chaired the conference which was open to all scientists, veterinarians, and dog fanciers with a scientific interest in cancer, suggested we call the award the “Luna Award for Advances in Canine Cancer Research“. Dr. Breen felt that this award, in his words, would “help keep her memory alive, not just among ourselves, but across the broader canine cancer genomics community.” And, he invited me to present the award personally at the conference as another way to remember our special Luna .

Read more.

Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
All sites currently ad-free!