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Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

My best friend: My dog’s impact on my life

Provided by Samantha Lepow
Lepow and Daisy in April of 2014. This photo was taken just a few days after Daisy joined the Lepow family.

“What is that?”

My parents and I stood over her, questioning what we noticed on her back left leg above her paw. After seven years of happy memories, it just appeared one day. None of us noticed it before. It wasn’t very big yet, so we tried to convince ourselves it was normal.

“It’s probably nothing.”

How could we say this was nothing?

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Months passed. January became February. February became March. It got bigger. What was once a grape-sized bump on Daisy’s leg turned into a pretty large, golf ball-sized lump and it started to concern us. My parents took her to our vet while I was in school.

That was the worst day of my life.

Daisy in March of 2021, shortly before her big surgery. Her tumor had gotten much bigger. (Provided by Samantha Lepow)

I got in the car with my mom after what was just a normal day of school for me. I was happy, telling her about my day, whatever test I took that day and whatever I talked about with my friends at lunch. Then I remembered. “Oh, how did the vet go with Daisy?” She broke down. My mood changed immediately. She told me, between her cries, that the vet said the lump was cancerous and too large to remove so they would have to amputate her entire leg to get rid of it. I cried the entire ride home.

When I arrived at home, I ran inside, threw my bag down and wrapped my arms around Daisy. Was she going to be able to survive with only three legs? Would it be harder for her to navigate her surroundings? Would she be able to play with me again? Our life would never be the same. This was my Daisy, my best friend and my puppy I got when she was only eight weeks old. I was just a little kid, only 6 years old, when she joined our family. My parents insisted that they would get a second opinion on how to handle her situation, except time was ticking and her lump was only growing bigger.

It was about a week later that my parents took her to get it examined again, this time by a different, more experienced veterinarian. Once again, I was at school, and once again, I got into the car and my heart sank even deeper. I guess little seventh grade me still had some hope that there was a different course of action we could have taken to save my dog. She was only 8 years old and still had half her life to live. I couldn’t imagine her with only three legs.

Daisy had the surgery in March of 2021. It went well. It took her some getting used to considering she now only had three legs, but she was back up and playing in no time. She was my superhero. Within about two months, she was hopping around, up and down the stairs, like she still had all her legs. Her strength and determination encouraged me to stay strong for her and to be hopeful. She ran around our backyard with almost the same speed that she always had. Everything returned to normal and her cancer was gone – or so we thought.

Lepow and Daisy on February 7, 2022. Daisy looked very happy, always smiling. (Provided by Samantha Lepow)

In August, my parents and I noticed some new bumps on Daisy. They appeared one day and we noticed them as we ran our fingers through her fur. They were scattered throughout her body. I told myself, “they can’t be cancerous. The vet said it wouldn’t come back.” I disguised my worries with doubt. Sure enough, they were, once again, cancerous.

I felt lied to. The veterinarian said only six months prior that removing her entire leg would solve the problem. It didn’t. She had another surgery to remove the bumps before they got too large. And just like before, she was back to normal within a month, and by October, you wouldn’t have even known she had this most recent surgery. Was this nightmare over? Has she finally beaten the cancer for good?

Several months passed and she slowly declined. By January her mood completely changed. She wasn’t the same dog anymore. It was as though she was aging extremely fast. She seemed tired, not as excited to greet people anymore. She was fading away right in front of me. Daisy fought so hard, as she knew I needed her and she wanted to be there for me as long as she could. I spent all of my time at home with her, cherishing every moment and taking lots of selfies. But the inevitable was approaching and there was nothing any of us could do about it.

We put her down on Feb. 19, 2022 – three days before my birthday. “We don’t want her to suffer,” my parents told me. I knew they were right. I knew we made the right decision. But now I was suffering. It took me a while to feel better, typical of losing a loved one. She was taken too soon, only 8 years old, but I know she fought as hard as she could and I couldn’t be mad about that. Daisy will live in my heart forever.

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  • M

    Madison RoseApr 24, 2024 at 7:48 pm

    This is such good writing, I’m so sorry!

  • M

    Marina MartinezApr 24, 2024 at 9:21 am

    I’m so sorry that she had to pass so early, your wonderful writing shows how much you loved her, and I’m sure she loved you a great deal as well. Though her time was shorter than most, I’m sure Daisy had the best life with you and watches over you every day.