In Remembrance of 

Gretchen Maxine

Dec 10, 1991 to Feb 11, 2000

Gretchen's fight: 27 months & 11 days
833 days with osteosarcoma (Nov 8, 1997)
654 days with lung mets (May 6, 1998)


Gretchen was a very special little girl. She fought a good fight against canine osteosarcoma.  In November 1997 she broke her arm leading us to find the tumor in her right arm.  She was referred to Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Bloomfield Hills, MI, where they amputated her right arm. She went through chemo but in May 1998, spots were found on her lungs.  We started chemo again but this time we used cis-platinum which seemed to work better.  After 4 treatments her x-rays were clear again. There were a few spots that showed up in the x-rays but would disappear with chemo treatments so in March of 1999 (10 months after the cancer showed up in the lungs), she was sent to MSU where they took out a part of a lobe in her lungs where the only spots were.  To our dismay, more spots showed up in August 1999. We found a clinical test going on at the University of Wisconsin. They were doing an inhalation therapy of Taxol Chemo. I made the 7 hour one-way trip weekly for 8 weeks then she was switched to a every other week schedule. At that time, the spots in her lungs were staying the same size. That is what the test was expecting. This therapy was great because she never got sick. But after 2 more treatments, the spots started to grow so she is now switched to intravenous therapy every three weeks. She got sick a few days after treatment but soon jumped right back to normal. A week after a chemo treatment, Gretchen was fine in the morning when we went off to work. She even was starting to get her appetite back after the chemo treatment and had a little breakfast.  When we came home from work, she was really sick and that night she got worse and gave up her fight. I thank God it was a quick end. It came without warning so we were not prepared.  We always thought we would have more time.   

Along with the traditional medical treatments, we were using holistic treatments (vitamins and supplements) on her.  She was even getting acupuncture treatments every 2 weeks. We were very lucky to find some great doctors: Gretchen's oncologist, Dr. Joyce Obradovich at OVRS, Dr. Elizabeth Hershey & Dr. Valerie Poirer at the University of Wisconsin, and Dr. John Simon, alternative vet, at Woodside Animal Clinic in Royal Oak, MI. They are all kind and compassionate.

Gretchen participated in some clinical trials at OVRS and U of W. I hope her participation in those trials are helpful to other dogs that are stricken with cancer.

I am thankful to all for the prayers and support you gave us while Gretchen was fighting to stay with her family. We knew she could not beat the cancer but we tried hard to buy as much quality time as God would allow, to spend with our little princess. I am thankful for God's blessing to give us more time than the average cancer patient. She was a fighter and kept fighting to the end. I think she fought hard so she could stay with her family as long as possible. 

I feel that Gretchen loved us as much as we loved her. She was a big part of our lives. I know we can never replace her because she was one special little girl, but we will try to fill the void she left behind with another little rotty someday.

Gretchen was our special miracle dog loved by everyone who met her. She loved to play in the snow with her Kong toy, sit around in the evening and have a rotty chew with her brother and she loved to eat. Besides her Mom and Dad, she left behind 2 sister cats (Samantha and Casey), 1 brother cat (Mikey), 1 sister dog (Cuddles) and 1 brother Rotty (Max) who are all going to miss her very much.


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created by WJN - last edited 5/8/06