This is a heartwarming story that I’ve been meaning to share with you for some time now…
I’ll admit that when jme first told me about this little pup, my heart sank a bit. 4-year-old Edward Carter had been diagnosed with cancer — advanced T-cell lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells.
My thoughts first turned to my own special girl, my Mattie, who died from an aggressive canine cancer (hemangiosarcoma of the spleen) when she was 10. [Read her cancer story here.] My heart still aches when I think of the circumstances of her death.
But when jme told me that Edward Carter had a bucket list and that he was going on adventures and making the most of his last days, I could picture her smiling as she spoke to me on the phone, thousands of miles away. Edward Carter would make the most of his remaining time and have no regrets.
jme is founder and executive director of Motley Zoo Animal Rescue, an rescue organization committed to improving the lives of animals and finding loving homes for those in need. Motley Zoo is foster and volunteer-based. They have a dedicated volunteer board of directors and caring foster families who provide temporary homes for dogs and cats in need until permanent homes can be found. jme and her exceptional team have found adoptive homes for over 1,100 animals since Motley Zoo’s creation less than five short years ago. She is so committed to her mission that she and her husband have personally fostered over 700 dogs and cats to help Motley Zoo. In fact, it would be odd for me not to hear a chorus of dogs in the background when we talk.
So it is not surprising that Motley Zoo wanted to help this little Powder Puff Chinese Crested / Maltese mix who was abandoned at a local shelter and found to have incurable Stage V lymphoma. [If you have any knowledge of cancer in humans, you are probably looking at the V and thinking it is a typo, but it's not. While the highest stage for human cancers is Stage IV, canine lymphoma stages range from I to 5.]
Despite being dropped off at the shelter in September and later diagnosed with cancer, he was quickly swooped up and moved into his new and permanent home with Brooke, a longtime foster and Motley Zoo volunteer. Because he is a hospice dog, he requires special care. Brooke and her dog Ottis happily accepted the challenge and decided to be his permanent foster family, giving him a warm, safe, and loving home to live out the rest of his days comfortably.
Just like those of us humans who have been diagnosed with cancer, Edward Carter has an oncologist and expensive medical bills. He also has caregivers who need to make decisions about his treatment and his quality of life. And since lymphoma is a systemic form of cancer, it has to be treated with chemotherapy.
But unfortunately for Edward, there is no cure. The goal is solely to lengthen his life and to give him the best quality of life possible.
Edward Carter doesn’t seem to understand how sick he is. He is active and full of LIFE and LOVE. So creating a bucket list for him seemed like a great idea. Motley Zoo even created a fan page so that his followers can follow his journey and participate in helping him come up with and check off bucket list boxes. He has even been the feature of a number of news stories. He is quite the character!
If you would like to learn more about Motley Zoo Animal Rescue or about Edward Carter and his bucket list — or even ways you can help him with his list or his costly cancer treatments, please visit his facebook page, aptly named Edward Carter’s Stairway to Heaven, or visit Motley Zoo.
And please take a minute to help Edward win Modern Dog Magazine’s Star Dog Photo Contest. It just takes a second and you don’t need to sign up for anything — just click a button to vote and help a little dog’s dreams come true.