Wednesday, December 3, 2008
When I was in high school... I did a lot of theatre. My junior year, I was lucky enough to play the lead. I was Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. With a show like that, you're faced with an interesting dilemma: what do you do with Toto? You need to have a dog that can actually do some acting, and when you're doing high school theatre in a gymnasium (my school was cheap. And Catholic, so we had no money unless it came to the football team) you can't exactly hire a professional acting dog.
Enter Sandra Dee, my director's lhasa apso. Yes, she was white, and no she wasn't a terrier... but she was a trooper. And she was my Toto. I love that dog a whole heck of a lot... and me, and my friend Morgan, trained her dog to do the things that Toto has to do. Like answer to the name Toto, pull the curtain away to reveal the "Great and Wonderful Oz," and run away from the Wicked Witch into the arms of the Scarecrow below after Dorothy is captured by the Flying Monkeys. I worked almost as hard on my own work in the show as I did with Sandy in her transformation for Toto. And no, she wasn't onstage the entire time (that's just mean) but she did what we asked, and she loved all the attention. She still has an identity complex, and whenever I'm over she still only answers to the name Toto. It's kind of funny.
I found out about a week ago that Sandy/Toto has cancer. They found tumors on her mammaries and removed them, and now her doggie oncologist is suggesting chemo. They found another lump that could possibly be a tumor, but might be a fatty deposit, but if she had the chemo, then it would kill it. The dilemma is that she's not a pupper anymore. She's 12. And when she had her surgery, she had a hard time recovering from that. If she gets the chemo, she'll lose all her doggie hair and might get sick. And doggie chemo also ain't cheap. If she doesn't get the chemo, the type of cancer she has happens to be very aggressive, and she may not make it much longer. Selfishness wants my friend and her family to give Sandy the chemotherapy. She would suffer though, and might not understand that they're trying to help her. I really hate how much this is hurting my friend and her family. I'm also not ready to say goodbye to my Toto. She's such a good puppers.