Sheba, Queen of Our Hearts

March 25, 2015

Bill_Eisenstots_ShebaOur lab/chow mix was diagnosed with an optic nerve tumor a year and a half ago. She’d already gone blind in that eye and due to concerns of growth they had to remove her eye (our one-eyed wonder beast). She is still active and acting normal post-radiation and removal. Now a year later, the tumor is growing back in the same place. She is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.

So, her name is Sheba. Here’s her story….. We were on our way to Israel for our daughter’s Bat Mitzvah seven years ago… when, at the airport, my wife said “call your mom, and tell her we will be out of reach for the 13 hours”… well, on my phone was a message from our vet AND the pet motel where our white boxer, Marshmallow was staying. He was walking and passed away on the spot. Well, the family was upset, and my daughter wanted to cancel our trip… mind you, we were already in Newark, and about to leave. Well, those two weeks were bittersweet. We arrived home and proceeded to order a pizza…. and…. no barking. We all looked at each other and said we needed another dog. Two weeks later, we went to a local Petsmart where the shelters were running adopt-a-pet. This location only had small dogs, so I asked about larger breeds. They directed me to a different Petsmart, about 30 minutes away… and off we went. We arrived, and there were several dogs outside, some inside, but one particular smaller chow-lab mix ‘spoke to me’. Her ears are permanently “wind swept” and she had been abandoned in a local suburb. Well, i knew right away, my kids fell in love too, and then my wife. Next, we were on our way home with Sable…. but we thought, that doesn’t quite fit. She sat in the backseat between our kids, and looked like an Anubis. So, we said, let’s give her a name like our recent trip! Hence, Sheba from the hotel, Queen of Sheba.

Almost two years ago, we noticed one of her eyes was more red than usual … so i took her to the vet after it didn’t seem to be getting better. Our vet is a personal friend, and she was stumped. She recommended I take Sheba to a vision specialist for pets. There, they did black-light testing, and several other in-the-dark tests, and concluded her vision was gone in one eye. We had no idea, as she still was able to jump up on our bed (only when the comforter is down) or on the couch (only when ‘her blanket’ is there)… so no difference in her activity, appetite, etc. After the eye exam, they recommended we take her to the local Vet Specialty Center – (side note, an amazing place: every specialty you’d find in a human hospital). They looked at her eye, and theorized on the cause, which led to the first cat scan and treatments…. which leads us to where we are.

Sheba had her 4th radiation this week, and continues her chemo treatment. Today she’s slightly lethargic but better than yesterday. She is a fighter and so far is doing well.

– Bill E. from Chicago, IL

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