“Little Big Mouth.” That’s what one of our neighbors nicknamed our undersized English Setter Mix, who’s real name is Payton. The nom de guerre is well deserved though. Payton barely passed the 26 lb mark and everyone thinks she’s a puppy by her high energy levels, LOUD BORKS, and small stature. In reality though she’s somewhere between 8-10 years old and has recently been diagnosed with colon cancer.
Payton joined our family 8 years ago as a rescue. She was sick, shy, and severely malnourished. We didn’t know how old she was or if she ever had a family. She was so small and sweet we decided to take a chance on her and named her after Walter Payton.
Almost immediately we checked her into the vet’s office where it was determined she was suffering from a nasty giardia infection, dehydration, and starvation. It took 48 hours of veterinary care before we got the call to pick her up. She was whole different dog! She positively bounced out to us with the biggest doggie grin ever on her face. We were thrilled!
Over the years she’s had a never ending supply of high octane, loving energy. The entire neighborhood knows her and it’s not uncommon to find people standing outside our fence talking to our dog. Parents ask to bring their kids over to play with her because she’s so happy and gentle. We’ve seen her snuggle with babies and grandparents alike. Running is her favorite thing in the world and she’s very fast. When we want to wear out the kids we tell them to chase the dog around the yard. They always wear out before she does!
“They always wear out before she does!”
Miss Payton isn’t fond of car rides so her adventures have all been local. But one doesn’t need to be well traveled to have an important life. Block by block we’ve explored our part of town together. She’s been there for us when we’ve been sick and patient with us when we’ve been gone for long hours. We’ve discovered that she isn’t fond of other dogs and that she thinks she’s much bigger than she really is. She sleeps in a clothes basket she commandeered years ago and will complain if her blankets aren’t up to her standards. When she sleeps she dreams LOUDLY. She’s figured out to hide behind the cushions so she won’t get busted for napping on the couch. She’s smart, kind, and an important family member.
About six months ago we noticed a red bump on her bum. It didn’t seem to bother her, but it grew rapidly. We took her to the vet hoping for the best but the tumor has spread well into her colon. We’ve found a canine oncologist, but we’ve been warned that surgery would be difficult and complications are likely. We’re still deciding what to do. But for right now she’s happy and we’re making sure to tell her every day what a very, very good girl she is.
If you enjoyed this post, you should read Tips for Keeping Your Pup Fit here.
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