Facing Breast Cancer, Zoe ‘Always Has Smile On Face’

Living Happy

Facing Breast Cancer, Zoe ‘Always Has Smile On Face’

By CHRYSTAL SAVAGE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Zoe plays happily with her canine pals, Sabrina and Bentley, at the farm where she was adopted. However, a cancer recurrence has been diagnosed, leaving her with an estimated 18 months to live. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

After a year and some happy months on the other side of neglect, 10-year-old German Shepherd Zoe has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Zoe first captured the hearts of people across the region – and beyond – when rescued from her home on Nov. 15, 2019, after a UPS driver spotted a dog that appeared to “have had its leg blown off.”

After an X-ray showed “bones in her belly,” confirming Zoe had chewed off her own leg, it was later determined that it was not done out of hunger, but rather out of pain.

Zoe had a large – fortunately benign – mass on her left shoulder that was removed at Cornell University while she was receiving medical attention for her missing leg.

A local farmer, who wishes to remain anonymous, fostered Zoe right away before later adopting her, explaining he was lucky to get her as she was inquired about as far away as Texas in the continental United States and Israel globally.

“I don’t know what your definition of foster is, but when they come to the farm, they stay on the farm,” the man said.

“Because she wasn’t spayed, I couldn’t technically adopt her,” he said, as the medical procedures relating to the removal of the mass and amputation of her leg neglected the reproductive surgery as the staff was unsure if Zoe would “make it.”

“So we fostered her until she had the surgery and could be adopted,” he said.

That said, Zoe went into heat almost immediately – a function believed to be the result of her new and improved living conditions. When her heat was over, Zoe was spayed in February.

Zoe healed from the various operations and has enjoyed life on the farm.

“She’s a happy girl; always has a smile on her face,” her owner said.

Some of Zoe’s favorite things include playing with balls and cats, her two canine siblings: Bentley the cocker spaniel and Sabrina another German shepherd – both rescues; she also enjoys curling up on the couch, road trips and more, according to her new owner.

Sabrina can be found taking left turns while they play to purposely throw off Zoe. The cats can be found instigating Zoe to chew on their heads while they purr, he added.

In November of this past year, Zoe’s owner noticed a lump to the left of her groin. Fortunately, it was not attached to any veins. Still, he opted to have a biopsy done at the expense of $135.

Sadly, the results came back positive for the mammary tumor. The senior is expected to survive eight to 18 more months, but Zoe’s owner feels she “deserves so much more than that.”

Although the SPCA encourages that each individual consult their trusted veterinarian to advise them on the proper time to spay. She suggests there are some variable opinions as it relates to the reaction to the procedure by different breeds, and even sizes, of dogs and other domestic animals.

SPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes believes Zoe is on the 18-month end of the spectrum and Zoe’s friends and family are hopeful for the future and look forward to every moment they enjoy with her.


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