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the soul of a heart dog. Good Grief. –by Anna Cooke


Bringing a dog into the family fold is a life-changing decision. And yet, it is a decision that is not always well thought out. Oftentimes, it’s done on a spur of the moment. And sometimes, it may be brought on by a greater power. A sign of hope, perhaps, even from the soul of another dog. Andrea Gonzmart is a true believer


in signs. Five days after her beloved German Shepherd Dog, Enzi, suc- cumbed to cancer, she barely had time to grieve when a new puppy entered her life. She didn’t realize it at the time, but Andrea now believes the puppy, Jenny Bean, was a sign from Enzi.


**** According to the National Canine


Cancer Foundation, canine cancer will affect one out of every three dogs. Half of those dogs diagnosed will die of cancer. Enzi’s cancer was diagnosed by her


veterinarian in November, 2012 as Stage 3 Osteosarcoma after Andrea discovered a huge tumor on her left shoulder. “It seemed like it just popped up out of nowhere,” recalled Andrea. Treating cancer in canines and


humans is an expensive, arduous proposi- tion. Every day, new drugs and treatment modalities are being researched. Treatments that have proven to be suc- cessful for humans are often incorporated into a canine’s cancer therapy program, and vice versa. Andrea determined immediately


that she would do whatever was needed to help Enzi. She also decided to be hon- est with her four-year-old daughter, Amelia, who had grown up with Enzi by her side. Inseparable, the two loves of Andrea’s life were a mere three years apart in age. Her heart was breaking for both of them. Andrea conceded that Amelia may


not have fully grasped the concept of death. Such is the innocence and inher- ent beauty of a child. Amelia continued to live each day to the fullest - hugging and loving on Enzi every waking hour, just as she had always done. Watching this


60 THE NEW BARKER Andrea Gonzmart and her four-year-old daughter Amelia, meeting Jenny for the first time.


Shepherd Dog. Within days of the tumor’s discov-


ery, Enzi and Andrea were at UF’s Small Animal Hospital for an early morning appointment. They met with a team of specialists, including Dr. Nicholas Bacon, the Clinical Associate Professor of Oncology at the University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The attention and compassion


shown to Andrea and Enzi are standard procedure for every patient and family member who visits the hospital. Enzi’s CT Scan revealed just how


large the tumor was. Thankfully, it also revealed that it was not attached to bone, nor had it metastasized. “Enzi was diagnosed with a very


bright throughout.” While recovering however, she


developed a seroma, an accumulation of fluid that can occur after surgery involv- ing significant tissue disruption. Once it was determined that Enzi was stable enough to make the trip back home, she was released from the hospital. Andrea applied heat compresses to Enzi’s wound five times a day. By December, Enzi, Andrea and


Amelia were back in Gainesville. Enzi had been given the green light to begin chemotherapy. Andrea was told there was a very real 10 to 20 percent chance of the tumor’s return. She told Enzi’s team, “I say there is a very real 80 to 90 percent chance that it won’t.”


www.TheNewBarker.com


gave Andrea the inspiration and faith she would need to stay strong for all three of them in the months ahead. Richard Gonzmart, Andrea’s father,


recommended taking Enzi to the Oncology Department at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine’s Small Animal Hospital in Gainesville. Richard and his wife Melanie had experienced extraordinary care there for Rusty, their own German


large sarcoma over her right shoulder that was rapidly growing and beginning to cause problems,” explained Dr. Bacon. “The mass was too large to cure by sur- gery alone, but we managed to remove over 99% of the mass in a two hour pro- cedure, closing the wound with 23 stitch- es. She then underwent radiation therapy to the shoulder scar to target the remain- ing cancer cells. Both surgery and radia- tion went very well and Enzi remained


Photograph by Anna Cooke.


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