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Nothing But Love in Her Heart

Dec 30

Eleven years ago today I adopted my best friend.  I’ve told the story before, but it’s a good one, so…

I will always love this picture of her. She is in her favorite place in the world, the yard.

Paul, Willow and I went out one Saturday morning just for fun.

Willow on the day we adopted her. Fallon really loved Willow.

We’d hop in the car just for something to do.  Today it was to see the greyhounds at the adoption clinic—not looking to adopt, Willow just loved seeing her people.  There were several dogs there, but I only remember one—Fallon.  She sashayed up to us, right under our hands so we could pet her.  We cuddled and lovelled her for over an hour, took her for a walk around the pet store, cuddled some more, then left—we weren’t there for another dog.  I always wondered how you pay the bills for two, especially when it comes to medical care (we learned this lesson hard about 9 years later).  I couldn’t get Fallon out of my mind.  Later that day I called the adoption people—and hung up.  We received a call back immediately and I was stunned that this most perfect dog was still available.  I said I wanted her and could adopt her next weekend.  They said sure!

Two best friends. With Paul on the Patio

The next few days are a little controversial and remembered differently by different parties.  I couldn’t wait until the weekend and made arrangements to leave work on Wednesday to bring our new girl home.  Her foster mom remembers the transaction as being initiated by her—Fallon has always been a love sponge, and attention hog, too much for a busy foster family.  I am sure there is truth in both, but lean towards the foster’s wishful thinking coming true.  Nonetheless, Fallon was ours, eleven years ago today.

Her initial time home wasn’t easy.  Fallon was virtually a pup, only a tick over one year old.  She would go bounding through the mud puddles, which is where my joke about “I should have adopted a BROWN dog” started.  She was aligned to kennel time, awake and active at 3:30—4AM every morning for months and months.  Paul tells the story of our annual trip to Hatteras Island that year, where our girls stayed with friends and on which I did not mention dogs for a whole 12 hours, my record since he’s known me while I finally got some rest.  But it all settled out.  My perfect girl was perfect.

We have tons of awesome memories of her.

Mom’s best office mate

Poor kid broke her leg in the second year we had her. We never figured out how.

She loved water and the beach

She made a difference in this world.  I truly believe this.  We stressed over every decision regarding her osteosarcoma treatment from the start.  Once we got led down a road, though, decisions became clearer.  Still stressful, but clearer.  The initial decision to amputate was most heart wrenching, but absolutely correct.  We had almost a year of pain free cuddles with our girl.  We wanted her to have the best treatment possible, so our internet research led us to Dr. Sue Ettinger—not the closest oncologist, but they were all far.  This was also the right decision.  Dr. Sue featured Fallon in several of her videos, so Fallon was helping educate others.

Fallon & Maggie: Tripawd and Quadripawd

Snow Day for Fallon and Maggie. ❄️⛄️❄️ Fallon's mom sent me this and said this is how well she's doing as a 3-legged Tripawds. She is doing GREYT!!!! Oh, she's also currently on chemotherapy too! She has 2 chemo treatments left to go. DYK that in one study of 64 dogs owners whose dog had amputation:✅ 91% reported there was no change in the dog's attitude✅ 88% reported complete or nearly complete return to quality of life before the amputation✅ 78% reported recovery & adaptation were better than expected✅ 73% reported no change in recreational activity✅ and 86% would do the surgery again#kickcancersbutt #tripawds

Posted by Dr Sue Cancer Vet on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Fallon received the osteosarcoma vaccine and added to the data collected by the team running the vaccine study.  We tried to keep up with our Tripawds blog so other families in our impossible position could see this could be done—sometimes awkwardly, but done, and always with our loves’ best interest at heart.

She made a difference in my life.  My girl gave me so much, straight from her beautiful heart, about love and being more dog (before I knew that was a thing!) and am so honored she picked us to be her family.  She helped me see that I could push my limits, leave my comfort zone to fight for her.  She sidled up to us, eleven years ago today, for a reason.

I can’t describe how much I miss her.   I am so very grateful for all she’s done for me.


5 comments so far

  1. luckysmom
    10:54 pm - 12-30-2019

    Fallon sounds like a wonderful dog and I want to thank you for sharing your story with us! I’m sure she is watching over you from Heaven.


  2. benny55
    2:33 am - 12-31-2019

    As usual, you did another heartfelt and lovely job of paying tribute to your beautiful Fallon. Such a beautiful Soul inside and out.

    And Fallon ABSOLUTELY continues to make a difference and to inspire and touch lives. We’ve mentioned Fallon often to help reassure newbies life can still be lived to the fullest after amputation.

    It’s kind of you to take time to continue to share Fallon with us❤ And we ALWAYS smile when we see her pictures. We love her too💖

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  3. jerry
    12:17 am - 1-1-2020

    Dawn that was beautifully written. On this important anniversary, it’s so nice to remember the story of how Fallon chose YOU for her forever home. It was meant to be, that much is obvious.

    Fallon’s legacy will continue to inspire and give to others again and again. I love that you shared the videos! How sweet to watch her shine in front of the camera.

  4. jill409
    7:29 pm - 1-1-2020

    Beautiful tribute, thanks for sharing.

  5. dobemom
    2:11 am - 1-2-2020

    A beautiful story of a once-in-a-lifetime friend, thank you for sharing.

    Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

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