Owner:Kim and Andy Fraser
Greyhounds ROCK Fredericksburg
As members of Greyhounds ROCK Fredericksburg, we have been raising money for Canine Cancer Research and Dr. Couto for years. Unfortunately for us, we became one of the many people Dr. Couto has helped when our greyhound, TJ, became one of his patients in July 2010.
As many of us know, accidents happen at the most inopportune time. That was the case with us as on Thursday, July 1, TJ met us at the door limping while holding his left front leg in the air. Having already had a greyhound with osteosarcoma in 1999, we knew immediately what had happened. We bundled TJ up and took him to the vet for the dreaded x-ray which confirmed our fears of cancer. His ankle was broken in 4 places due to osteosarcoma. I called Dr. Couto Friday morning to discuss with him either amputation or doing the limb saving surgery we had recently heard about from Dr. Couto at one of his presentations at one of our Greyhounds ROCK Fundraisers. With this being 4th of July weekend we had to move fast in any decision we made. We will never forget Dr. Couto telling us that we could bring TJ to him in Ohio and he would support us with any decision we made – just show up and don’t worry about an appointment. He will have no idea how it helped us to know we had someone there to help. After discussions between us, we felt the leg needed to go as soon as possible to prevent the spread of cancer to his lungs and other areas and we just could not wait; so on Saturday morning July 3 TJ’s leg was removed.
After a brief recovery, we again contacted Dr. Couto and he provided the needed chemotherapy free of charge. At this point TJ had two oncologists – Dr. Couto and Dr. Gustofson with Regional Veterinary Referral in Springfield, VA. Dr. Couto dispensed the chemotherapy and Dr. Gustofson administered it. The two worked seamlessly to provide the care TJ needed. As his IV chemotherapy came to an end, we worked with the two oncologists to further TJ’s care. TJ was administered additional chemotherapy through Metronomic Therapy and led an active life as not only a Therapy Dog but also as spokesdog for Canine Cancer Research for 40 more months after diagnosis and furthering Greyhounds ROCK’s mission to help other dogs like TJ.
TJ’s story is now published as a children’s book and all proceeds from “TJ Has A Job” go to Canine Cancer Research and Support.
We would thank Dr. Couto and his past and current staff for their tremendous dedication in not only helping greyhounds with cancer but to also find a cure for this dreaded disease.
Kim and Andy Fraser
Join the Greyhound Health Initiative to enjoy discounts on pet insurance, certain medications, stays at pet-friendly hotels, consultations with Dr. Couto, and more. Check out our Members Page for details.