Dog and Owner Help Each Other Overcome Cancer

When Chance was diagnosed with cancer, Lauren knew she’d be there for him like he’d been there for her a decade earlier

Lauren + Chance

When Chance was diagnosed with cancer at 12-years-old, Lauren knew what he was going through. More than a decade earlier, Chance had stood by Lauren as she fought and beat breast cancer.

Lauren was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and Chance was her comfort throughout treatment. “He was a young guy, not even two, he had boundless energy,” Lauren recalled. “I didn’t know how that was going to go when I came home from surgery or chemotherapy or radiation. [Chance] was still his joyful bounding self, but with me, he was just calm and he came and sat with me.”

"It was easier for me to have cancer than for him, to have cancer. But, that’s because I felt helpless at first."

Having been through painful and difficult treatment herself, it was difficult for Lauren to make the decision to either provide cancer treatment or palliative care to Chance. “It was easier for me to have cancer than for him to have cancer. But, that’s because I felt helpless at first. Like I couldn’t help him,” said Lauren.

Then she met the team at UC Davis and learned she qualified for support from The Petco Foundation & Blue Buffalo Foundation Cancer Treatment Support Fund. “The radiation oncologists were just incredible, I trusted everyone at UC Davis in a way I’ve never trusted doctors. They just really cared about Chance as a dog and me as a person,” said Lauren.

After undergoing the treatment plan prescribed by the oncologists at UC Davis, recheck appointments showed that Chance was in remission. The treatment slowed Chance down a bit, but Lauren said that during his 14 months of remission, he was happy and healthy! During Chances’ remission, Lauren and Chance would “sit and be in the outdoors and other dogs walk by and come say hi,” said Lauren. “I think that’s the parallel between my cancer and his; we desperately want to be there for each other, and the best way we’ve found to do that is just to be.”

Chance brightened everyone’s day with his smile and tail wags, and was a loyal mail deliverer for anyone who would let him. Lauren said that during Chance’s life, “He [had] been an unwavering gift to me every single day and I love that I get to share that with other people.”
In memory of Chance. Chance passed away in March 2018. He enjoyed 14 joyous, cancer-free months with his best friend, Lauren, by his side.

Together with Blue Buffalo, the Petco Foundation has invested more than $13 million in pet cancer research and treatment. If your pet has been diagnosed with pet cancer and you need assistance with the cost of care, please see our Pet Cancer Resource Guide for a list of organizations that may be able to provide assistance.

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