Fraser’s Story

Alex’s service dog Fraser helped helped him maintain his independence. When Fraser was diagnosed with cancer, it was Alex’s chance to support Fraser.

PCA + Fraser

When Fraser was placed with Alex as his service dog, Alex knew that he would finally be able to realize his dream of living independently on his college campus. Fraser knew 60 commands that helped Alex get through his day. Fraser could pick up what Alex dropped, carry his belongings to class, open doors for him, and even act as an icebreaker in day to day conversations.

Things changed when Fraser developed significant mobility issues at age 12. Doctors thought it was arthritis and prescribed pain medications, acupuncture, and massage. A local neurologist performed an MRI, which revealed a tumor – a malignant meningioma – putting pressure on his spine.

“They tried to remove the entire tumor, but they couldn’t get it all,” says Alex.

"CSU provided a $5,000 Pet Treatment Grant, funded by Petco Foundation’s Pet Cancer Awareness campaign, to cover the recommended radiation treatments."

Doctors referred Fraser to Colorado State University’s (CSU) Flint Animal Cancer Center for an evaluation. CSU provided a $5,000 Pet Treatment Grant, funded by Petco Foundation’s Pet Cancer Awareness campaign, to cover the recommended radiation treatments.

Afterward, Fraser completed a physical therapy program to regain his strength. His treatments at CSU took four weeks, which meant the Alex and Fraser had to be apart for the first time since they met.

 

Alex got Fraser from Summit Assistance Dogs in Seattle, Washington when Fraser was just two years old.

When Alex went to college, Fraser carried his books to class. When Alex accepted an internship with the African Disability Alliance in South Africa, Fraser helped him travel halfway around the world and live independently for five months. When Alex accepted a job with the Summit Assistance Dogs in Seattle, Washington, Fraser didn’t just go to the office; he accompanied Stone around town while he made speeches about service dogs.

“When Fraser came into my life, I was hoping to utilize his physical skill set,” says Alex. “But the added benefit was the companionship and social benefits of helping me engage with others. Before Fraser, people were unsure of me so they would avoid talking to me. Now they talk to Fraser, which gives me an opportunity to talk to them and verify that I am a viable conversation partner.”

Alex and Fraser were never apart.

Alex couldn’t bear to apart from Fraser for the four weeks during Fraser’s treatment. So, he traveled from Washington to Colorado to visit Fraser during his treatment.“I didn’t want him to be in the hospital over the weekend by himself,” says Alex. “I wanted to be with him.”

Story update: Fraser retired from being a service dog with a proper retirement party. He enjoyed much time off the clock with his best pal Alex until he passed away in November of 2017.

Join the fight

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.

Join the fight against pet cancer. Make a donation today.