Therapy dog diagnosed with cancer retires after 10 years

Therapy dog diagnosed with cancer retires after 10 years

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - A therapy dog that spent his life brightening people’s days in the Heartland hung up his collar in retirement.

“He’s touched all of our lives,” said Carol Baker, Petie’s mom. “He’s been able to get through to people that others for whatever reason can’t.”

After 10 years of working as a therapy dog, Petie celebrated his retirement at PetSmart in Popular Bluff with two and four legged friends. While at work, Petie visited people in nursing homes, hospitals, and the VA Medical Center.

“A man that had severe PTSD for example, and he was able to ease his stress in a way that nobody else could. He also helped a woman that, her dying wish, she was on hospice, and her dying wish was to see Petie one last time, and we fulfilled that wish,” said Baker.

Petie even went to see his groomer when she was sick in the hospital.

“So yeah it was really neat to see Petie though. He brightened my day, and he consoled me,” said Patty Panagos, Pettie’s groomer.

But the tables turned, and now Petie needs some extra love. In 2018, he was diagnosed with carcinoma, a type of cancer.

“We weren’t expecting that at all,” said Baker.

Thankfully, a vet removed the cancer successfully. But that wasn’t Petie’s last cancer diagnosis.

“In January of this year, he got really, really sick again. He was dying on me. And so I took him up there again, and he was diagnosed with splenic sarcoma,” said Baker.

Petie’s family is waiting for test results to see if the cancer is gone.

At his party, Petie enjoyed a well-deserved slice (or two) of dog friendly cake to celebrate his job well done and life well lived.

“Just remember how he walked through that door and put a smile on their face, even though he’s not there anymore.” said Baker.

“There will never be another Petie, as far as I’m concerned. Nobody can ever replace him,” said Panagos.

Petie’s mom encourages dog owners to watch for cancer symptoms.

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