From the May 2011 magazine.

May 2011: Freedom's Fight

How a dog showed an alcoholic that every day is a gift

From day one, Freedom was the perfect dog.

I volunteer at a local animal rescue group here in Colorado called the Golden Retriever Rescue of Rockies. We place abandoned, owner-surrendered and/or dogs with medical needs into good homes. I had the privilege of fostering a golden retriever named Freedom, who was brought in because his current owners were moving into an apartment and could no longer care for him.

From day one, Freedom was a perfect dog. He walked well on a leash, obeyed commands, didn’t soil in the house and never barked. After three weeks, I noticed that he was favoring his left leg, holding it in the air while eating from his food bowl. I called the president of our group to let her know and she suggested I take him in on Monday for an x-ray. The next day, I noticed a large bump near his hip the size of a golf ball. I took him to the veterinarian and the news was not good. It was osteosarcoma (bone cancer), apparently the most aggressive type of cancer for canines. Due to the proximity of the tumor, it was inoperable. Freedom would live, the vet diagnosed, another two to four months. Needless to say, this was devastating news and I was overcome with emotion. I did not feel like drinking, however, I needed AA more than ever.

-- Jim C.

Boulder, Colorado

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