Paulie’s Story

In November 2014, Paulie was hit by a car causing significant pelvic and leg injuries requiring an extensive surgery.  Paulie’s owners decided to surrender ownership to Westie Rescue of Missouri for further care. Whitney [an occupational therapist] decided Paulie needed a rehabilitation professional and agreed to foster this brave soul as he learned to walk and live a dog life all over again. Two months later, Paulie recovered and was ready for adoption, but his foster mom and foster brother Roscoe [also a West Highland Terrier] decided he was at his FURever home! Paulie was the BEST dog – calm, sweet, loyal, loving. Four and 7 years later, he became the best big brother to C.J. and Ollie. 
Paulie with his brothers C.J. and Ollie [pictured in order]
In 2019, Paulie had a growth on the side of his precious face. Initially, the veterinarian wasn’t concerned, but that little spot became a big bloody spot. We went to University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center in which Paulie was diagnosed with trichoblastoma; a typically benign skin tumor that arises from a hair follicle. However, Paulie's tumor did not behave in a typical benign fashion and spread to lymph nodes and lungs, which is incredibly rare for this type of tumor [we always knew Paulie was unique].  After testing, the tumor was removed in February 2020.  Over the course of the next 2.5 years, Paulie had two sets of chemotherapy and an additional surgery. Each set required 6 rounds of chemotherapy [12 total] and after each round of chemotherapy came two to three blood tests to make sure his lab values were stable and medications if it was not. We did more scans over the years and additional medications to try to slow the disease. Paulie was a CHAMP and his sweet, patient self through it all. He also had the BEST care [shout out to Dr. Ross and Dr. Cowan – our favorite residents and Jeanna – our favorite oncology technician] as he often rounded on other dogs, attended journal club, and ate chips while receiving treatment.  
It became apparent that Paulie was unable to battle the disease anymore and we elected to stop treatment.  Paulie started letting mom know on a Wednesday it was close to time.  She took off from work to soak up the next few days and until the family and oncology team could schedule a peaceful passing. Paulie passed away in his mom’s arms with his uncle, grandma, grandpa and oncology team by their side in October of 2022.  We were heartbroken, but at peace knowing we had a great 2 to 3 years after his diagnosis. 
Fortunately for Paulie’s mom, she had a flexible job and good income to be able to provide and afford these expensive services.  She didn’t have to make any decisions about care based on finances, but a lot of individuals do not have that same luxury. Therefore, we desire to carry on Paulie’s legacy by starting this non-profit organization to support dogs and their families with their oncology needs.