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I have a puppy. Can I make this work?

SusyQ67's picture
Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 2020


we just got a new puppy back in June. She's 8 months old and a very good dog, but as you can imagine, at times she's super energetic.


am I going to be able to take care of her when I start treatment? I'm ejgher Having surgery or more than likely starting chemo in January. 

we love her very much. being able to care for her til my husband gets home from work (around 3:00 four days a week)--is it possible?

I have no idea what to expect. 

any thoughts appreciated. 

SnapDragon2's picture
Posts: 582
Joined: Nov 2019

Yes Yes Yes!!!  Your fur baby will be so good for your overall health and well being!!!

He/she will motivate you to get up and move which is so important and eat (share good helathy snacks).

Posts: 529
Joined: Nov 2007

Absolutely, you can take care of your pup.  She will get you up and out.  And will be a good companion you can complain all you want and your pup will not mi d.

NewHere's picture
Posts: 1340
Joined: Feb 2015

I am so sorry you have to go through things.

In general, during most of my treatments, there were many times I would have loved to have a dog.  I grew up with them and always had them around me most of my adult life (family members had them and I often took care of them.)

I am not sure the size of your dog.  A larger puppy of certain breeds at the age of 8 months can present more of a challenge.  It also depends on the temprement of the particular dog.  I have had ones that were more chilled out than others.  

Also something to keep in mind is that if you are hooked up to a chemo bottle (depending on the chemo and approach) you will have a tube running out of you for about three days. A puupy may not understand.  There were times I tangled myself or tugged on the tubes accidently.  Stupid human trick :)  A pup can do that.  Also, though rare (and I think it was more cats) there are stories of pets chewing through the tubes.  

Along the same lines, there will be days (depending on how long you are on chemo) where it may be more difficult to walk/play with the puppy.  if you are in a house, you can perhaps put in a small run to let the pup out.

All that being said, I was just pointing out some of the potential issues to keep in mind.  Dogs will often know when you are feeling down and adjust accordingly.  There is nothing better than a dog.  I smile just typing that.  And if your hursband works 4 days a week, you can arrange to have your chemo pump (if that is what is happening) hooked up the afternoon of the start of his 3 days off.  

Posts: 420
Joined: Apr 2018

Going through chemo, he would lie with me pretty frequently. What saved me was having a fenced in area that he could access at anytime through his dog door. Is it possible to set soemthing similar up at your place? I wouldn not have gotten through chemo without my doggo--was alone all day too waiitng for hubby to get off work as well.

beaumontdave's picture
Posts: 1170
Joined: Aug 2013

I had 2 bulldogs to care for, after my late wife got bad, it definitely gets you moving, even at your worst when the choice is get them out front or breath doggie poop fumes the rest of the day/night. I had some help at times, but with taking care of Cindy, and my granddaughter as well, and work, I tired of the responsibilities to the point that now that my granddaugther is off in Arizona and took the younger bulldog with her, and the older dog passed, I revel in not having any responsibilities at all, shy of helping my son run HIS business now. The freedom to do nothing but as I please has been amazing these last few years. I think you'll manage the dog just fine, though a doggie door and a tightly locked yard will help, if you have those options. I would have had them, but my son's rear-of-house pit mixes and the younger bulldog did not mesh, and the front yard wasn't lockable, so the onus was on me. Good luck.................................................Dave

SusyQ67's picture
Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 2020

Thank you, everyone. 🙂 I'm a couple days out from receiving my diagnosis. The initial shock is subsiding, thank goodness. 

my puppy is a Bernese Mountain Dog. One of the biggest dogs You can get. When we got her in June, I had no idea whatsoever I'd be diagnosed with cancer ☹️.

that said, my husband and I are working together to try and get her to not jump up on us. I walk her twice a day right now. I've had family tell me they'll come and walk her. My one sister has offered to take her home with her on days when I don't feel well. I'm so grateful. I know someday Molly (puppy) is going to be a great dog. We're going to make this work one way or another.

we do have a fenced in yard! She likes to go back there and run like a maniac and also enjoys gnawing on the garden hose. 🙂

again, thank you for commenting here and for the support 💜

abita's picture
Posts: 1068
Joined: Dec 2017

I don't think I could have stayed on chemo without my cats. I saw a post about the take home chemo. My cats never tried to play with the tubes. And at night, I would cover it with a pillow and hide as much of the cord as possible. I think the hardest time will be resisting picking her up for the 8 weeks after your surgery. If you have family to walk her when your SO is working, I think you are good to go.

I should clarify, I am happy that there is chemo to keep me alive and am very positive and optimistic, but when I have a hard time or down day, being here for my cats make me remember why I still fight.

I covered the bottle with the pillow to mute the sound of the machine, not to keep out the cats. The real danger to the tubes was me constantly getting it caught on doors and weirdly enough, forgetting it was attached to me, and having it crash to the floor  dragging behind me after I got up and walked somewhere. 

Posts: 34
Joined: Aug 2020

I'm hoping everything is going well for you. Wanted to say that I have two Bernese Mountain Dogs and a Golden Retriever puppy that were my saving grace on a daily basis. My Berners are six years old and the Golden was about 8 months when I started chemo. The three of them were the best motivators, consolers and snuggle bugs during it all. 

Posts: 420
Joined: Apr 2018

I can't tell you the number of times I forgot that dang thing was attached to me and get yanked back or feel it crash to the floor lol. 

abita's picture
Posts: 1068
Joined: Dec 2017

I know, right  !?! :) and my first thought was always, how did you forget you are attached to this? Then, oh thank goodness it still is pumping :)

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6720
Joined: Feb 2009

It was the most difficult having that thing attached to you while you were trying to take a shower.  Yes, there were times that I'm sure we all forgot it was attached to us. 


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6720
Joined: Feb 2009

We don't have any pets, but I'm sure that it would be a comfort to you to have one.  Just make sure he doesn't jump on you, especially if he was able to knock you off balance.  I'm sure you will get a lot of help during this time.  Animals can be very beneficial to you as well.


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5504
Joined: Jan 2013

I know dogs can be trained, and there are professionals out there. But while still a puppy, I would definitely have it trained not to jump up on ANYONE, but especially you.  

She is going to be one huge puppy real soon.

Good luck with your upcoming treatments; and remember we are always here for you.


Jim462's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Dec 2020

The upside of having a companion will definitely outweigh the challenges.  Sounds like you have some help if it gets tough at times.  She will keep you active and there's nothing like the joy of watching your pup play and the calm when she relaxes...it's all good stuff.

My two dogs mean the world to me...they helped me get through Chemo, radiation two surgeries and will help me get through the next set of treatments.

Mareen's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2021

Puppies at this age require a lot of attention, so it is desirable that your husband helps you as often as possible. At first, it will be difficult for you to cope with it, as you will need to educate and train it (believe me, this is difficult).

DanNH's picture
Posts: 151
Joined: Feb 2021

My son has a Bernise as well. He is huge! They are very good natured, animated, and and quirky. The Berners that I have met all like to walk through peoples legs for some reason. My son's dog forces me to stand on my tip toes when he does! My wife and I got a Bernise/Border Collie mix. Instead of 125 lbs like my sons, ours is about 50 lbs. She is loaded with energy and doest the leg thing as well, only we don't have to do the tip toe thing.

The Bernise don't know their own strengty! That being said they are very loving. You will probably need some help with getting your Berner exercise. Be proactive about protecting yourself from accidental injury as other posters have mentioned. Our dog knows that something is wrong. She is sleeps aside of my wife and lays close to her when my wife sits on the couch. We have noticed a change in her behavior toward my wife and she is more gentle around her. She gets close and sniffs her mouth. I think she can smell the disease.

I think that the sum of things will be that you will find your dog to be more of a blessing than anything else. You picked a good companion dog.

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