[00:00:00] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: The way that he looked at me was just, it’s different than any other dog that I’ve had. A different way of seeing me than any other dog that I’ve had in my life.
[00:00:11] >> Announcer: Welcome to Dog Cancer Answers, where we help you help your dog with cancer.
[00:00:17] >> Molly Jacobson: Hello, friend. I’m Molly Jacobson and today on Dog Cancer Answers we’re doing something a little bit different. It’s Mother’s Day this weekend, and so when I spoke with one of our veterinarians at dogcancer.com, Dr. Adrienne Anderson, this week, I asked her about a very special dog in her life, her heart dog, Ludo. Sometimes we dog lovers forget that veterinarians are also animal lovers and that their busy jobs sometimes keep them from expressing themselves directly to us as they would perhaps to people in their life.
So this is a little glimpse into Dr. Anderson’s own personal world and the love and care that she shares with her own special animals in her life. So Dr. Anderson, tell us a little bit about your heart dog, Ludo.
[00:01:13] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: Yeah. My heart dog Ludo was 160 pound, Great Dane mix, all black, who just, I think he just came into my life when I, when I really needed him and was with me through vet school and through having my children. And he had just, uh, I just think there are some dogs that you have in your life, or a dog that you have in your life that, that touch you in a, in a way that really changes you for life.
And I think, while many dogs in our life do this in one way or another, I think a lot of people would agree that there will often be one that there’s something maybe even indescribable that they did for you that will have such a lasting impact. And he was that. He, he didn’t pass from cancer, but he had a disorder of his, he had laryngeal paralysis, so he wasn’t able to swallow and not inhale his food.
[00:02:14] >> Molly Jacobson: Oh.
[00:02:14] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: And so he just got repeat pneumonia over and over and over in the last year and a half of his life, and at a point couldn’t, didn’t have any more antibiotic options. So I had to humanely euthanize him. And I did it myself. I euthanized him myself.
[00:02:32] >> Molly Jacobson: Wow.
[00:02:32] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: Which I don’t know that I would ever do again necessarily.
[00:02:35] >> Molly Jacobson: Yeah.
[00:02:36] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: But, I was his person. And so I felt that I owed it to him and that he would be the most at peace if he could experience it that way. So my heart dog Ludo had a way of touching my life in many different ways.
[00:02:51] >> Molly Jacobson: Wow. Sometimes, um, when people talk about their heart dog, there really isn’t anything to say. It’s really just a, kind of a, a space to, like a space that they create like, and I think anybody who’s had a heart dog, or a dog, but especially that heart dog that just speaks to you, and-
[00:03:10] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: Yeah.
[00:03:11] >> Molly Jacobson: -for me it’s like my heart dog, Kanga, she, she saw who I was and she loved me as I was.
[00:03:16] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: Yeah.
[00:03:17] >> Molly Jacobson: Just that unconditional love is so phenomenal to receive.
[00:03:22] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: It is. It’s like nothing else. And I just, I think I totally agree. The way that he looked at me was just, it’s different than any other dog that I’ve had. A different way of seeing me than any other dog that I’ve had in my life. And I’ve had dogs since I was born pretty much, so.
[00:03:39] >> Molly Jacobson: Yeah. So when did Ludo pass?
[00:03:43] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: He passed, gosh, I guess two years ago around now, actually. Yeah.
[00:03:53] >> Molly Jacobson: Do you have any advice or encouragement for those who have recently lost a dog about what it’s like to recover from that grief? I don’t know if recover’s the right word. How to cope?
[00:04:08] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: Move through it or-
[00:04:09] >> Molly Jacobson: Yeah.
[00:04:10] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: -process and. Um, I think a lot of it is just remembering the special things that he did for me and the special way that he impacted me and, and that my kids got to meet him, and all the places he got to go, he traveled all over the country. And so remembering those things. And I think, well for me, I thought I, I don’t know if I’m ever gonna get another dog, I don’t know that I can. And I think a lot of people feel that way after they lose a really special dog, a heart dog, or any dog.
I didn’t realize how healing it would be to get another one until I did. And I think that’s a hard thing to come to, but for me it was very therapeutic and helpful to get the next dog.
[00:04:56] >> Molly Jacobson: Yeah. They give us so much and there’s a point at which we wanna start giving it back again.
[00:05:02] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: Yeah.
[00:05:03] >> Molly Jacobson: Dogs appreciate our care and attention so much.
[00:05:07] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: They do.
[00:05:08] >> Molly Jacobson: Often more than humans do.
[00:05:09] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: Yeah, exactly. And I think realizing like, I can love this other dog in a different way, and that’s special too, I think that is hard to conceive of when you’re not feeling it. When you’re grieving, it’s hard to, to realize that, but then when they’re in front of you, you find a new kind of love. And no it will never be the same and it’s gonna be different, but it’s gonna be special in its own way, and that is healing.
[00:05:35] >> Molly Jacobson: I had a very special grandmother and she – well, everybody has a special grandmother – but my Grammy used to say she had lots of, I’ve never been able to accurately count, I could if I had to, but all of her grandchildren, there’s a lot of grandchildren. And she would say, "I don’t know how many there are of you, but I have that many hearts."
[00:05:55] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: That is amazing.
[00:05:56] >> Molly Jacobson: Sometimes I think that’s what it feels like. Like my whole heart-
[00:06:00] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: Yes.
[00:06:00] >> Molly Jacobson: -is for each of my dogs, my whole heart. And so that, that feeling of like, a whole new heart. So when you bring in another dog, you get a whole new heart.
[00:06:08] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: Exactly. You get a whole new heart, a whole new way of thinking and way of loving, and it’s a special thing to be able to do. I mean, yes, it, my husband has this saying where he’s like, "The worst thing about dogs is that you have to have a lot of them in your life, but the best thing about them is that you get to have a lot of them in your life."
[00:06:28] >> Molly Jacobson: Oh, I love that.
[00:06:29] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: So that, it’s so good. He’s, it’s just like, yes, we have so many throughout our lives, ’cause they don’t live as long, but that means we get to love that many times over and experience those relationships so many times over. And that’s a lucky thing that we get.
[00:06:43] >> Molly Jacobson: Thank you Dr. Anderson.
[00:06:45] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: My pleasure.
[00:06:46] >> Molly Jacobson: This has been wonderful to talk to you about your heart dog, Ludo. Thank you.
[00:06:50] >> Dr. Adrienne Anderson: Likewise. Thank you.
[00:06:53] >> Molly Jacobson: And thank you listener. Go hug your special dog right now and give them a nice little pet from all of us here at Dog Cancer Answers. You can see some of the work that Dr. Anderson has been doing with us at dogcancer.com, and you will be hearing more from her and other veterinarians on our team on this podcast in the coming weeks, months, and years.
I’m Molly Jacobson. And from all of us here at Dog Podcast Network, I’d like to wish you and your dog a very Happy Mother’s Day and a warm Aloha.
[00:07:30] >> Announcer: Thank you for listening to Dog Cancer Answers. If you’d like to connect, please visit our website at dogcancer.com or call our Listener Line at (808) 868-3200. And here’s a friendly reminder that you probably already know: this podcast is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not meant to take the place of the advice you receive from your dog’s veterinarian.
Only veterinarians who examine your dog can give you veterinary advice or diagnose your dog’s medical condition. Your reliance on the information you hear on this podcast is solely at your own risk. If your dog has a specific health problem, contact your veterinarian. Also, please keep in mind that veterinary information can change rapidly, therefore, some information may be out of date.
Dog Cancer Answers is a presentation of Maui Media in association with Dog Podcast Network.