Stetson's Story

Stetson, a Golden Retriever, wearing a conical party hat and a University of Minnesota VMC bandanna.Our VMC story is about an amazing golden retriever, Stetson who spent over 5 years as a therapy dog. His favorite job was visiting patients at the Frauenshuh Cancer Center while they received chemotherapy.

In July 2012, we took him in for a routine vet exam and detected an enlarged lymph node. Our regular veterinarian told us she suspected he had lymphoma and recommended we bring him to the U of M Veterinary Medical Center. My husband and I were completely devastated. Stetson was only 9 years old. We met with Dr. Fritz and Dr. Denysyk from the oncology department and they confirmed Stetson had t-cell lymphoma.

The entire staff was extremely compassionate and provided us with information and the opportunity to ask questions. Going into this we had no idea if it was treatable or how much time he had left. After discussing treatment options with oncologists we determined Stetson would receive chemotherapy and begin immediately.

In addition, my husband and I decided that Stetson would visit Dr. Choi (Complementary Alternative Medicine) to receive acupuncture and herbs. We would bring him once a week alternating chemotherapy with routine blood draws. Stetson loves to come to the VMC! He pulls me to the door and can't wait to get inside. This made bringing him each week much easier on me knowing that he was going somewhere he loved to go where staff treated him really well.

This is a true testament to the incredible oncology and alternative medicine team at the VMC. Not only have they been there for my husband and I with all of our concerns but they take excellent care of Stetson. We've been able to enjoy the greatest gift of all...time. It has been 16 months since the initial diagnosis. We recently celebrated Stetson's 11th Birthday. Without the caregivers at VMC this wouldn't be possible. We are incredibly grateful.

- Charney & Joe

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