PRINCE, a 7-year-old Keeshond, has conquered cancer, gotten over the grief of losing two owners and he saved the life of a small dog in a very unusual way.
An operation for cancer on Prince required a blood transfusion. A little dog named Kyle was used as the donor.
It all began when Prince's owner, Molly Golden of Gardenville and her late husband David George Golden, adopted Prince when he was about 2 years old from a neighbor, an elderly person who was put in a nursing home.
''Prince lost that owner but bonded immediately with my husband," Golden says.
''Dave was only 40 and had worked at the Dundalk Marine Terminal for 20 years when he was killed there in 1988, when a container fell on him," she says. "Prince's personality completely changed. He wouldn't do a thing except go to the door over and over. So I decided to do the only thing I knew for both of us. I took Prince to the cemetery and we sat at Dave's grave for two hours. I couldn't believe it when Prince lay across the grave and howled almost the entire time. Yet, it worked because Prince seems to know Dave won't be back and he is mine now.''
Earlier this year, Prince began to want large amounts of water, says Golden, and he appeared to be arthritic in his back legs. The diagnosis was a large tumor filling most of his stomach area. There was infection and a high fever and Dr. Deborah Tierney at the Ardmore Veterinarium would not operate until this infection was gone, so Prince was put on intravenous feeding and medicines. I went to the hospital three times a day and I prayed and my neighbors prayed,'' Golden recalls.
Several days later, on Aug. 12th, Prince's three-pound tumor and his spleen was removed in a procedure called a splenectomy for a cancer called hemangiosarcoma, and that's when the little dog Kyle helped save Prince, according to Dr. Tierney.
"Kyle had been abused and was rescued by a client who saves many dogs," Dr. Tierney explains. "He was brought to us to be boarded while waiting to find an owner." Weeks went by as she sought a home for Kyle and couldn't find one. She planned to take him to a shelter to be put down.
"I knew Prince would need a transfusion so I asked if we could keep Kyle to donate blood and we would absorb some of the boarding cost and be responsible for him," she says. "The word was spread about the office and among clients and a good home was found,'' she adds. So Prince actually gave Kyle borrowed time to find an owner.
Kyle was adopted by Todd Knudsen of Middle River, who says ''he's doing great.''
Dr. Tierney does not believe Prince's cancer will return. ''There .. was no evidence the cancer was in any other organ,'' she added.
Molly Golden worries and remembers. ''I'll never forget sitting in the waiting room during the operation, pretending to read a book but I was actually praying and praying.
''Prince holds memories for me. He is my shadow, my constant companion who goes where I go. I never want to be without him,'' she says. "I'll be taking him for a checkup every six months.''