Meet Cancer Treatment Grant Recipient: Guide Dog Comet
Comet is the second guide dog who we have had the pleasure to assist. She has been active for years working by the side of Chikako Mochizuki. Chikako contacted us on April 5, 2011 about obtaining a
Working Dog Cancer Treatment Grant as her beautiful guide dog, Comet.

My name is Chikako Mochizuki and I am currently a graduate student attending University of Kansas located in Lawrence, Kansas. I am blind and currently working with a lovely dog guide named Comet who is a female Yellow Labrador Retriever trained at the Leader Dog for the blind located in Rochester Hill, Michigan. Very recently (just last week) she has been diagnosed with a type of malignant tumor known as thymoma. She is still a happy, healthy and strong dog even though she is approaching her tenth year. She and I have been working toward our doctoral degree in History at University of Kansas since January of 2003. The only effective treatment is for her to have surgical removal and if the tumor would be successfully removed there will be a great chance for her to make a full recovery. At this point she is still strong and I firmly believe that she could withstand the surgery. However, being a student from Japan, neither my parents, who were retired, back in Japan nor myself, who is a graduate student could afford this expensive treatment that would most likely be several thousand dollars. At the same time, the time is very precious for without surgical removal treatment my Comet only has about six months to live, according to my veterinarian, Dr. Jarrette. I truly would like to complete my dissertation and achieve my doctoral degree with Comet and go on to my new teaching/researching career with Comet.

Here is Chikako's story about her work and her special girl, Comet:


Comet has gone through the surgery on Wednesday, April 13th. A team of Veterinarians headed by Dr. Marcus Unis were able to remove the tumor completely. She has been under intensive care since right after the surgery. She has a tube in her chest to pull out fluid in the chest. She had a tube for oxygen supplement until April 15th.

On April 16th they took out the tube and so far her intake of oxygen is normal. The tumor was biopsied and the result came back yesterday. According to what I heard, the tumor is indeed thymoma, a rare type of cancer for canines.

Very fortunately the tumor is non-invasive. She does not need any additional post surgery treatment such as radiation treatment.

When she gets better, I will be able to send you the video of Comet and myself to report her healthy condition. Once again, thank you so very much for the grant and assisting me making my Comet back to her healthy condition. Although she is not yet quite there, she should be soon.

(More coming soon about Comet)