Meet Cancer Treatment Grant Recipient: SAR Dog Murphy's Law

Michael contacted the Land of Pure Gold Foundation at the end of September, 2012.  This is his story.

My name is Michael Stoll and I am a Mission Ready Search and Rescue Volunteer with CARDA (California Rescue Dog Association) and San Mateo County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. I found you by accident while researching desperately for information on lymphoma.

My partner Murphy’s Law is a 6 1/2 year old Golden Retriever who was diagnosed with lymphoma in September 2012. I just cannot believe that he has this disease. But he does. We have been a team since we first met when he was 9 weeks old. We started SAR training when he was about 10 months and were certified as Mission Ready for wilderness and urban searches when he was about 2 1/2. We have responded to about 50 searches so far including a few that made national news...but the best ones never do... like the 7 year old girl who was found alive by a county team mate and carried out from deep in the woods around 2 am on a Thursday night (morning I guess).

Writing all this is difficult. Murphy has been diagnosed with hypercalcemia, which means lymphoma. They have done thousands of dollors worth of oncology testing alone. With the exception of life threatening high calcium, they have come back normal.. I was happy that about the results at first because they could not find a source of lymphoma and asked “What are the chances that he does NOT have lymphoma?” the answer was less than 10%.

There is a mass in his chest that they cannot identify without sticking another needle in him (and few thousand dollars more), we stopped and the Oncologist has put the presumptive diagnosis that you will read on your form. Radiation treatment is not a course we can choose and the results are questionable. He will never be cured. I just hate that. So. Murphy takes Prednisone twice a day. He has bounced back nicely this month. I am advised this is typical but...well, you know the rest...too sad.


Thought I would give you an update...things move fast then slow down. Last Thursday Murph was admitted to the hospital. His calcium numbers indicated that he was in crisis. They bombarded him with anti nausea meds, IV fluids, and doubled his Prednisone. His numbers got worse. He did not eat for two days. Friday evening the vet says we should come say goodbye.

Our 12 year old grandson was sobbing (me too) in the cage as he lay there. I put a small biscuit in front of him and he ate it. So I put another in. He ate it. I put in five and he ate them all! The Vet (who was preparing the needle) ran and got canned dog food. Murphy stood up and ate that as well!! So we took him home. The vet gave us sub q fluids and the set ups to inject, nausea pills, increased his daily Prednisone to 40 mg and then she said to wait and enjoy what we have for as long as we have it.

Today he is happy, eating whatever he wants, and even brought me his tennis ball (that was about it for that), and we all are just enjoying a special time, MEANWHILE, because of you insisting, I contacted Suzi Beber (Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund), who has been nothing short of outstanding. She told me not to talk but to just listen. So, I did. Now we have a huge bag of Canine Life Premix from someone she knows in Mill Valley and we have made a freezer full of Murphy Muffins (with all sorts of stuff in 'em). Muprhy loves them. We are expecting a shipment of supplements from Suzi and if they are as good as the muffins, I may eat some myself. Rochelle, where do you find such people?


3/2006 to 12/2012

Just a fella . . . was not out to save the world.
But just his presence did not leave it the same either.
There will be stories told about this one.
Stories with heart and joy and ebullience!

You are part of his story. And we truly thank you.