Otis, Northampton, PA

My name is Otis. Some of you may also remember me as Trump. That’s the name the NYC ACC gave me when they picked me up as a stray.

I guess I got too sick and my old owners put me out on the streets. My body was quite emaciated and I had a very large distended abdomen. Many of my teeth were rotted or missing and there were signs of tumors in my mouth, too. I had difficulty standing tall and not much strength in my hind legs. I showed signs of being kept in a crate too small for my size for long periods of time.

Due to my condition, I was quickly moved to the Euth list. I rested comfortably with the help of the volunteers in those final hours until what I thought would be the end…

But I had no idea how many people were rooting for me.

First it was Urgent Death Row Dogs, Inc. that posted my picture and a plea for help. That led to Walter Ready, a pit bull therapy dog, to contact my mom—knowing she had a soft spot for seniors. So she reached out to Waggin’ Train Rescue late that final night so that they could pull me out of the shelter. Then the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals loaded me up in a van and transported me to start a new life in Pennsylvania.

All within a matter of hours. My momma says that we can’t even begin to thank everyone.

Once I arrived, my new family immediately took me to the vet. They found that I had a very large tumor in my abdomen that was attached to my spleen and confirmed an oral tumor as well. Without having much time to consider our options, in a matter of days I took a turn for the worse and they rushed to me in for emergency surgery to try to remove the tumor and my spleen.

The doctor told my momma that there was only a 10% chance that I’d survive the surgery, but she knew I wasn’t ready to give up yet. My momma spent countless hours fundraising the money for my surgery and I was blessed with the love and support of more people than I could imagine, sending new beds, blankets, treats, donations, and most of all their positive thoughts and prayers.

Luckily, I’m a fighter and I made it through it thanks to the wonderful staff at Stanglein Veterinary Clinic and the love, care, and attention of my family. But there was good news and bad news.

The good news was that I survived and seemed to be doing just fine and even gaining some healthy weight. The bad news was that the biopsy results came back on my oral tumor as advanced melanoma. So back to the doctors I went, this time to see an oncologist.

He gave my new family a couple of options, but there was more bad news. You see, the cancer had already spread to my lungs as well.

As of now I’m on chemotherapy and I spend my days relaxing with my step-brothers Kongo and Konah, and my new step-sister Honey. Honey is also a survivor of the NYC ACC and we’ve formed a very special bond. She’s a senior too and thankfully my momma believes that seniors who are dumped in shelters deserve a better ending. I just wish more people would feel that way too!

So Honey watches over me while I get to enjoy a warm bed, long naps, and lots of love every day from my new family. I’m not so sure how many days I may have left, but I do know that I am loved and my momma pledged that I will not die alone.

~ Otis

Parent: Kristin

Editor’s Note: Otis passed away on December 23rd, 2013. From his family: “It is with deep sadness that we say goodbye to Otis today. He has surrendered to the angels who had been waiting to take him to a place where there is no pain, no hunger, no suffering, no loneliness, no neglect. We were honored to be by his side and proud to have had the privilege of helping him die with dignity surrounded by love. We love you sweet old man, run fast and run free. You are in our hearts forever.”

We are so thankful Otis knew unconditional love and what it meant to have a forever home because of his family’s big heart and the rescue village that saved him from death row. We’d like to thank his loving mom Kristin and forever family for all the love and comfort that they have given him. We are honored to have known Otis and to be able to share his story. Run free, Otis.