Alto Lino
Boquete, OO 00000


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Dogs come in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles.  Their personalities are like snowflakes; infinite possibilities - no two alike - fascinating to explore - a joy to experience.  Last winter before Christmas, a Boxer named Bentley came to see me for a consultation.  Bentley is a handsome, rugged Boxer with a deep chest and a quiet, gentle nature.  He is a complete gentleman and is starting to show a little gray around his muzzle for distinction. 


On December 1, 2005, he presented with a long list of problems, which is typical of new patients who arrive at my office.   
Prior to this year, Bentley had always been treated with conventional veterinary care and had responded well enough to the interventions prescribed by his doctors.  But this time Bentley wasn't responding well enough.  He had been having digestive upset for months without any real relief.   He frequently threw up or had noisy gastric sounds accompanied by pain, discomfort and soft stools.  By December, he was on a special commercial diet with some home cooked food, but he was not doing much better on that.  He had been diagnosed with arthritis the previous spring and had had bladder stones two years back.  Strong pain medication (NSAID) was prescribed for the body pain associated with arthritis which probably contributed to the digestive problems that started about six months into their use.  NSAIDs can be very hard on the gut if used on a long term basis.  His companion, Debbie, became more and more concerned about his health as the months went by and he didn't really improve.  She stopped the medication, but his symptoms persisted.   Without pain medication he was hurting more.  Bentley stood near Debbie during our consultation for comfort.  They were obviously bonded closely and it was clear that he needed her to solve his medical problems and she needed him to be healthy and strong.  My work was cut out for me. 


We started treatments with Chinese herbs for the digestion and changed his diet.  I chose Urban Wolf, a grain free, freeze dried, holistic premix dog food.  It is a wonderful base diet to which meat, water and oil is added.  Bentley did respond well to his new regimen although some of his symptoms persisted for several weeks.  Debbie is very devoted to Bentley and she trusted the process as she watched his constant, but slow improvement.  Little did I know; a much greater challenge loomed on the horizon. 


We were still struggling to manage Bentley's digestive problems when he had a terrible crisis on February 1st, culminating with abdominal surgery on the 2nd to remove his spleen and save his life.  After surgery he was in pain and to further complicate the issue, he started having seizures.  When the histopathology report came back from the laboratory with a diagnosis of "splenic histiocytic sarcoma", our hopes were dashed and we grieved for the beautiful Boxer who was surely going to die.  The prognosis for survival with that type of cancer is usually about 60 days.  No treatment was recommended by the specialists that Bentley's family could consider.  This type of aggressive, fast moving cancer is not often treated with chemotherapy or radiation due to poor response and dismal success rates.  The next few weeks were difficult.  Bentley was up and down, plagued with pain, seizures and digestive problems.  I did what I could to help.  There are alternative options for every possible symptom or disease.  Time also made a difference.  After a few weeks, he started doing better. 


By the beginning of March, Bentley had stabilized.  X-rays were negative for signs of metastasis and it was clear that he wanted to live.  We had some time to try to treat his cancer.  Debbie wanted us to do everything we could to keep him comfortable and to give him a chance to live.  On March 8th, I started treating the cancer with what I call my "Big Guns".  If there is a strong pathogenic force, big medicine is called for.  Through the years, I have collected an arsenal of natural cancer therapies to try to conquer the enemy and to tame the beast.  The alternative treatments can shrink tumors.  It is a losing battle to fight cancer without supporting the host.  Unlike conventional treatments, natural therapies preserve and strengthen the immune system.  The life-expectancy of cancer patients can be extended by months, or even years when they are treated with natural therapies.  Effective and widely used in Europe and other countries, these therapies are virtually unknown to Western medicine. 


Cancer is a challenge I don't shrink back from.  I meet it head-on, but I can't work alone.  It takes a whole team of care givers, doctors, and family members to treat a cancer patient successfully.  Debbie was the perfect client to take on a challenge of this magnitude.  With a little instruction, she learned to administer some of the treatments at home.  She gave injections and provided nursing care and kept meticulous records.  Fortunately her schedule was flexible, allowing for multiple visits to the clinic each week.  It gave Debbie a sense of power to be able to "do something" to help her best buddy fight off the cancer.  At first, we were on the phone daily helping her evaluate the situation and make decisions.  She was willing, determined, capable, and quickly implemented all my instructions.  Bentley also rose to the occasion.  I felt Bentley was a good candidate for treatment.  He was very patient and willingly accepted the injections.  We started his therapy shortly after getting a diagnosis, which improved his odds.  His immune system was strong and his body was still in good shape to begin a battle against a strong enemy.  He had a good appetite and had already transitioned to Urban Wolf, an excellent cancer diet.   Of course, buckets of freeze dried liver treats are involved in every step.  He loves the treats and the attention. 


Bentley stopped having seizures almost immediately.  In June, after three months of therapy, he had a second set of x-rays performed to check for signs of metastasis.  The radiographs were clear-no sign of cancer.  In August, at the time of this writing, he is happy and playful and living a normal life.  His survival time is already four months longer than predicted.  His weight is normal and he has no digestive problems.  If you met Bentley today, you would never guess he is a cancer patient.  He is definitely not "suffering" from his condition. 


Debbie and I both know every moment of every day is a gift.  We appreciate the most precious present; time with Bentley.  Being able to help people and pets in this situation is my highest honor.  I have been blessed by having Debbie and Bentley in my life. We don't know everything, but we do know Bentley has had six months of quality survival time so far.


Debbie's Story

Mys - tique (mi stEk):  an air or attitude of mystery and reverence developing around something or someone


Won der  (w&n d&r):  miracle  



I will never forget the day when my husband and I brought home our four pawed, 8 week old, 13 pound bundle of joy.  What I couldn't know then was that almost 9 years later he would be our Miracle Mystery.


Our boxer, Mystique's Wonder, better known as Bentley, has always unconditionally been there for me.  It's that same unconditional love I have tried to show Bentley; especially these past 6 months - 6 months he was never suppose to have lived.


On Wednesday, February 1, 2006 around 11:00p.m., Bentley was unable to stand up.  My husband and I immediately took him to the doggie ER.  We left him to be evaluated, and at around 10:00 a.m. the next morning I received a phone call I could never have imagined - Bentley had a tumor on his spleen that had ruptured.  The doctor needed to remove the tumor otherwise he would bleed to death.  That afternoon they operated on Bentley, removed his tumor and spleen, and I prayed he would make it through the night. 


On Friday afternoon, the day after Bentley's surgery, we went to see our "baby".  Even with the aftereffects of the anesthesia, the anxiety from all he'd been through and his sore tummy with a long stapled incision, he was excited to see us.  And we were just as excited to see him!  Even more so the next morning when Bentley got to come home.

The following days and nights were spent loving, nursing, worrying and enjoying every moment I had with Bentley.  The next hurdle was finding out the results from the pathology report - was the tumor malignant?  The following Thursday, February 9th, I received the phone call I was dreading.  The tumor was malignant.  A highly aggressive cancer called hystiocytic sarcoma.  The prognosis was bleak.    Bentley had two, maybe three, at the most six months to live.  I was sick to my stomach.  I lay down on the floor with my precious one and told him if he just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up I would understand.  But if he wanted to fight, I'd be with him every step of the way. 


We explored our options together.  Conventional medicine offered us chemotherapy, which would make him sick and give him maybe two more months of life.  My husband and I decided that for Bentley, his quality of life was more important than his quantity of life.  Therefore, chemotherapy was not the answer. 


That's when I turned to Dr. Linda Faris.  I don't know what I would've done without her.  Her game plan was nonconventional medicine.  I've always felt there is enough room in our lives for both kinds of medicine.  We just have to be able to step outside the box and be open to new ways. 


Our journey began.  First step was to let Bentley get some of his strength back to start healing.  At the beginning of March, Dr. Faris started Bentley on one of her multitude of alternative treatments. He was receiving injections twice a week from her.  These injections help to rid the body of all the bad toxins. As time went on Bentley appeared to be slowly gaining strength.  At the end of March we had an x-ray taken of his heart and lungs - the location to which this kind of cancer usually metastasizes.  The x-rays were negative - all clean!  Our next step was to continue with the current injections while introducing another natural therapy.  I started injecting Bentley at home per the protocol Dr. Faris gave me.  Unlike chemotherapy, her suggested therapy kills only the bad cells, not the good cells and wouldn't make Bentley sick.  With blind faith, positive thoughts & prayers from family & friends, and a lot of encouragement & support from Dr. Faris, our journey continued.


Over the course of the next few months, Bentley and I have learned together as we've gone along.  Our motto has been one day at a time, think positive, and enjoy every moment.  Bentley's injections from Dr. Faris have been reduced to once a week and his home therapy has increased to the desired therapeutic level.  Thankfully, he has outlived his bleak prognosis.  I hate to say it too loud for fear of jinxing ourselves, but if you saw him you wouldn't even know he was sick.  And if this is all the time we'll have together in the here and now, then I'm so grateful Bentley's quality of life has not suffered.  As I sit here and write this, with my Miracle Mystery at my feet, I realize how much he has taught me about faith, patience and hope. 


Our journey continues - me and my precious Miracle Mystery.