Patient Profile: 835 More Days with Dutch

Last fall, the School of Veterinary Medicine and hospital director Ruthanne Chun received a letter of gratitude from the Leahey family, whose Golden Retriever Dutch had received treatment for lymphoma at UW Veterinary Care.

Sadly, Dutch passed away in February 2017, but his memory lives on in a nearly daily documentation of his life and his journey through cancer treatment on the photo-sharing application Instagram.

In honor of Dutch, an excerpt of the Leahey’s letter follows.

Dear Dr. Chun,

We’d like to express our profound gratitude to the oncology team for their kindness, professionalism, and dedication to the fight against cancer. Our dog, Dutch, was a very important member of our family and from our first visit in the fall of 2014 when he was diagnosed with lymphoma, it felt like he was welcomed into the UW Vet Med family. From that first trip and each visit thereafter, the team far exceeded our expectations with the care he received.

We developed a routine over the last two years traveling from Chicago and staying in Madison. During this time, Dutch developed a close bond with the team as he was always eager to make the trip and have his friends waiting to greet him – everyone was so kind, from the staff at the front desk checking us in, to the techs, and of course, above all, the vets. We know they were key to Dutch’s tremendous success in battling lymphoma.

At our first appointment, we understood the odds were not great and that with treatment Dutch may potentially survive an additional six to twelve months. We were very fortunate as he survived over two years from his diagnosis. To be exact, we are thankful to the UW vet staff for the 835 additional days we had to spend with him. (We documented just about each of those days on lnstagram:

We would also like to thank Dr. Schaffer, Dr. Pellin, and Dr. Miller as they were the primary vets treating Dutch over the course of his battle. In particular, Dr. Schaffer – she understood how challenging some decisions were for us but helped us as laypeople understand all of our options. She is personable, caring, and we and Dutch felt very safe with her.

We will always remember the kindness, care, and wonderful service from the team and we are truly grateful to you all.

Jordan and John Leahey

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