Three Legged Dog Club
Cassie's Club Members

This baby is Ceaser.
He is a very special 3 year old Maltese.

Ceaser has only three legs. Before he fell into my hands, he had been hit by a car. It is very unclear to me, but to my understanding I am possibly his FIFTH OWNER! I will never give him up. He gets about quite well, and because he's so small (five pounds!) and near to the ground, most people don't notice his missing appendage.

I am sure that Ceaser feels that his missing leg only held him back in life, and he is better without it. He knows his little nubby gets him a lot more attention then just being cute alone! He loves attention, and bites your pants till you pet him.

It was fate when I found him, and utterly perfect timing.

I met him at a friend-of-a-friends house when I was 18.

My first response was: "He is the cutest thing EVER,"
and their first words to me, having never met me, were:
"You want him? You can have him; we were going to get rid of him anyway."


My dad, however, had been insistent on me not getting a dog.
No question, I could not have one.

But when I walked in the door with Ceaser in arms, my dad knew why I had to rescue him. My dad is in a wheelchair. Paralyzed from the waist down.

He, like Ceaser, NEVER lets his misfortune get the best of him.

My dad thinks Ceaser is the weirdest thing he has ever seen,
and loves taking him for rides on his Harley, with Cheech (my dads Shepherd-Rott mix) in the side car, even making him a mini-side car to ride in.

Ceaser responds to the word "Grandpa" with excitement.

Since Ceaser, I have been looking into adopting or fostering disadvantaged small breed animals.

Saturday June 30, 2007


Our dog, Schatzi, is 14 years old and was born on January 9, 1993.
I adopted her at 6 weeks old and she was the runt of the litter.
She is a German Shepard/Labrador mix and has the sweetest face.
I couldn't resist putting her in my jacket pocket when I first got her.

Schatzi was my sole companion for many years and we both stayed young by hiking and running and she would even pull me on roller blades almost daily around our neighborhood.

After getting married, Schatzi had to make some adjustments,
since not only did she gain a beautiful mom, but she also got two furry feline friends, Misty and Bailey as well.

It took a while, but Schatzi finally adjusted to the cats and now they're even sleeping companions (never thought that would happen!).
Schatzi has also seen the birth of my daughter and son.
And she loves them unconditionally, regardless of how much my son pulls her tail and "pets" her.

A few years ago, Schatzi developed a nodule on her left front leg.
We took her to the vet and he said as long as it didn't bother her, that we should leave it alone, as he didn't want to operate on her due to her advanced age.

Well, for the first year, it stayed the same size (about the size of a quarter) and we left it alone until it grew larger, to the size of a tennis ball.

We brought her back to the vet who then suggested we have the tumor removed. Although we didn't want to put her under, we felt that it was the best decision because at this point it was bothering her and began leaking when she would brush up against something. The vet operated on her and kept her overnight for observation.

The entire tumor was removed and through a biopsy it was determined to be a local cancer that was assumed to be concentrated only on her one leg.

For several months, Schatzi was tumor free until very quickly the tumor grew back larger than the original one that was removed.

We brought her into the vet once more because at this point it was leaking quite frequently and she kept licking and reopening the wound.
The doctor explained to us that because of the quick regeneration of the cancer, he was concerned that it could spread beyond the leg, to other parts of the body. Our options were a) leave the leg alone, but he gave her only 6 months to live with this condition; b) have her undergo Chemotherapy which was very costly and doesn't always work for dogs at her age and c) the third option, which we never considered at the onset, was to remove her leg, which the doctor thought would give her the best recovery and quality of life.

The vet advised us that often times this option is more difficult for the humans with whom the dog interacts rather than the dog.

We spent two days discussing the pros and cons, researching stories on the Internet, talking to family and friends and finally made the decision to amputate her leg.

It was the right decision for her and for us.

It has been four months since her surgery and today, Schatzi remains as playful as a puppy and doesn't let the loss of her leg slow her down at all.

We are so grateful that there was another option for us and for Schatzi, as I think she'll be around with us for many years to come.

The Kissell Family
Westlake Village, CA
Tuesday July 3, 2007

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