July 25 was National Parents’ Day. This edition of FBR Real Pet Stories honors Lisa’s dad who recently lost his battle with lung cancer and COPD. Lisa’s parents lived with her and her rescued pets. Thanks to animal research, her parents fought through cancer in several areas and heart disease. Her family is thankful for animal heroes that have helped to discover medical treatments and continue to discover treatments every day.

Our four-legged family members have all benefited from vaccines and treatments developed thanks to animal research, but the pet I’d like to highlight today is my dog Dexter.

He loves to chew and destroy bones and loves to lick his babies because he has anxiety. He also likes to take his favorite toys and bones and bring them into the bedroom away from the other dogs. Unfortunately, his young sister Olive likes to steal them when he isn’t looking.

I found Dexter (aka Mr. D Bones) in December 2017 while I was visiting my sister in Florida the week before Christmas. He was rolling around on the side of a busy intersection. We stopped the car and asked the construction workers nearby if he was one of their dogs.

As I watched him, he was about to run into the road. I approached slowly while getting down to his level so he wouldn’t dart away from me and into the road. He allowed me to approach him. He was quite thin and ragged looking. It was apparent he was out on his own for quite some time. I checked him over quickly for any injuries before I picked him up.

I found Dexter (aka Mr. D Bones) in December 2017 while I was visiting my sister in Florida the week before Christmas. (Photos: Lisa Stanislawczyk)

We brought him to a nearby shelter. He was extremely tense and frightened. I felt horrible for dropping him off, but everyone was very friendly and helpful. He had a chip, so the shelter was going to track down the owner.

I called the shelter about him daily and then weekly to see what was happening. The current owner could not make up her mind whether she was going to take him back because he had escaped the yard. I was very upset about leaving him there, and now I was back home in New Jersey.

I could not get him out of my mind, so once enough time passed for me to legally adopt him, I filled out paperwork and organized his transport to NJ.

The shelter took great care of him while he was there. He got plenty of food, water and veterinary care. He received all his vaccines and was in very good health when the vet signed off on his adoption paperwork. He is the most well-behaved and lovable dog! He has a lot of anxiety and doesn’t deal well when I leave the house, but he is healthy and happy. He has become my shadow!

Dexter shows his “thanks” for biomedical research during Biomedical Research Awareness Day!

Dexter shows his “thanks” for biomedical research during Biomedical Research Awareness Day!

Thanks to animal research, Dexter is a healthy, energetic, loyal and lovable part of my family. (ALSO READ: My Rescue Ponies Are Living Proof of Benefits of Modern Veterinary Medicine)

He has had a lot to get used to during his short time in my home, including my other dogs, my cat and my parents. My dad lost his battle with lung cancer and COPD a few months ago. It was surprising and a relief that the animals did not go crazy barking with all the nurses and caretakers coming in and out of the house.

My family realizes the gifts that our pets have been for comfort during difficult times. We also have the highest respect and admiration for the animal heroes that make it possible to have extra time with each other by helping to get therapeutic drugs to market for all our human and animal family members.

Lisa Stanislawczyk is an IACUC specialist at Bristol Myers Squibb. Thank you, Lisa, for submitting your photos and story to FBR!

Sponsored by:
Henry Friedman
FBR Board Chair Henry S. Friedman, MD, is the James B. Powell Jr. professor of neuro-oncology, professor of neurosurgery and pediatrics, assistant professor of pathology, and associate professor of medicine at Duke University. He is the co-deputy director of The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke.
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