The Little Scottie With a Will of Iron
*Sadly Morgan did succumb to cancer, but had a wonderful life for the time she had*

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Jan and I am one of Eleni's volunteers in Eastern Washington.  I have a story to tell you all, that will shake you up, but ultimately warm your heart.  The story is about a wee little lassie who was thrown away because some selfish human would not or could not take care of her medical problems. Here is Morgan's story:

Monday October 6/03

I picked up Morgan from the Spokane Animal Shelter.  She had a large tumor on her right side, and someone had cut off her right ear leaving only about 1/2".  The shelter was sure no one would adopt this little girl with a tumor so large.  I fell in love with the wee Scottie I named "Morgan" from the start.  She is a wonderful little girl with a spirit that fills you with awe.  She is small (15.2 lbs) and young (no more than 4 years old.)  But her tumor was large and scary.  It measured 6" long x 5 " and around 4" deep, and was very hard.  I brought her home and began clipping the matts from her stomach and legs, and gave her a bath.  Throughout it all, she let me dow whatever needed to be done.  I know some Scotties that wouldn't be so agreeable.

Wednesday October 8/03

I took her to the my vet.  We did a needle biopsy and x-rays.  Once again Morgan was a good girl and let the vet and techs do whatever they needed to do.  The techs marveled in the fact that this little scottie was unlike any other they had dealt with- sweet and agreeable, with no attitude.  She must be a Shih Tzu in a Scotty body!  After several tests, and a conference with a second vet, it was decided that it was a round cell tumor (possibly Mast Cell) that appeared to be encapsulated, although it didn't move freely, so we worried about what it might be attached to.  We scheduled surgery for Friday, and held our breath.

This little sweetheart has been sleeping with her head on my shoulder, digging her way into my heart.  I have fallen in love fast before, but this one is special.  She seems to be right at home at my house, and loves to cuddle.  And those big brown "knowing" eyes will melt your heart.

Friday October 10/03 AM:
Surgery Day

I sat in on the surgery (my vet is an awesome lady who puts up with my "interest" in all things medical).  I could not miss this one, since I now had an emotional stake in little Morgan's health and well being.  The surgery took over two hours and went reasonably well.  There was a lot of calcification on the rib-side of the tumor, so that part could not be removed completely without compromising the lung.  The tumor was located between the first and second muscle layers.  Which is good news because she will still have enough muscle mass to expand and constrict the chest cavity.  The tumor weighted 9.5 oz, and we almost lost her a couple of times during the surgery, but Heather, the vet tech is awesome and kept her going until everything was done.  Checking and rechecking, bagging little Morgan, while the vet worked feverishly to remove the stubborn and large tumor.

We sent the tumor off to Washington State University's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory to be tested (pray it is benign).

Friday October 10/03 PM:

The vet called me a few minutes ago to tell me Morgan was in critical condition. Round Cell Tumors are very high in histamine and even though she was given anti-histamine before surgery, she is having a total body systemic reaction to the elevated levels of histamine in her blood. Her packed blood cell volumes have dropped to 17% (Normal is 35-50%), and her blood protein level is 2.2 (normal is 5.8 - 7).  Therefore, she may have to have a blood transfusion from a donor dog tonight. I felt ok until I got that call. Now I get to worry all night.  Lots of prayer is needed for Morgan. She is in Gods hands now.

Saturday October 11/03 AM:

Call from the vet - Morgan is still critical.  She did not have to have a blood transfusion, but she is very sick, and is getting IV fluids, tube feeding, and medication.  She almost passed during the night, but my vet stayed with her, and got her through.  The clinic wants to keep her through the weekend to be safe.

 Sunday October 12/03 PM:

I just got a call from my vet. Clinically, Morgan is doing better. Her Packed Cell Volume (red blood cell count) has moved up from 17% to 20% (35-50% is normal). Her blood protein volume has risen from 2.2 yesterday to 5 today (normal is 5.8 - 7).  She is eating a special critical care diet very well; in fact I'm told she growled at the clinic cat when he came a bit too close to the kennel she was eating in - this is good news. A Scotty without an attitude is a sick Scotty indeed! There is reason to be hopeful, as my vet said she is "cautiously optimistic", since we don't have the lab reports back on whether the tumor was benign or malignant. Please everyone, I ask for prayer that this little girl is free from cancer and that she will live a long and happy, healthy life.

 Monday October 13/03 AM:

My vet called me at work this AM. Morgan is still anemic, but is more alert and eating better. Still haven't heard on the histopathology, but she gets to come home this afternoon. The vet thinks she will do better at home with me - and I do to.  She will be on a regimen of Prednisone, vitamins, special diet and antibiotics until we find out what the tumor is.  We have a 50-50 chance, and I am counting on God to provide us with a miracle. I will do whatever it takes to save this sweet little angel, and there is a reason, she has come into all our lives (not just mine). Everything happens for a reason.  Thankfully, I work in an office full of dog lovers, I will have her with me 24/7 until she is well.

 Monday October 13/03 PM:

Morgan is home sittin' in her chair - yes her chair
Still no results on the histopathology, but Morgan is home now, and seems glad to be here. She just took her pills with peanut butter, and is resting in her favorite chair. She is soooooo sweet.

Wednesday October 15/03 PM:

Some good news today mixed with cautious optimism - we got the results of the histopathology back. It was a Basal Cell Tumor. Basal cell tumors include basal cell epithelioma, basal cell carcinoma, and basiloid tumor. Since the tumor in domestic animals is almost always benign, the preferred name is basal cell tumor.

It is less common in dogs, representing 4 to 12% of canine skin tumors; this one was especially rare, forming between the first and second layer of muscle below the skin. 

BCT's are usually solitary, well circumscribed, firm, hairless, dome-shaped elevated masses from 0.5 to 10 cm (1/2" - 4" in diameter, again, Morgan had to be different with a width of 15 cm X 12.7 cm X 10 cm (6" X 5" X 4" deep). 

Most BCT's are freely movable and firmly fixed to the overlying skin but rarely invade underlying fascia, once again, Morgan defies the odds. Her tumor was firmly attached to the rib cage and calcifying.

Most BCT's are benign, grow slowly, and may be present for months prior to diagnosis. The treatment of choice for BCTs is surgical excision, which carries a good prognosis. In Morgan's case the one bit of worry is that Basal Cells were found in the lymph ducts. We will have to watch, wait and pray, that these cells were due to the size of the tumor, and length of time it was let go, and are not malignant. Thankfully, only rare recurrences and no metastasis have been reported in dogs.

 Morgan is still not out of the woods - her Packed Cell Volume has only risen 1% in 2 days;  HOWEVER, it has not fallen. This is good. Her blood proteins have risen from 2.2 to 5.8, that is great. She is eating and drinking - very tired, but she had major surgery and is anemic, so that is to be expected. She barked at a cat today (first bark I have heard since before her surgery:). She will need blood test every 3-5 days, and her lymph nodes checked also, until we are sure she is ok. So, we keep praying, and we thank God and the Scottie angels, that she is improving, and may just beat this thing. 

It takes about 7 days for the bone marrow to begin producing red blood cells again, after major trauma (in this case surgery).  Additionally, I have put her on a
high protein diet and am giving her Pet-Tabs Plus w/3mg of Iron. I can't give her too much stuff, or it raises the histamine levels. There appears to be a fine balance between what to treat and what will aggravate the blood levels.

Friday October 17/03 PM:

Today was a good day.  Morgan, my little miracle is doing better today, she ate well last night and this morning, and is much more active today. Yesterday she had a fun
encounter with a little female Shih Tzu named Peggy Sue, and the two of them were so cute together (they are the same size). I almost forgot for a moment that she is still sick, but these little things make me think she is going to be ok. She will get another blood test on tomorrow, I am praying for a dramatic improvement in her Packed Cell Volume! It will happen! I have been keeping an eye on her lymph nodes as well, to make sure there is no swelling, so far - so good. There is some swelling and fluid build up below the surgery site.  I am hoping it is nothing to worry about.  I will ask about it at the vet tomorrow.
And as I write this she is chewing on a rawhide! Everything she does that is even remotely similar to a healthy dog, makes me thankful to God.

Saturday October 18/03 PM:

 Back to the vet today for blood tests and a re-check.  She has a pretty big swelling under the suture, and I am worried.  We did a fine needle aspirate of the fluid and tested it for infection - good results.  It is mostly fluid with a lot of white blood cells.  We went ahead and drained off a little over a half a cup of fluid and wrapped her back up. Such a good girl - no a peep.  


Wednesday Oct. 22/03

Took Morgan to the vet today - great news.  PackedBlood Cell Volume has risen to 38%; Blood Protein Level up to 6.8, and her lymph nodes are not
enlarged. Prognosis very good!  Morgan got a brand new bone on the way home, just for being so darn cute and healthy.  She saw a squirrel todayand went ballistic!  Now THAT is a Scottie!!!

Thursday Nov. 6/03

Update on Morgan

Took Morgan in for a rewrap. Seems she will need to have this done until all the little fluid pockets disappear. She had her checkup and it was ALL good news.  Morgan had gotten down to 12.6 lbs after her surgery, she is now back up to 15.4 lbs!, and loving her treats! Morgan’s heart continues to remain strong, her lungs are clear and best of all she has NO enlarged lymph nodes! Her blood counts and enzyme levels are all now normal, and she is acting like a little Scottie girl should! This means that the chances are very good that we got it all! The vet is very pleased with her progress and has now decided to upgrade her from “cautiously optimistic” to “we’ll check her again in 6 months” How cool is that!



Friday Nov. 7/03

  Geesh, do I have to have a bath?


  I know I don’t smell very good, but I’m a dog – gimme a break….

  The ultimate in Scottie embarrassment – how am I supposed to do my frapping in this?


  So, are ya gonna save me, or just sit there and let me stew?

  And what is the deal with all these flat face dogs –

  they aren’t very good watch dogs… lemme show ya how it’s done…


Morgan would like prayers for a fellow Scottie that has been struggling with an immune system problem which has made him susceptible to demodectic mange.  Poor Doon has had many tests done and he's been getting dipped for weeks (months).  Besides conventional medicine, his mom and dad have been taking him to a holistic vet, and he has been getting Chinese herbs, accupuncture, poltices, etc.   Doon's situation is very discouraging because his people are dealing with an unknown, rather than a clear-cut diagnosis. Prayers that Doon's condition will become known, treatable and that he will recover fully.  Sending Scottie Angels from Morgan.


December 2003
* Adoption *       

Good News and Better News!! The good news is thatMorgan continues to improve.  The better news is that Morgan has  a fabulous new home!
After her surgery, which we have decided will be her official "birthday", I had to take her to work with me for about two weeks. I needed to be able to watch her and make certain everything was going well.  I work with a fabulous woman named Kathleen, who has a Scottie
named Baillie and a Shih Tzu named Peggy Sue.  Kathleen has always supported my rescue work, and is also a Scottie lover.  Soon, the entire
office fell in love with Morgan, but especially Kathleen.  I can't say I hadn't hoped this would happen, because I did!  The home I chose for Morgan had to be perfect, and I couldn't ask for more with Kathleen and
her husband Gary. Not only did I get a great set of parents for Morgan, but I can see her anytime I want.  A win win situation.  So Kathleen adopted Morgan, and now she lives with her new Scottie brother and her
new Shih Tzu sister, and is having a wonderful time!!!  Thanks for all
the prayers and support.

*A [Scottie] passed through my heart today,
On [her] way to a brighter day.
[She] has a name, and it is [Morgan],
[She] took all the strength that I could muster.*

* **Oh stay little one, I'd love to keep you,
For if you leave, I'll surely be blue.
But there's a home waiting, the perfect place,
A home that will keep that smile on your face.*

* **I have to let you leave my side,
The tears I know, I will not hide.
Your health and happiness is all that counts,
As the emotion in my heart mounts and mounts.*

* **Off you go, to your wonderful new home,
Remember me, I was your stepping stone.*

* **All my Love,
Your Foster Mommy,

Poem Courtesy of Amy Antosh of Calliope Cairn Terrier Rescue

When Angels sense you need them, and angels always do,
They come, unseen, from everywhere to help and comfort you.
They hover close beside you 'till all your cares are gone,
'Till they can see you're ready, once again, to carry on.
Then some of them may fly away and take their gentle touch
To other hearts that need the love of angels very much.
But one, at least, stays with you as your constant friend and guide,
For Guardian Angels never leave, They're always at your side.

Donations are so greatly appreciated to help the
Garfield Street Pet Clinic
Furbaby Rescue Account #5197
202 S. Garfield St.
Moscow, ID 83843
Vet Phone: 208-883-9663


On Behalf of Morgan we Thank
Jane Patzke
De Pere, WI

Morgan Note:
Please accept this contribution for Morgan, and thank you for all that
you have done for this little pup.
Dick Withrow 
Spencerport, NY

 Janet Gill
Plantation, FL

Susan McLaughlin
Billerica, MA

Mary E Mendoza
Hoffman Estates, IL

Lewis Obi
Jacksonville, FL

Special thanks to the following individuals who generously donated items
to auction on eBay for Morgan.
Thank you so much ladies:

Kathleen Borys, KC Scottish Terriers
Natural Bred Scotties for Health and Longevity!
Rainbow Scottish Terrier Rescue, OH

Zaron Van Meter, SK9 Scottie Rescue
Columbus, OH

Christine McCauley
(Cowboy nka Jack)
Buckley, WA

Special thanks to the following individuals who generously donated items
to auction on eBay for Morgan.
Thank you so much ladies:

Kathleen Borys, KC Scottish Terriers
Natural Bred Scotties for Health and Longevity!
Rainbow Scottish Terrier Rescue, OH

Zaron Van Meter, SK9 Scottie Rescue
Columbus, OH

Christine McCauley
(Cowboy nka Jack)
Buckley, WA

Auction for Morgan and our Rescue:


Furbabyrescue Home

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Shih Tzu Available for Adoptions


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