Best Friends rescue dog Tyson has a fast-growing, high grade sarcoma, and likely only has a few months to live

By Kelli Bender
June 11, 2019 01:23 PM
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Lori Fusaro/Best Friends Animal Society.

Looking at Tyson the pit bull mix, you would never guess this puppy likely has only a few months to live.

The grey-and-white dog is happy, energetic and affectionate. Unfortunately, the bunny-eared canine is also battling a fast-growing, high grade sarcoma. This type of cancer does not respond well to surgery or chemotherapy, leaving Tyson’s options limited.

Best Friends Animal Society believes that Tyson’s short life span shouldn’t deny him all the joys happy, healthy dogs experience. That’s why the staff and volunteers at Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Mission Hills, California, are doing everything they can to find this pup a full-time foster to serve as the dog’s hospice home, a sunny place where Tyson can work through the rest of his bucket list.

Lori Fusaro/Best Friends Animal Society.

“Tyson doesn’t even realize that he has terminal cancer, as he acts like the same happy-go-lucky pup as before. He has some scarring from where the mass was originally removed, but he recovered well and is back to going on adventures and occasional sleepovers with volunteers friends. Unfortunately, the mass is already starting to grow back so we are all emotionally preparing for the inevitable,” Amanda Hamilton’s the center’s dog care manager told PEOPLE.

Once 1-year-old Tyson finds his hospice home, he would like to eat a cheeseburger, have a birthday cake, got to a dog beach, get in all the snuggles he can and play with all the toys he can get his paws on.

Best Friends is confident there is animal lover out there that sees all the vitality they see in Tyson, a compassionate individual (or family) who wants to dedicate the next few months to making Tyson’s remaining time the best days of his life.

Lori Fusaro/Best Friends Animal Society.

Right now, Tyson’s symptoms are limited, and Hamilton is hopeful they will stay that way for a while.

“HIs only restrictions are that he isn’t able to wear a collar or have anything tight/tugging on his neck, as this is the area where the mass was removed and continues to grow. At the moment he isn’t presenting any symptoms from the condition,” She shared. “We’ve been told that as the mass grows, it may begin to press on his throat, causing difficulty in eating, swallowing or keeping food down. He may also begin to cough more or refuse food. Until we see symptoms, we will resume activities as normally as we possibly can for him!”

The staff and volunteers who known Tyson best, believe that he would thrive in a foster hospice home with no other pets and with owners who lots of time to dote on him.

Lori Fusaro/Best Friends Animal Society.

Amber Krzys, a Best Friends volunteer who has been taking Tyson on sleepovers, has some tips for Tyson’s future family too.

“He’s super smart and learns quickly. He’s goofy, fun and loves to play. Zoomies around the yard are his jam! He’s sensitive, especially with new people, so he needs a gentle, slow approach — even in the discipline process. If you are too stern with him too soon he can cower and shut down,” she said of the looking after Tyson, adding that it feels “very much like fostering a dog without terminal cancer” right now.

Courtesy Best Friends Animal Society

“He has a great mix of wanting attention, but also knowing how to entertain himself. He enjoys his crate time, especially when there are tasty treats involved. The tastiest to him would be peanut butter! Oh, and he loves to nuzzle his face on your chest or right next to yours. His snoring is the best sound on the planet!”

All of Tyson’s medical needs and supplies will be provided to his foster family. To learn more about fostering Tyson, please contact fosterla@bestfriends.org or call (818) 643-3989.