A loving dog who brings smiles to cancer patients is now fighting cancer himself. But this story has a happy ending.
The journey started several weeks ago when Conrad suffered a bloody nose. His owner, Amy Morton, who happens to be a firefighter, jumped to action and rushed him to the vet. Three biopsies later, doctors diagnosed the dog with a rare bone cancer in his nose. Now, he's recovering, and ready to get back to work.
When Conrad comes to the MD Anderson Cancer Center, he knows it's time to work.
"As soon as I pull into the parking garage, he pokes his head up from chewing on his duck. He knows he is coming here to make people happy," Morton says.
The 8-year-old black Labrador Retriever is a pet therapy dog. He's a doggy doctor making the rounds with a different kind of medication.
Theresa Ferreri, with MD Anderson, says, "There are statistics that have shown medically, blood pressure is lowered, a sense of calmness comes upon them, their spirits are lifted, there are medical benefits too."
Stephen Klap, a patient and self-professed dog lover, appreciates his four legged friend's frequent visits. "Just being around them, with the energy and love they have, makes you feel much better," Klap says.
But, it's been awhile since anyone has seen Conrad. For the past four weeks, he was on sick leave battling his own cancer. Morton says, "On Friday, he finished a month's worth of radiation, and hopefully, he'll be in remission."
His face now shows his battle scars from waging war against a rare cancer doctors discovered in his nose. His mom says based on his behavior, he had no idea. "He's wagged his tail the whole time," Morton says.
And now he's back to his full-time duties walking the halls of the hospital. But before he gets back to work, a ceremonial ringing of the bell, and a certificate to recognize this accomplishment!
"He'll get back into it with 4 legs making people happy, being an inspiration for them to keep going, and keep fighting," Morton smiles.
Conrad also makes visits to other local hospitals, as well as participates in community and charity events.
He will go back to the doctor in one week.