The story of Spike the pitbull certainly is a special one. The poor pup was saved from an illegal fighting ring for dogs. Luckily, Jamie’s family was more than willing to give him a warm home and a bright and happy future. Jamie Gehrlich and her now-husband Jason welcomed Spike into the family back in 2007, and he’s been their guardian angel ever since.
“Through the years, Spike has been the best dog we have ever had, he is literally a gentle giant. Being a pit bull, everyone looks at him and immediately thinks of all the stereotypes, but he is such a chill guy and loves anyone he comes into contact with. My husband Jason always jokes I spoil our pup way too much. To me, his name is not Spike, it’s Baby Boy, unless he’s in trouble, then it’s Dude. He has been my guardian and has been my best bud since we got him.”
Back in November 2017, Jamie and Jason were met with devastating news about their pup.
Spike first started to fell ill, and he displayed symptoms of a UTI. The couple took the four-footer to a vet right away, but his findings revealed something far worse: a huge tumor inside of Spike’s bladder.
“When the vet came in with this devastating news, our hearts broke,” Jamie recalls. “My poor guy was sick and I was being told there was nothing we could do. I could see the devastation on Jason’s face and I just remember thinking, ‘I’m not ready yet. I don’t know if I could do this.'”
The diagnosis was particularly tough for the family because Jamie herself dealt with the terrible disease two years earlier. The woman was diagnosed with both squamous cell and adenocarcinoma cancer in 2016. Spike was there for the family the entire time.
“Getting that kind of news really rocked Jason and my world,” she told. “Having both types of cancer at the same time is very rare and Jason and I were terrified.”
“The moment I found I out, I called Jason and he came home from work early. Jason, me, and Spike laid on the bed for a while, Jason holding me and Spike laying as close to me as he could curled up in front of me on the bed.”
Luckily, Jamie started recovering a year later after a tough and very difficult battle.
The woman couldn’t sleep in her bed anymore because she couldn’t climb into it anymore, but pup Spike was always there to ensure that Jamie had sweet dreams.
The four-footers diagnosis was heartbreaking. He was only given two months to live in November 2017, and the doctors told them that there was no possible cure and a surgery wasn’t a possibility either.
However, Spike was given chemo medication to help alleviate the pain and suppress the tumor. Despite the medication, Jamie and Jason knew that Spike’s time left was limited.
He was only given a number of weeks to live in November, but Spike is still alive and kicking even six months later.
The couple says that Spike held on this long so he could witness their wedding and walk Jamie to the aisle. Their pup was the most important name on the invitation list, and having Spike their for the happiest day of their lives was extremely important to them.
“I just wanted Spike to be a part of our big day,” Jamie said. “I wanted everyone to be able to see him strut his stuff outside and for him to get one final big day before what might be his last. I could not imagine Spike not being there with us that day. We would have been crushed, since he has been like our child.”
“I kept telling with my husband he was hanging on so he could walk me down the aisle. He looked so handsome in his bowtie and I’m ecstatic he was there to share our wedding day with us,” she added.
“My father-in-law is always telling us ‘You only get one great dog a lifetime,’ and he is right. Spike is my baby boy, the one who is there to greet me as soon as I get home, cuddle with me, and I always feel safe when he’s around. He is my rock.”
Spike’s medical condition these past few months has been progressing better than expected, although he’s definitely not out of the woods. Jamie and James are going to cherish every precious moment together with him and he’ll never leave their hearts.
“I can only hope the cancer stays at bay for as long as possible, although I know the day he goes I will be an absolute mess. I’m not one to show a lot of emotion but for this guy, it will be impossible to hold back. I know when his time finally comes and he is not there to meet me at the door anymore or lay by my side and comfort me, that my heart will break. He will forever have a piece of my heart. Life will never be the same without him and I will never forget all the things he and I have been through.”
“My heart is breaking just typing this. I fear that day is sooner than later, but I’m so grateful for the precious memories captured on our wedding day, and I know Spike is happy and so proud he got to join in us on our special day,” Jamie concluded.
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