Dogs

Woman can’t bear to leave her dog during chemotherapy – finds special suit just for him

August 7th, 2020

Sydnee Geril has a special bond with her service dog, Tulsa.

They’re the best of friends and Sydnee relies on her loyal pup for medical assistance. In 2017, when Sydnee was just a young woman in her early twenties, she was diagnosed with Ewing saracoma – a rare form of bone cancer which requires chemo therapy. Tulsa is always at her momma’s side for those chemo sessions, too.

Sydnee always loved visiting the therapy dogs at the hospital, and eventually decided to adopt one of her own.

The German Shepherd has been consistently supportive through Sydnee’s treatments. Tulsa helps her stay calm when doctors have to use needles, detect and warn her 10-30 minutes before she’s about to have an episode, and to generally keep her happy in tough times!

They’ve been close from the day they met, when Tulsa was still just a wee puppy.

But since the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have become increasingly dangerous places, especially for those with compromised immune systems. So extra precautions have to be taken to make sure she doesn’t get sick.

It’s unlikely, yet still entirely possible for dogs to spread the virus through their fur. So Sydnee had to make the tough decision to stop bringing her animal companion along with her to chemo appointments at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.

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Momma and I have been working on slowly desensitizing me to my new mini educator, and had our first real training session where things started to click the other day. Momma has had me wear it to work the past few days with it off just to get used to it being on while working in public. Welllll, she accidentally forgot my prong at home today so we decided let’s go for it and see how it works! And Momma said I did great! 🥰 We obviously have things to work on. But we were both proud of how well I was able to adapt today! 😊🙌🏼 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #servicedogtulsa #servicedog #servicedogtraining #medicalalertdog #tulsa #workingdog #serviceanimal #workingdogsofig #germanshepherd #gsd #gsdofinstagram #dog #puppy #dogsofig #sablegermanshepherd #sablegsd #dogmodel #puppymodel #doginfluencer #dogsofinstagram #dogblog #personalblog #louisianaservicedog #floridaservicedog @sdit.sam #minieducator @educatorcollars #pawsgotyour6

A post shared by 🐾Tulsa🐾 (@servicedogtulsa) on

But even though that time apart was preventing Sydney from catching the virus, it was also taking a toll on her mental and physical health. She no longer had a way to get the crucial 10-30 minute warning before fainting, and missed having a loyal companion by her side.

She even started using a wheelchair for mobility because she worried about passing out without warning and injuring herself.

Hospitals have had to tightened their security and are not allowing visitors during the pandemic. So even walking around the hospital grounds alone, Sydnee worried about fainting without anyone around to help her.

But then everything changed. She found a dog-sized onesie that would change her life. She calls it “the super suit”.

It’s called the Shed Defender, and just as the name suggests… it’s designed to control shedding.

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I know a lot of you must be stuck inside with your humans amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Being isolated can be hard for us puppers and our humans. My Mom and I stay in frequently while she recovers from chemo so here are some helpful tips to make being stuck at home a little better: – Sit outside. That’s right, just sit in the grass, maybe convince your human to play fetch, but soak in that sun! – Make sure your human is eating and drinking enough and taking their meds! It’s easy to forget when your routine is interrupted. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ – Mental stimulation. Ask your human to take breaks (limit screen time) to focus on you, or to do a fun craft! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ – Make time for self care for you and your human! A nice bath, snuggling up for a movie, a good brush, or even some exercise! Stay healthy human friends! The world will be back to normal soon enough. 😊 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #servicedogtulsa #servicedog #servicedogtraining #medicalalertdog #tulsa #workingdog #serviceanimal #workingdogsofig #germanshepherd #gsd #gsdofinstagram #dog #puppy #dogsofig #sablegermanshepherd #sablegsd #dogmodel #puppymodel #doginfluencer #dogsofinstagram #dogblog #personalblog #louisianaservicedog #floridaservicedog @sdit.sam #coronavirus #covid19

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German Shepherds tend to shed quite a bit, but this coat allows Tulsa to visit the hospital with Sydnee and keep her fur clean at the same time.

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Tulsa’s Momma here: I did not realize how much I need Tulsa until I had to pull her from service work. For those of you who don’t know, she was pulled for about two months due to not being able to safely and constantly clean her after our hospital visits. And between my immune system being severely compromised due to chemo, and COVID-19 everywhere we were at a loss. Thankfully we have come up with her little “super suit” (thanks @sheddefender ) as well as utilizing her booties she is staying as covered and clean as possible. She has absolutely blown me away at how quickly she picked everything right back up. It’s like she never missed a beat. (Even with the annoying suit on lol). I went from using a wheelchair full time again, bc of not having Tulsa to alert to episodes, to now walking again with her much more. I can already see my quality of life improving. I’m so blessed and thankful to have my girl by my side again. 🤍🐾 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #servicedogtulsa #servicedog #servicedogtraining #medicalalertdog #tulsa #workingdog #serviceanimal #workingdogsofig #germanshepherd #gsd #gsdofinstagram #dog #puppy #dogsofig #sablegermanshepherd #sablegsd #dogmodel #puppymodel #doginfluencer #dogsofinstagram #dogblog #personalblog #louisianaservicedog #floridaservicedog @sdit.sam #sheddefender #mybusydog

A post shared by 🐾Tulsa🐾 (@servicedogtulsa) on

Instead of needing to give Tulsa a bath after every time they visit the hospital, Sydnee can now just wash the suit and quickly wipe down her pup’s face and tail. The CDC has recommended washing clothing in the warmest laundry water, and that goes for dog clothes too!

Having Tulsa with her also gives her back a lot of her freedom. She’s no longer confined to a wheelchair.

She can go out by herself again, feeling confident that her pup will give her enough warning time to get to safety before fainting.

And Tulsa is so well behaved, she never complains about her tight-fitting onesie and little booties.

She’s just happy to be back at the hospital, supporting her best friend.

Sydnee knew she missed her support dog during those months, but didn’t realize how much she relied on her furry friend until she got her back.

Sydnee doesn’t let her cancer define her, or hold her back. And she has some very wise words for anyone who suffers from any illness:

“I am not defined by my diagnosis. I don’t look up the statistics, because I am not a number. I am me, and I know I will survive this! Remember, your illness doesn’t have to define you completely. You are who you chose to be. ” – Sydnee Geril

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#WorldCancerDay 🌎🎗 Tulsa’s Momma here, to talk to you about the uncomfortable topic of cancer.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Cancer sucks, but living with it doesn’t have to. I don’t share much about my diagnosis, because it does not define me. I have a rare form of bone cancer and have been battling it for the past few years. It has taken so many things away from me, but I like to focus on what it’s given me. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Cancer has given me a completely different outlook on my life, and myself. It has taught me how to advocate for myself, and stand up for what is best for me. It has also given me a closer connection to God, and my loved ones. And of course, it has given my my sweet girl, Tulsa. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Does it suck? Of course. Do I wish I didn’t have it anymore? So so much. But I trust whole heartedly in God’s plan. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I am not defined by my diagnosis. I don’t look up the statistics, because I am not a number. I am me, and I know I will survive this! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Remember, your illness doesn’t have to define you completely. You are who you chose to be. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #servicedogtulsa #servicedog #servicedogtraining #medicalalertdog #tulsa #workingdog #serviceanimal #workingdogsofig #germanshepherd #gsd #gsdofinstagram #dog #puppy #dogsofig #sablegermanshepherd #sablegsd #dogmodel #puppymodel #doginfluencer #dogsofinstagram #dogblog #personalblog #louisianaservicedog #floridaservicedog @sdit.sam #chronicillness #cancer #bonecancer

A post shared by 🐾Tulsa🐾 (@servicedogtulsa) on

We’re so happy she and Tulsa have been reunited! Their story is inspirational – you can always find a way.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Sources: Inspire More, CDC, Instagram/servicedogtulsa

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