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Raven's Journey

Our walk through osteosarcoma

Raven's Journey

About Raven

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Raven was born on April 14, 2005.  The day we got her we were driving through Austin, Texas on the way home from a competition.  We needed to stop at PetSmart to buy some supplies for our 1 year old Boston Terrier at the time, Onyx.  So we stopped at the PetSmart in Round Rock, just north of Austin.  We planned to run in, get the needed supplies, and get back on the road home quickly.  Well, little did we know that our world was about to get turned upside down in all the best ways!  Humane Society of Austin was doing a dog adoption event on the day we entered that PetSmart.  Immediately, I was drawn to a handsome little boy puppy who was estimated to be about 6-8 weeks old.  Him & his littermates were so cute and I told my husband that I just wanted to hold one for just a sec.  Well 45 minutes later, Hugo became a Saenz.  I knew the second I held him that I would never be able to let him go.  So we walked out of PetSmart with a 6 week old puppy as proud parents.

When we got in the car, I looked at Daniel and said I have always wanted a black Labrador Retriever.  I think we should see if we can get one so that Hugo can grow up with a pal.  Daniel, my husband, looked at me like I had 3 heads, but knew that I had already made up my mind.  So we scoured the newspaper & our phones until we saw a breeder that was located close by.  We called and scheduled an appointment to see his puppies in a few hours.  When we arrived at the breeder’s house, it was a large estate with miles of rolling hills in Northeast Austin.  It was one of the most gorgeous properties I had ever seen.  The owners of the property (and of the dogs) came out to the car to greet us.  They took us to a side yard where there were beautiful indoor/outdoor kennels with several gorgeous adult Labs.  I knew at that moment that we had hit the jackpot.  Without knowing, we had stumbled upon one of the best breeders in Austin, Texas.  The man brought out 4 puppies.  3 black, one white.  The white one grabbed my attention first.  She was beautiful.  White as snow & the calmest, sweetest temperament.  I held her for a bit while my husband played with the other pups & we talked to the breeder about their personalities, the parents of the pups, & a variety of standard Q&A’s when visiting a breeder.  Daniel and I had already decided that we were looking for a female to be Hugo’s companion.  So that narrowed the litter down to 2.  A black one & the white one I was currently holding in my arms. I thought I had already decided on her, when I looked down and saw the softest, kindest eyes peering into my soul from the little black lab sitting at my feet.  I immediately put down the white one & picked up the black one.  The breeder told us that she was the shy one of the litter, very calm in nature, & never really got too excited.  He was a little worried that she would be the last pick because she doesn’t “have a lot of energy” around people.  “She normally sits back & lets her brothers & sisters get all the attention”.  I asked if there were any health problems that were causing that kind of behavior and he said absolutely not.  I just think she’s a very chill dog.  That was it.  She was mine.  I loved her with my entire heart the moment she peered up at me with those beautiful eyes.  So for the second time that day, a puppy became a Saenz and her name would be Raven.

Sweet, gentle, kind, & calm are all words that would describe Raven.  Most days, even when she was a young puppy, you will find Raven on her favorite pillow sprawled out in the middle of the living room.  She is a constant shadow to the people she loves.  If you move to a different room, you can bet Raven will move with you.  She loves her people deeply & nothing makes her more happy then to just be in their presence.  The things she does get excited about:  FOOD, playing fetch anywhere, walks, swimming, & her people.  She loves going to grandma & grandpas house (her second most favorite people) and our family lake house.  She has been accused of being a dumpster diver, a counter surfer, & a comedian (all of which are very much true).  She has finished off our human dinner sometimes before we even have a chance to cook it.  One 4th of July, she finished off all the ribs that were on the counter while everyone was outside.  We ended up having leftovers out of the fridge.  She has been a constant companion & faithful friend during some of the toughest days of my life.  She has seen us through many major life changes & been a shoulder to cry on when things got too tough.  Her sweet nature is calming after a rough day & her wiggle butt is one of the things I look forward to the most when coming home.

On December 26, 2017 our lives were halted when we received news that our sweet, precious Raven girl had osteosarcoma.  Our hearts were shattered.  We were beyond devastated.  We were at the lake house with my mom, dad, my aunt, & my uncle.  Everyone had to say goodbye to her because we did not know if she would ever be back to one of her favorite places.  We spent the rest of the holiday loving on our sweet girl & making decisions that are practically impossible to make.  This blog is to chronicle our journey as we walk through osteosarcoma with our wonderful Raven girl.

Some of her puppy pictures:

Checking out her new pond at her new house. August 2006

Sticks have always had a certain allure to them.

Lots more space at our new digs then our college condo. August 2006.

Meeting grandma, grandpa, & even great grandma! May 2005

Please mom, you are embarrassing me…….

Puppy side profile pic

1st flight. May 2005

Meeting people is exhausting

Instant LOVE.

Grandma’s arms is one of my favorite places to be.

1st time I met my grandma. Love at first sight.

Learning to retrieve

I’m a flying pro in grandpa’s airplane. I love it!

Baby Raven. Loves the water!


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