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    Iris Lily Pinecone

    NOTE: Iris passed away on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2006. Read more.

    I was born in Flagstaff, Arizona, on December 16, 1989. So I guess you could say I was a Christmas puppy. My mama, Ginger, was a Golden Retriever. My papa was the dog next door. All my siblings had black fur, except for me. I'm golden, like Ginger.

    When I was six weeks old, I went to live with my human mama, Stephanie. I missed Ginger sometimes, so we would go visit. But soon we left Flagstaff, the mountains, and the snow. We lived in Santa Cruz, California, most of my life. But then Ted decided to go to graduate school at the U of Washington, starting in September 2002, so now I live with him in Seattle. Stephanie teaches online, so she's here a lot, like this summer (fall, too, because she's on sabbatical).

    photo of iris In April 2004 I was diagnosed with lymphoma. So far the medication has kept that cancer in remission. On Valentine's Day this year, Dr. Mayo at the Alderwood Veterinary Clinic did the surgery to remove a fist-sized nerve sheath tumor on my left hip. That type of tumor can recur, but seldom spreads to other parts of the body. Then a few months later, I developed another big lump, this time on my right shoulder. Dr. Mayo removed that one too. But unlike the first tumor, the second one is osteosarcoma, or bone cancer. Not good news as it's an aggressive cancer that quickly spreads, usually to the lungs. Along with my regular cancer medication, I'm taking Chinese herbs to help boost my immune system and manage the tumors. And I'm still going for walks and helping out with yardwork (mostly supervising). Not bad for a 15.5 year old dog with three kinds of cancer.

    I'll admit I'm getting up there in physical years, but I'm a puppy at heart. I like kicking back outside, whether at the park or in our yard. We go out for 1-1.5 hour walks everyday rain or shine. When I'm in Santa Cruz, I go to the beach a lot. I like to go swimming, which means I wade out to the surf and lie down. In Seattle, I swim in Lake Washington, Boeing Creek, Denny Creek, and Puget Sound. (That's a photo of me in Lake Washington New Year's Day 2005.) My favorite new place to go for a walk is Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline. It's dog friendly and I can cool off my paws whenever I want.

    I'm a traveling pup. I've been from coast-to-coast, Massachusetts to Oregon, and lands in-between, like Kentucky and Michigan. I've hiked in Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, the redrock in Sedona, the Appalachians, the Green Mountains, Lake Tahoe, Mackinac Island, Mt. Shasta, and Mt. Hood. I've been in a plane, boat, bus, train, and of course, a car.

    My major contribution to the Rogue Communication website is on the play side. My people work too much; I try to get them to play as much as I can.

    Last updated - Friday, February 16, 2007