When Marie found out Bocker had Lymphoma, their lives changed

what i did when i found out my dog had cancer

There’s no easy way to find out your best friend or family member is sick.

Our wonderful friend Marie (celebrity therapy dog Bocker Labradoodle’s Mom) share’s her story about how she felt and what she did when she found our Bocker had cancer in this guest post:


December 2014, I heard words that sent a shock wave through my whole being… “Bocker has Lymphoma”. I had no idea where to turn.  I had a huge advantage because of Bocker’s large worldwide social media following (Join nearly nine hundred thousand Bocker Facebook Fans HERE).  The executive director of Animal Cancer Foundation, being one of his followers, contacted me.  She gave me words of support, the name of an outstanding oncologist to speak with, and a list of non-profit organizations that might be able to help with funding. 

Bocker cancer

Find an Oncologist you trust

When you are thrown in the middle of something that you never expected, somehow you learn fast.  The first advice I now give to a person contacting me when they find out that their beloved family member has cancer is to make sure you see an oncologist you trust and who will take the time to explain ALL the options to you.  To me, Bocker’s quality of life was most important.  We consulted with Dr. Gerald Post,  at the Veterinary Cancer Center in Norwalk, CT, and I knew he was the doctor I wanted treating Bocker.  He gave us hope and in the end, after a 25-week chemo protocol and radiation, I credit Dr. Post with giving Bocker the additional years of the life he was supposed to have so he could continue to make a difference.

dr post

Roughly 6 million new cancer diagnoses are made in dogs and a similar number made in cats each year. It is estimated that 1 in 3 domestic dogs will develop cancer, which is the same incidence of cancer among men. But cancer is not a death sentence, there is hope.

For more details on lymphoma and treatment options read our post here and check out our friend Ty the Corgi’s personal journey and the excellent information on Some Pets.

Cancer is not a death sentence

Bocker let his social media friends follow along on his journey, the good days and not so good days. As he called it, his bump in the road. He always told his followers that “No One Fights Alone”. He received thousands of messages of love and support, but what was most touching and amazing to us were the all messages from people not only with ill pets, but also going through their own battles with cancer and other illness.  They constantly said that Bocker gave them strength and a will to go on.  

TH Bocker + Katlyn gifts

His bout with Lymphoma has helped me learn so much and has sparked my interest to learn more about comparative oncology and to be involved so that others don’t have to go through what we did.

Bocker Labradoodle Animal Cancer Foundation Spokesdog kicked Cancer's Butt

We have partnered with the Animal Cancer Foundation and it is our mission to increase awareness and to help find a cure.  I feel that Angel Bocker started leading me down this new path and now I have Bocker II by my side to make sure his work is done.

Join us in helping this wonderful cause! We will be donating 10c for every new Facebook Like on www.facebook.com/TalentHounds (from 38,365) and every new YouTube Subscriber www.youtube.com/TalentHounds (from 1,690) for the next 7 days from July 19th to July 26th up to $200.  We will donate 50% to and 50% to our friend Norman the Scooter Dog’s Go Fund Me as he is currently in a battle with Stage 1v Lymphoma and needs a bone marrow transplant and is doing chemo.

Join Bocker, Bocker 11 and Marie on these Platforms:
website:  www.bocker.tv
@bockerdoodle – Instagram
@bocker – Twitter
email:  bocker@bocker.tv


Animal Cancer Foundation

If you’re struggling with a sick pet it is never easy to know when to keep fighting and when to let go, Marybeth Haines has done two incredible guest posts for us. One about How to know when it’s time to say goodbye to your pet and How to deal with loss.

Thank you Marie for this post and all you do!

Let us know in the comments if you or anyone you know has been struggling.

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  • Thanks for sharing Bocker’s story! Cancer is such a terrifying word, and while I hope I never hear it again, it is good to have a place to start. Bocker lived a life filled with love and left a legacy of hope. I’m glad that Bocker II is sharing joy with so many people.

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Thanks Beth- what a lovely thoughtful comment- really appreciated. My lab Cookie had cancer but at nearly 14. I just hope you and I do not hear again, at least for many many years.

  • Thank you for sharing their story. Cancer is such a devastating word to hear. I lost 2 in 2015 to the evil C… it still hurts..

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      So sorry you had to think about the loss. I have no doubt it still hurts and sending you hugs and sympathy. Such a horrible but common evil. We wanted to share some hope and resources.

  • Thank you for sharing Bocker’s story. I remember when my previous cat was diagnosed with cancer. I made the difficult decision to give her palliative care because of her age. She died 1 month later.

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      So sorry for your loss – unbearably sad but I think it was the right decision. I made the same for Cookie my lab who was nearly 14 and Nala my cat at over 19.

  • It is encouraging to hear Booker’s story. It is so easy just to go into a tailspin of panic about cancer.

    We lost Sooty to lymphoma and Little ‘Un to bone cancer. Miss them both still.

  • Thank you for sharing Bocker’s cancer story. It’s good to hear that cancer can be overcome in pets. I generally hear the opposite. It’s wonderful that you had a supportive community to help you through the journey.

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Thanks Allison. Cancer is so scary, I was very grateful to Marie for sharing her story and to Carleen and others who have had successful outcomes. It gives hope.

  • It is so sweet to hear that Bocker’s story touched the hearts of so many, both dog and human. The C word is scary for everyone. It’s always nice to have a success story to give others hope and inspiration.



  • I’m sorry to hear about the diagnosis, it’s never fun. But, I love your positive attitude. 🙂 SO inspiring.

  • You are right, cancer is not a death sentence! We found we had to learn a lot, and just like you find a trusted oncologist. Great post and will share!

  • Thank you for sharing your story. Wow…. very powerful

  • Debora Campbell 11 months ago

    I think all of you for all you do for these pets! Furbabies are so important to our lives. I didn’t know Bocker during his time, with cancer, I wasn’t on Facebook then, butt, Once I got to seeing him and Mom, man he took my heart! I just want to say THANK YOU for all that was done for him, and, for helping MOM with everything! I pray I never have to go through this, but, if I do, I hope I’ll have somebody to help me with this, my heart just couldn’t take! But I’m sure everybody feels t the same! Thanks again for all you guys do!