About Tillie!


How The Blog Began
January 2013:
Matilda is a very special dog who helps everyone in the neighborhood.  Her nickname is “Gandhi” and I think of her as my unicorn.  Terrified rescue dogs calm down when she touches them with her nose.  She is also a certified therapy dog and has helped many humans.  It’s possible she’s saved lives.

Matilda came to Brooklyn, and to me, at age eight, in 2008.  She had been rescued twice, once from the track, and then from a disrupted family.  Her affectionate, peaceful nature allows her to make friends wherever she goes.

Now she has fallen on hard times, health-wise.  Greyhounds have a relatively long life expectancy – many live to 15 or 16.  Last month, Matilda was diagnosed with Lymphoma.  Her Oncologist has encouraged us to proceed with chemotherapy, and told us that her prognosis — and the prognosis generally for this sort of Lymphoma — is good.  At first I thought, really?  Chemo?  Won’t that be miserable?  Chemo is so hard for humans.

But Dr. Britton explained that chemo for this cancer, and for dogs generally, is very different than it is for humans – that is, quality of life is the main goal.  I took tremendous comfort in this.

So, Matilda has begun treatment and already she is doing very well.  This beautiful being, who has helped so many people, deserves a few more chances to sniff the flowers, romp around with her sister and brother, and offer her soft snout to neighborhood kids and adults alike for petting.  Many people have  offered their cancer struggles and triumphs when they learn of Tillie’s.  Please let us hear yours, and share knowledge and support each other.  Thanks for reading.


August 28, 2013: Matilda has completed the six month protocol of chemotherapy, and is in remission from her greyhound cancer! She still needs all the good wishes and prayers, but she is well now, and she has gotten an extra eight months! Remission is not cure, so each day is special and precious. Now her blog will be a celebration of her life, and the other things that it has become–a place for rescue dogs to ask for homes, and a place for Matilda’s siblings to express their feelings about compassion and dog life in general, a place for therapy animals to be have the lime-light, and who knows what else!


October 6, 2013: Fairly quickly, Matilda contracted osteosarcoma of her humerus, and without warning, that same humerus suddenly fractured. A pathologic fracture, which is what that is called, can’t be mended. Osteosarcoma is excruciatingly painful. Luckily, we rushed her to the emergency/specialty vet hospital, and she was given pain medications fairly quickly. She suffered very little. The choices were amputation or euthanasia. We had to let this noble girl go. Yesterday, October 5, 2013, at 5pm, Matilda began her other-worldly journey. Rest in peace saintly dog.

The conversation continues. Her journey continues. We will not forget her and the beauty she stands for.



© Gill Terry Cramer, 2013
no material may be used without permission

62 thoughts on “About Tillie!

  1. houndstooth4 says:

    Our Blueberry is a cancer survivor. Two years ago she had neurofibrosarcoma, a nasty bump on her head that literally popped up overnight. It all happened so fast that we didn’t have time to think about it too much. Her surgery happened within a week of finding it, and so far there has been no recurrence. Definitely contact Dr. Cuoto at OSU if you haven’t. The services and consultation are very helpful!

    We wish Tilly the very best in her battle!

  2. cramercare says:

    Thanks so much. We have an amazing oncologist at Blue Pearl in NYC. I’m so happy that Blueberry’s cancer was caught quickly and dispatched. Did she have to have any chemo?

  3. Noelle Schneider says:

    Beautiful dog Terry! I sure hope all goes well and she recovers fast.

  4. Luellyn says:

    Over the last 20 years I have lost 2 retired rescued greyhounds to cancer. All of my greyhounds have worked as Therapy Dogs and it was such a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Losing such a dear friend of the community is so very difficult. I am so happy that Matilda is getting such great treatment! My best wishes for her recovery. The greyhound community is behind you and will do everything we can to help.
    Tail Wags and Wet Noses. Luellyn and “P.J.”

  5. Matilda, I think you are just the sweetest. Every photo of you makes me want to hug you. For that, I have nominated you for a Super Sweet Blogging Award! http://wordswithwieners.com/super-sweet-award/

  6. Matilda, I think you are just the sweetest! Every photo of you just makes me want to hug you! For that, I have nominated you for a Super Sweet Blogging Award! http://wordswithwieners.com/super-sweet-award/
    (I apologize if this shows up twice – if it does, just delete this one)

  7. FleaByte says:

    I’m so glad that Tillie has such thoughtful humans. She seems so sweet. Did I meet her at Blog Paws? I was at the chick booth.

  8. Mel says:

    Matilda is beautiful. I love Greyhounds. They are such wonderful dogs. Matilda sounds like a very special Greyhound with healing abilities. I really hope and pray the chemo helps. She’s too young to leave the world yet.

  9. Amy says:

    Our Kasey died of lymphoma at age 7. He was given 6 weeks to live upon diagnosis if no chemo. The chemotherapy extended his life another 7 months – enough for us to enjoy one more spring and summer with him. It’s true, dogs don’t suffer as people do because the chemo is less intense to preserve quality of life. I’m so sorry and wish you and Matilda all the best of luck in beating the cancer.

    • cramercare says:

      Thank you so much for the good wishes.I wonder what will happen when the chemo is done. Of course you speculate. How much time will she have? One simply cannot know. So sorry about your Kasey. But it does feel that you get them for a little extra time.

  10. Thanks for joining our Blog Hop today – how is Tillie doing? We lost our Becca to osteosarcoma just a year ago. She did have chemo, but did not respond well to it. She was 12 at the time and it was just too much for her, so we stopped it immediately. That’s not to say your experience won’t be different than ours – I hope it is (or maybe was).

    • cramercare says:

      Thanks for asking about Tillie. I’m so sorry about your pup. Actually osteo is a much more virulent form of cancer I’ve been told. Matilda has only one more chemo treatment, next Wednesday, and then the six month protocol is completed. (She is already in remission). She has done pretty well with the chemo, but again, it is not as severe as the osteo chemo drugs. So, we will see how she does after the chemo. She might have a few months, or maybe longer. At least we got to have her around for this six month period, and maybe a little longer. She is 13.

  11. Emmadog says:

    Mom met you at Blogpaws! We are both so sorry for Matilda’s cancer but there is some hope and treatment. Mom’s first dog had pancreatic cancer and there was nothing that could be done, she still cries over it sometimes almost 10 yrs later. Matilda is a beautiful girl and deserves as much time as she can get. Paw hugs from to you and her, Emma

    • cramercare says:

      Hi Emma,

      Yes, I did meet your mom at BlogPaws. Matilda and her brother and sister were also upset that they didn’t get to come along. Thanks for your good wishes. Fortunately Lymphoma has a pretty good remission rate. Matilda is in remission, so she still has some time left with us. I’m so sorry your mom’s first pup died from pancreatic cancer. So sad. I’m glad you and your sister are there with your mom now and staying so fit. I enjoy your adventures a lot. Your running outfit is especially becoming.

  12. Nice to meet you. Tillie sounds like a very special dog and we send our love and best wishes for her senior years to be happy and full.
    Wyatt and Stanzie.

    • cramercare says:

      Thank you Wyatt and Stanzie. I have a pretty good time in life. I haven’t been doing my Therapy Dog work since I got sick, but I learned a new trick. I could teach it to you, but don’t let your parents know it was me. Ok, what you do is, when you want an extra treat at night, you bark this high pitched bark that your parents haven’t heard before because you used to be really quiet. You keep it up until your parents cannot stand it, and they give in and give you a treat! My mom also doesn’t want me to lose weight because I go visit these nice people once a week who make me take terrible medicine, but then let me sleep on a nice bed and pet me and kiss me most of the day. Keep me posted on how the trick works for you.

      Barks and greyhound leans,


  13. Speakdoggie says:

    Tillie is now included in our daily people and puppy prayers

  14. Mel says:

    I hope Tillie is doing well with chemo.

  15. Rada Nalon says:

    What kind of chemo is she getting? My heart and soul – Angel – also has cancer – lymphoma, and she is getting UW – MADISON CHOP. She’s only had 5 treatments; she has reacted badly to Cytoxan and they won’t administer chemo under those circumstances, but already they say she’s in a very, very strong partial remission, or possibly a complete remission. I know I’m just buying her time, but it’s worth it to me. Hope Matilda does well also. Will be looking anxiously every day for reports.

    • cramercare says:

      Hi Rada. Actually, Matilda just had her last chemo today. We just got home a little while ago. She has been getting L-CHOP (in NYC at a place called Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners), which is probably similar to what Angel is getting. Her first chemo treatment was December 13th, so it has been about six months. She had an infected cut on her paw last week, and was unable to get her last treatmentuntil today. I am still so exhausted from caring for her during the time of the infection, that I am just sighing slightly in relief now. Also, I know that she probably won’t feel all that well for a few days, because she got adriamiacin (sp?), which is the strongest it seems. My heart goes out to you. I’m so glad that Angel is in remission. Will they try the chemo again? I will e-mail you. We can be support for each other.

  16. Sending lots of happy thoughts and waggy tails your way, wishing Tilly a speedy recovery!

  17. tilda2 says:

    We hope and pray that Tillie has a lot more time to be with you and your family!

  18. Matilda sounds very special indeed! Blessing to the rest of ehr life with you…

  19. Rada Nalon says:

    Hope Tillie is doing o.k. Yes. Adriamycin is the most powerful. Angel had that on Monday (the 24th). Now we don’t go back for 2 weeks.

    Had hoped to hear from you. Please reply to radapaul@gmail.com. Thanks.

  20. Hi there

    I am sorry to hear about Matilda’s cancer ordeal. I am a WordPress Blogger / small-time artist who draws for folks (animals included!) with illness, with a view of cheering them. That’s my post — http://niranjanshukla.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/art-call-for-topics-for-a-cause/

    I would like to draw something for your pet and shall do it sometime this week :)

    Kind regards,

  21. Hi again,

    So here goes my piece of Art for Matilda and you :)http://niranjanshukla.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/art-for-a-cause-this-one-is-for-a-pet-a-sketch/

    Here’s wishing that there are also good times in store.

  22. Dusty says:

    My prayers with Tillie, hope she is well and back to normal and waiting to here from her. Glad to know the updates

  23. Lee says:

    Hellooooo Tillie ~ Glad you dropped by blog. My human Lee see an oncologist, sometimes those treatments are not nice. I am glad it is better for you Tillie and I hope your remissions last forever. You are beautiful. I am a reader dog, but Lee did not enroll me this year because I had a stress fracture in my deformed leg, I am better now also. We dogs do so much for humans. Take Care
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

  24. Terry Cramer says:

    Hi Sweet William– Thanks for answering! I have empathy for your human, since I also went through those treatments. I hope your human gets completely well as soon as possible. You poor little guy! A stress fracture to your little leg?! I’m glad you are better. I haven’t gone to the office with my mom for a while. We certainly do a lot for the humans, but don’t you just adore them. They’re so cuddly and give so many treats. Thanks for being my new friend, and be well,
    Matilda the greyhound
    ps : if you want to see a picture of my boyfriend, Coby, he is in a post in July, I think

  25. Good morning, pretty Matilda. I have nominated you for the Explorer Dog Award. You can read all about it here: http://thek9harperlee.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/exploring-the-possibilities/. Congratulations!

  26. Donna says:

    Loved reading about Matilda and how she touches so many lives. So glad she is in remission and I hope you have many more years with your sweet girl.

  27. Hi there, We read about Matilda over Jan’s Funny Farm and thought we would come and say hello! It is heartwarming that she has come through to remission with lymphoma. She is such a sweet girl too! Austin and Caro (the human)!

  28. Hi there !
    Found my way to you from Meet and Greet over at Jan´s Funny Farm.
    Glad to hear that well after the chemo :)

  29. […] a very special, very gentle way about her, an “affectionate, peaceful nature” as her About page describes it, Matilda was perfectly suited for her role as a certified therapy dog and touched […]

  30. Harry Giarratana says:

    So very sorry for your loss. My sweet Buster went to Heaven on his birthday in May. Take care.

  31. This was very touching. I am ever so sorry. You made the right decision and she will live on in your hearts.

  32. Joy says:

    My Golden Retriever, Chloe, took ill shortly after her 10th birthday. Many tests later, she had her spleen removed. The vet found 2 malignant lymphomas on her spleen. He was fairly certain he got all the cancer but to be sure, he recommended 6 low intensity chemo sessions with Doxyrubicin. After her last session, she took ill again with glomerular nephritis. Her kidneys were in failure. She was on a drip for 20 days to flush her kidneys. Came home very frail and not eating very well. I was beside myself. She’s my angel. Then…. my prayers were answered. G-d was kind to us… she slowly got better. We will be celebrating her 11th birthday next week. She’s happy, eating well and full of beans. I treasure every precious moment I have with her.
    Im so very sorry that u lost Mathilda. She will be waiting at the RB for u. She is one of G-d’s special angels now.

    Luv Joy xxx

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