Beth Anne had a growth so large it nearly touched the ground. The 10-year-old black cocker spaniel was deaf, disabled, hairless and covered in fleas. She looked like a sick elephant. So Estelle Cappony-Stroud decided to leave her at the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter. "I’d never done that before,” she said. "I’d never walked away like that. They took her away and I went into the bathroom and threw up, I was so upset.” Then she got another phone call from the animal shelter, asking her to take a second look at the stray dog. Estelle said she couldn’t. Her rescue organization, Okie Dokie Cocker Spaniel Rescue, didn’t have enough money to treat the dog’s giant cancerous growth and her other medical problems. And besides, nobody would probably ever adopt her. Estelle cried and couldn’t sleep. But a mix-up at the shelter gave Beth Anne a second chance. She wasn’t euthanized, and a shelter worker again called Estelle, asking her to look at the cocker spaniel. She knew this was a sign. "I grabbed her up and put her in the car and took her straight to Dr. (Tina) Neel,” she said. Neel evaluated the mass and delivered good news to Estelle: the 2-pound growth was benign, not cancerous. Neel removed the mass and nursed Beth Anne back to health.
Fourth anniversaryOn Friday, Estelle marked the fourth anniversary of Neel’s successful surgery by visiting the Oklahoma City veterinarian with Beth Anne. They celebrated this year with gifts, like they always do. The celebration is also a reminder that the old, sick dog was worth a second look. "Beth Anne is the light of my life,” she said. "I’m just so happy that I made the decision to go back.”