My Arusha...and my Liza

by Valeria Betenshteyn
(Richmond, VA USA)

I came to this country as an exchange student. I never intended to stay.

It made it even stranger when this Black Lab pup came into my life.

She belonged to another student, but he had to leave her behind, so that is how I became her ' mommy '.

She was naturally a very smart dog. I never took her to ' school ', but she knew all the terms since a very young age.

I never had to take her on a lead. She would just stay by my side.

I was a runner, so she ran with me everyday 3-7 miles, depending on the day.

She was my constant companion. We went everywhere together. She enriched my life.

Then she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. They said she had 3 months to live!

I put her on a home made diet! Guess what, God gave us 2 more good years together. When she went to heaven, I thought that I would never stop crying, but we adopted a 3 month old, exactly the same type of dog.

She reminded us of our beloved Arusha.

It was the best decision we have ever made. Instead of dwelling on the last painful days of our dog's life, we remembered all the funny things she used to do, just by looking at this new pup.

We named the new pup Liza...but we were shocked... Liza was nothing like our first dog!

She failed every school we have ever tried to attend. We could never take her of the leash. She would just take off.

But Liza has so much life in her, so much loyalty! She is 9 now, and underwent front leg amputation, secondary to Osteosarcoma.

She is on Chemo now, and we hope God will give us more time with our girl.

I am desperate, my emotions swing like a grandfather's one day several times to hope...then, no hope!

I do not know how to prepare myself.

We know she is getting sicker. I read everybody's story of ' dealing with grief '...but I understand we can never prepare ourselves for such a big loss!

I pray in the name of all dog's and cats, who fight for their lives to be with us, to give us that special love that all humanity has not mastered well yet, as our pets have done.

I pray, that none of us ever hear animals in pain, and that we do right by them when they are healthy, and make the best choices for them when they are sick.

Thank you, I will always cherish my girl, and fight as hard as I can for my Liza.

Thank you. With love and warm wishes to all of you, who are fighting now through pain.

I always remember...

All dog's go to Heaven!

Please forgive me for misspelled words.



Hello Valeria,

Thank you so much for telling us this wonderful story that is pulling on my heartstrings in a very big way right now.

You have had the love of two wonderful dogs. How fortunate you are!

I have changed the title of this submission to include the names of both dogs, because it is a double dog story...two beautiful girls!

After the difficult loss of your Arusha, Liza came along to keep you company and fill your life with love, in the way that only a dog can.

It's so funny, that the two dogs were so different...but that's the way dogs are, and people too. Each dog and person is an individual. Each with their own personality and loving ways.

They make us laugh, and they make us cry...and everything in between. What would we do without them?

Thank you Valeria, for sharing your feelings in such a heart felt way.

I wish I could just reach through the internet and give you the biggest hug ever, in hopes that it might make you feel a little bit better.

I wish you all the love in the and your lovely Liza. Bless her lovely, sweet and loyal heart!

When it comes time for Liza to cross over the Rainbow Bridge, please write again, and share Liza's story.

What a lovely kind hearted woman you are.

Mispelled words simply don't matter. I have corrected some and left a few. They only added beauty to your very personal story.

Much love for you Valeria.

Wishing you strength and happiness,


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Oct 27, 2012
Mi Liza is Dying.
by: Anonymous

My dog Liza, that I mentioned in my article, went through leg amputation and chemotherapy, but this week we got the verdict, that her cancer won, and she has at most 3 months to live.

I am heartbroken, but try to stay strong for her, and do things she still enjoys doing.

If anybody has any suggestions, how to get through this hard time please write in comments. Sincerely,

Valeria Berenshteyn


Spend the last minutes you have with Liza, doing what she loves to do. Give her special food, and all the love you have.

She will continue to give you 100% of herself, no matter how she feels. Dogs always do.

She no doubt knows her time has come and she will want to spend it with you. Liza's spirit will still live in your heart. A place where she has no pain and life is full of good health.

She has been a blessing to you and your family, as you have been to her.


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