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Dexter Ward – Lab Extraordinaire

Remy Bibaud | 30 March, 2021

            Dexter Ward Doing His Most Favorite Thing - Swimming

Lovingly Shared with Permission of Joe Ward (Dexter’s Dad)

As many of us do, I have joined a lot of chat groups on Facebook. One in particular that I enjoy is a group of dog (and cat) parents, mostly (but not all) living in a beautiful area outside of NYC. The group shares are uplifting and full of life. There are also the occasional shares that tug at your heart. A dog full of life facing a terminal illness. Pet parents hoping for the best, while wanting to make the most of their time left. Following is a bit of a recap of just such a family…. Just such a dog… shared by Dexter’s dad, Joe.

Dexter is an 8 ½ year old, 90 lb., Labrador Retriever that is a loving, sweet, gentle giant. He is one of our 2 labs.  He is our light, our love, and our annoyance. LOL  

Dexter Ward Close Up - Loved Lab of Joe Ward & Partner

He had an emergency splenectomy due to internal bleeding. Thankfully, pet insurance covered $8500/10k!  Love pet insurance! Biopsy positive for that rare deadly cancer Hemoangiosarcoma.  We see oncologist tomorrow to determine if he is a candidate (and it would be worthy of him) to do chemo.  It has metastasized however, so we'll see.  They typical give weeks to a couple of short months at best without chemo and with maybe a few more months… but in his case longevity is doubtful.


Dexter Ward with cone after spleenectomy

Dexter is full of energy (don't let the cone fool you). Once he is cleared by the surgeon hopefully in a week or so we would like to get him into a heated pool to swim, Dexter’s favorite thing. I will pay if necessary, I don't care.  We love him so much (as well as our black lab). They are our kids.  


Dexter Ward and his sibling

For all of us that become frustrated with the negativity on Facebook, know there are more beautiful and generous souls among us than not. A couple weeks passed after I first reached out to Joe and I saw this on the group thread. (Names of the folks that offered their pool to Dexter & family is left out, as we did not contact them to get their consent to mention them by name. I actually love just knowing that there are more caring hearts out there than this lovely couple, who willingly opened their home to honor the love of a pet by someone they didn’t know personally. Pets are family. Pet lovers are the best.) 


Update 1:

Someone has very generously opened-up their heated indoor pool for our pup. So, a week from Sunday after incision is completely healed, he is cleared to swim. 

Thank you again everyone for all your comments, tips, help, care, concern and love for strangers.


Update 2: March

For those that remember my prior post from about 2 weeks ago of getting Dexter into a heated pool with the time he has left...I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. M (pool owners).

There aren't enough ways to say thank you or to cover this moment of Dexter swimming, so I made a video to show you how much it meant to George and me for giving Dexter a 'perfect day"… of going for a ride, swimming, new dog toys and treats, not to mention the personalized frame. Many thanks to Robin for connecting us, Erin for the gifts and Claudia. Celina please be sure to tag them in this. All of you are amazing people. Thank you for being so incredible to complete strangers with no connections. I hope we can give the same back to someone.

This day will be the one we will remember most! Thank this group as well because without it this would never have happened!

Dexter Ward Leaping into Paradise for a Swim

Dexter's Pool Day


Update March 29th:

He has been doing very well with the Chemo. 2 visits down 3 to go. We just see every single day as a gift but always wait for the other shoe to drop.  We had a photographer here Saturday.  Just to show you how he is doing we will include a couple of the photos.

Dexter Ward and His Family

We’ve been there. We understand. Our hearts go out to Dexter’s family as they continue to love him through his final journey. We’ll hope to update you on Dexter as the month(s) pass. If you’re of faith, say a prayer. Community is so important.

Thanks, Joe for allowing us to share Dexter’s story. We’re rooting for Dexter!

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