Taijah the "Pit Bull". In Loving Memory 11/21/1997 - 12/15/2012

It is with great sadness in our hearts that today we mourn the loss of a wonderful dog name Taijah -  Our hearts go out to her Momma Darcy during this extremely difficult time.  The entire Casa Del Toro team sends our deepest sympathy to Darcy.

Darcy & T gave each other 15 wonderful years together- they truly defined what an amazing bond can be formed between a Human & Canine. We will miss Taijah but her spirit will remain with us forever. Theirs was a true love story- one that will go on forever in all of our hearts.

You are in our hearts Darcy.

Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day.
Unseen, unheard, but always near; still loved, still missed and very dear.
- Anonymous

You can leave a condolence message for Darcy & her family below- Darcy will be able to see them when she logs on & would appreciate the support & caring words.

All our love to you Darcy.

Casa Del Toro



Taijahs 15th Birthday wish.

We recently got a very special and touching request- We were so honored when Taijahs mom Darcy Moreno emailed us and told us that for Taijahs 15th Birthday that was coming up on Thanksgiving she wanted to celebrate her life by having an "online birthday party" the presents...donations to a Pit Bull Rescue , to us! We were beyond touched when we heard that.

Taijah and Darcy have a very special story, one that touched our hearts more than once, recently Darcy told her story to Stubbydog.org

We are reminded everyday that we have with Taijah in our lives as a doggy friend, just how special and precious life is, we have so much to be thankful in having friends like Taijah & her momma Darcy-

If you would like to leave a Birthday gift for Taijah click here:  " Taijah Birthday Donaton"

Thank you Taijah & Darcy for sharing such a very special moment and thinking us us for your 15th Birthday- What an touching honor. <3

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
― Sophia Loren

Yep- We think she has defeated age!


Stubbydog Interview -August 2,2012

Every Day is a Gift

A pit bull’s battle with cancer reminds us to cherish every moment

By Darcy Moreno

In March of 2010, we went in for her routine checkup and to have blood work completed. She had no issues that I was concerned with and seemed perfectly happy and healthy. But a few days later we received the call that changed both of our lives.

The pathologists reviewed her blood work, forwarded it on for a second review and found out that my beloved Taijah had leukemia.

The news devastated me. After the initial shock wore off I could do nothing except cry.

Why her? I wondered. Maybe this is my fault.

My thoughts raced to: I can’t believe I’m going to lose my best friend. I’m not ready!

The Battle

We were referred to a veterinary specialty center to meet with an oncologist named Dr. Lucroy.

He reminded me that leukemia isn’t always a death sentence. He reminded me I couldn’t control it and that it wasn’t my fault.

Dr. Lucroy recommended a blood-drawn test in lieu of an invasive bone marrow test to verify her diagnosis. He sent it off to Ohio State University.

The test results came back a week later. It was conclusive. Taijah had Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.

Dr. Lucroy recommended that we come back monthly to see if her lymphocytes would increase. If so, she’d need chemo.

I was hopeful that holistic medicines would work. I took her to NVet in Sheridan, Ind. There she received acupuncture, Chinese herb therapy and more. Taijah loved acupuncture and was so relaxed and happy for a few days after, but unfortunately that didn’t stop her cancer’s progression.

During the next few months, her lymphocytes rose, so she started chemotherapy in August as well as prednisone and Chlorambucil.

The first few days Taijah was lethargic with glazed eyes, and runny diarrhea. I gave her the pills in the evening and she was a sweetheart and didn’t fight it one bit even though I was wearing rubber gloves to dose her, which I’m sure didn’t taste very good. It was as if she understood this was going to help her.

Even though those first few days were rough on Taijah, she still tried to go fetch a toy and to greet the neighbors and dogs with the same enthusiasm as she always did. After she got used to the drugs she was back to her old self, but her lymph nodes increased.

During one of her follow up treatments, the vet told me not to be too concerned. He said we could keep an eye on it.

A few weeks later Taijah swelled around her neck, groin, armpits and hind legs. Although she was still happy, playful and eating well, I decided to take her to the vet again just to be on the safe side.

The vet took a biopsy of one of her lymph nodes. I feel like the staff knew ahead of time what the results were going to be, but they remained optimistic as they sent the biopsy in for lab work.

The results were a crushing blow for me. Taijah was diagnosed with lymphoma.

She stopped taking Chlorambucil and started the WI Madison Protocol, a series of weekly then bi-weekly chemo injections in cycles, in October.

The WI Madison Protocol was a series of four drugs administered at one-week doses. I would take her in and she would have blood work each time to see how the cancer was reacting to the chemo injection from the week prior before she would get another injection.

Then the treatment would start all over again at the end of the cycle.

She remained a happy dog except for one bout of doxorubicin. After the injection she became extremely ill and could not stop vomiting. I rushed her to the ER where she stayed for a day to get her fluids back to normal.

Every Day is a Gift

Now, people may think I was crazy to put her through all of this because of her age, but she’s an active and alert just like a younger dog, and I loved her so much that I wanted to do everything in my power to help her heal.

The vet’s office loved her and the team was happy because she was slowly improving. One vet even commented that Taijah was the quietest dog and that she must have been born with the sense that she didn’t need to bark and whine to get attention.
Throughout this process she has opened so many eyes and hearts to bully breeds and cancer in dogs. She completed her chemo treatments in March 2011 and her one-month follow-up visit showed that she is currently in clinical remission.

I know that her remission is temporary and no one knows when the cancer will return, but I feel so blessed to have my best friend around another year and also feel so lucky to have learned so much from her.

I have always learned lessons on how to live life from my dog, but this last year has truly shown me how precious each life is – be it man or animal.

Taijah showed me how to face uncertainty with positive attitude and that being sick doesn’t mean you need to give up or give in to your illness. She taught me to enjoy life, laugh and act silly whenever I possibly can. She taught me that nothing lasts forever, so each day I’m with her I treat as a special gift. I also learned that when people stereotype her it just gives me an opportunity for us to educate them on the wonders of bully breeds.

We will continue to overcome this disease and stereotypes, and I know in my heart that we will have much more valued time together!

Any well wishes, prayers, words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.