Buddy Check 12: Pet impacted by owner's cancer

Buddy Check 12: Pet impacted by owner's cancer
By: Crystal Britt

JACKSON, Mo. - Valerie Winigar from Jackson was diagnosed with breast cancer two months ago.  She just underwent her second round of chemo on Wednesday.  
Valerie and her husband Gregg have two young children whose lives have been a little chaotic lately. But, it's not just the kids.
Life for the Winingar's is usually lived in the fast lane. With two young boys, and a 100 pound lab, Valerie and Gregg have their hands full.
Two months ago, their lives came to a halt.  It started with Valerie finding a lump on her breast.  Doctor's immediately did a biopsy. 
"Then we had all Memorial Day weekend to go by.  Then that Tuesday afternoon they called and confirmed it was cancer," said Valerie Winingar. 
She has a fast growing tumor which doctors are now treating with chemotherapy.
"You can sit around and cry about it, but it's not going to change anything, just make you feel yuckier," Valerie said.
She is staying positive. She said her faith keeps her strong. She reads her Bible and other devotions daily.
"I just have oodles, I don't know how many churches are out there that are praying so I know that's gotta help," said Valerie. 
"It's been a big change," said Gregg, Valerie's husband.  The Winingar's are trying to find the perfect solution for juggling work and family.  "We do our best to keep things as normal as possible, but still you have to find people for them while you're making trips," said Gregg. 
It's not just the children though, it's "Biscuit" too.  "Knowing you have a 100 pound dog who is a very excitable dog, is it fair to him to keep him couped up in the garage for two to three days?" Valerie said.
The Winingar's have a long road of treatments and doctor's appointments ahead of them, and are looking for a temporary foster home for "Biscuit".  He has lots of energy, and needs a lot of room to run.  
"The boys love him and I love him.  When everybody is gone, school's in and Gregg's back at work, it's just me and him and he's my buddy." said Valerie.
If you think you could help the Winingar's and Biscuit contact the Safe Harbor Animal Shelter in Fruitland at (573) 243-9823.