Mandy Marquis was told her foster dog had terminal cancer on her birthday last year.

But she wasn’t ready to give up hope for Cayenne, a playful pit bull terrier.

“That night when I went home after I found out she was terminal, I looked at her and I said, ‘You’re not done, and I’m gonna help you,’” Marquis said. “… I knew by looking at her she was not ready to give up.”

Marquis, of Jerseyville, is an urgent care foster with Partners For Pets, a Troy-based animal shelter. She takes critically hurt stray animals and nurses them back to health. Sometimes, though, all Marquis can offer is hospice care.

But she says Cayenne, who is thought to be 4 years old or younger, wasn’t like her other terminal foster animals.

“I get hospice cases and I go, ‘OK, I’m gonna love you ’til the end, and I’m gonna be here, and I’m gonna show you what love’s about,’” Marquis said. “She had a will to live like I had never seen. Even though I’ve done this for 15 years, and I’ve seen some pretty extreme cases and had some pass on me, I just knew we couldn’t let her go.”

When the dog came to live with Marquis in early September, she had a large tumor in her jaw. Marquis said the mass was the size of a baseball at its largest. …read full story