Exhibitor donates Dane’s body to research
Renescent Haut La Couture at Crufts last year.
Sharon Rose’s Renescent Haut La Couture (Baruch) died in March at the age of four and a half from histiocitic carcinoma. And the care given him during his last days by vets at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has led her to donate his heart to Liverpool University for research into dilated cardiomyopathy and the rest of his body to the Trust itself.
Mayank Seth, head of small animal internal medicine at the AHT, said that when Baruch – who was placed at Crufts last year – was first brought to him he could find little wrong other than fever and lameness.
"Investigations at his local vet hadn’t managed to pin anything down and he had not responded to fluids and antibiotics while there,” he said.
"We decided to perform a CT scan to look for any areas of his body that were abnormal and driving the fever – he had had pneumonia once when he was younger.”
The scan revealed many nodules in Baruch’s lungs and many areas of his bones looked as if they had been eaten away.
"After the scan we performed a fine needle aspirate,” Mr Seth said. "Our clinical pathology team identified cells which suggested a type of cancer called histiocytic carcinoma.
"These respond poorly to therapy so in light of the likely diagnosis, poor prognosis and the fact that he was already in pain, Mrs Rose made the brave decision to put Baruch to sleep.”
Mrs Rose and her husband Stuart began supporting the AHT by fundraising at Crufts last year and subsequently at Discover Dogs, Newmarket Race Day and the International Horse Show at Olympia. By attending events Baruch, his father Bellamy and Mrs Rose – both blood donors – raised money for many charities, including the Deaf Dog Network and Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home. Indeed, nine days before he died he was at the Savoy Hotel in London raising money for the Variety Club.
"Baruch and Bellamy attracted attention wherever they went, and this in turn led to donations to the AHT among the other charities,” she said. "And it was by chance that Baruch was referred to the Trust during his final illness. Before that he received the best care from my vet, Simon Hayes of Village Vet in Winchmore Hill.
"From the moment we walked in the door at the AHT an atmosphere of warmth surrounded us. Everyone was so kind and friendly. Mayank realised that Baruch was in pain and didn’t examine him properly until he was admitted and on painkillers.
"At first they thought what had shown up on the scan was scar tissue from the severe bout of pneumonia he had had previously. But then I got the news that Baruch had a rare form of cancer. When they re-examined the scan the cancer was in his legs and spine too.
"The most time he had left, even with treatment, would be two weeks and he would be in pain the whole time. So after discussions with my vet and Mayank I made the decision to have him put to sleep that evening, as even bringing him home would have been torturous for him. The time it took from me taking him to my vet the first time to him being put to sleep was only eight days.”
That evening Baruch was brought out to meet Mrs Rose for the last time.
"Although hobbling, his tail was wagging as he was so pleased to see me,” she said. "After he was put down I laid his head on the floor and the vet put a blanket underneath it, as it was directly on the floor. Even in death the AHT was keeping him comfortable.
"We’re so proud to be associated with the AHT, which as a charity relies on donations. Although a devastating outcome, the care Baruch received was amazing and we can't thank them enough.
"Baruch may have had a short life, but it was a full one. He had the most fantastic temperament; he was in such pain towards the end but even when we lifted him into the car he didn’t lift his lip. He was truly a gentle giant – my vet called him a hero among dogs.
"We’re continuing to fundraise and hopefully will collect a reasonable amount towards the Trust’s work through Baruch's Memorial Fund. We don’t want his death to be the end of things. He deserves something fantastic to come out of this, so he didn’t die in vain.”
Farrah Stevens, PR manager at the AHT, said: "Sharon, her husband and both Baruch and Bellamy have been wonderful ambassadors for our charity so we’re all incredibly saddened by the loss of Baruch.
"Sharon continues with her usual passion, class and determination to raise awareness of cancer in dogs, and also to tell Baruch’s story, all with the aim of raising money for our vital research into cancer and other diseases which affect our beloved pets. She’s one in a million.”
To donate money to the Trust visit Mrs Rose’s page at