For more than two decades, esteemed veterinary oncologist Dr. Renée Alsarraf treated cancer in canine patients. Then at age fifty-one, she was diagnosed with cancer herself. The disease Dr. Renée had dedicated her professional life to fighting, suddenly left her scared and unsure. But it was only in receiving her own cancer diagnosis that Dr. Renée realized the empathy she had for animals went both ways. It was her patients—those furry, four-legged, slobbering animals— who seemed to uniquely understand the jumbled language of her own difficult journey and who showed her the true power of positivity and unconditional love.

Dr. Renée shares what we can learn from dogs in her beautiful memoir Sit, Stay, Heal: What Dogs Can Teach Us About Living Well”


  1. Why Dr. Renee wrote this book and what she hopes people will walk away with after reading it.
  2. How dogs can be an incredible guide when we suffer from any issue.  They are so present and the human-animal bond is so profound.
  3. She speaks to the power of women and to the moms out their navigating everything. Facing our own mortality.
  4. How her book helps people navigate end of life decisions with their dogs.
  5. The insights into vet and human medicine and some of the specific differences between how humans and animals are treated when they have cancer, and more.


Dr. Alsarraf’s book: “Sit, Stay, Heal: What Dogs Can Teach Us About Living Well”


Renee on Instagram

Michele on Instagram


DR. RENEE ALSARRAF has created four different veterinary oncology practices and led
three veterinary radiation facilities. She has performed numerous veterinary clinical
trials, co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles, and has lectured both locally and on
the national level. She completed a medical oncology residency in New York City at The
Animal Medical Center. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey, and is married to a
veterinary ophthalmologist. They have one son, whom she cherishes, as well as Dusty,
her beloved, bossy, six-year-old female boxer.

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