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Sampson the Rottweiler

Sampson had surgery on Cinco de Mayo

Sampson the Rottweiler

Of losing a faithful friend

August 24th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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Of losing a faithful friend

If it should be that I grow weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle cannot be won

You will be sad, I understand;
Don’t let your grief then stay your hand,
For this day more than all the rest
Your love for me must stand the test.

We’ve had so many happy years
What is to come can hold no fears,
You’d not want me to suffer so
The time has come please let me go,

Take me where my need they’ll tend
And please stay with me until the end,
Hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see

I know in time that you will see,
The kindness that you did for me
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I’ve been saved

Please do not grieve, it must be you,
Who has this painful thing to do
We’ve been so close, we two, these years,
Don’t let your heart hold back its tears

Robin Hopper, veterinary surgeon


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Sampson earns his wings

August 24th, 2010 · 12 Comments · Uncategorized

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Good-byes

Sampson enjoying the great outdoors on Tuesday

Owen saying goodbye

Sam looking out the window and Owen enjoying snuggling up to his big brother

Sir Sampson Bearington-Vaughn

 

January 12, 1999 to August 18, 2010

We helped Sampson earn his wings this past Wednesday, August 18, 2010.

One day earlier he was enjoying life as much as possible, rolling on the grass, watching

the squirrels and the birds go by.

Tuesday evening, he was restless. The pain was becoming more difficult to manage, since

the cancer spread to his remaining front leg. His great bones began to feel too heavy. On

his last day, we moved his bed to the window.

He passed away in his home, on one of his favorite beds, surrounded by all of the things

he loved. It was the one promise we had to keep. One day earlier would have been too

soon, one day later, would have been too long.

Dogs heal our past and challenge our beliefs.

Sampson taught us patience, how to live in the moment, how to forgive and most of all

how to love this world. He brought such joy to our home and each day he is missed.

For those of you who were fortunate to know Sampson you know what a gift he was.

Our friend Jonathan characterized it perfectly, Sampson was the epitome of love.

We buried him on Friday, August 20

Sampson we know you are somewhere wonderful floating above this difficult world. We

imagine you running through fields on all four legs, where there is no pain, an endless

supply of dog biscuits and an unlimited number of squirrels to chase.

With love….

January 12, 1999 to August 18, 2010

We helped Sampson earn his wings this past Wednesday, August 18, 2010.

One day earlier he was enjoying life as much as possible, rolling on the grass, watching

the squirrels and the birds go by.

Tuesday evening, he was restless. The pain was becoming more difficult to manage, since

the cancer spread to his remaining front leg. His great bones began to feel too heavy. On

his last day, we moved his bed to the window.

He passed away in his home, on one of his favorite beds, surrounded by all of the things

he loved. It was the one promise we had to keep. One day earlier would have been too

soon, one day later, would have been too long.

Dogs heal our past and challenge our beliefs.

Sampson taught us patience, how to live in the moment, how to forgive and most of all

how to love this world. He brought such joy to our home and each day he is missed.

For those of you who were fortunate to know Sampson you know what a gift he was.

Our friend Jonathan characterized it perfectly, Sampson was the epitome of love.

We buried him on Friday, August 20

Sampson we know you are somewhere wonderful floating above this difficult world. We

imagine you running through fields on all four legs, where there is no pain, an endless

supply of dog biscuits and an unlimited number of squirrels to chase.

With love….

 

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Not great news

August 16th, 2010 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Well, I am sorry to report that even though his alkaline phosphatase is normal and his lymph node was clear when it was removed in May during the amputation, Sampson’s cancer has spread to his other front limb. We are waiting to receive confirmation from a radiologist, but I think the writing is on the wall. For those of you struggling with the choice, in hindsight we would not have done anything differently. His limb needed to be removed for the pain, the chemo gave him some extra time and he is having a wonderful summer.
I will keep everyone posted and wanted to thank everyone for their continued support during this roller-coaster we have been on.

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reaction to chemotherapy

August 13th, 2010 · 11 Comments · Uncategorized

Well-we haven’t written in a while because we are having a ruff time.   As a reminder Sampson had his surgery on 5/5/2010, he started chemo on June 11th.    After his 3rd treatment of carboplatnin, he lost his appetite.  He never full regained it. He became really finicky.  Two weeks ago he had a treatment of adriamycin and he had a terrible reaction. He did not eat or drink for 3 days. We spent days at the vet on IV fluids and he seemed to be feeling a little better. The good news is his liver and kidney enzymes are normal.  They thought he might have mets in his stomach and fortunately the sonogram was negative.  Multiple views of his chest were negative.   So upon examination, it seems the cancer has not spread.   We put him on carafate and pepcid and discontinued his Rimadyl since it may be contributing to his gastric upset.   He became so arthritic and weak he could not walk. We have reintroduced the rimadyl over the last 4 days and he is now at a max dose.  He is having a terrible time getting around.  If we put him in the pool he swims and seems fine.  The problem is we pick him up to stand and it seems he can’t hold his weight. Then if he gets going he can walk though it looks painful.  We plan to take him to the vet early next week.  Is this a reaction to chemo, can it make a dog so weak so quickly. It has been 2 weeks since his last treatment, so I thought it would be unlikely that he would still have residual effects of the chemo. He did fine with the first few treatments, but I guess it is cumulative.   Ironically he seems happy when he is not moving.  The lack of appetite is confusing, he will eat, but only certain foods. Yesterday it was chicken, today it is sliced turkey, who knows what he will eat tomorrow.  So maybe he is manipulating us for food, I am a sucker I can live with that. It is this weakness in his legs that concerns me, is it general atrophy from not moving for 2 weeks, arthritis or something else.  Has anyone had similar experiences?   Thanks in advance for your help

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the queasies

July 12th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Well-I had my 3rd round of carboplatin and boy did I get queasy.
I haven’t tossed my biscuits, but I completely lost my appetite for a few days.
This was very upsetting to my pawparents. Mom over-reacted and I spent the day at my vet getting fluids. The heat didn’t help either. It took me 3 days to get my appetite back. In the meantime, I have been eating rice and chicken (hand fed of course). Not bad, tonight I had steak-much better and I ate all by myself. I am switching to a new chemo in a few weeks and I hope that I tolerate it better. Overall, I am enjoying life and having a great summer.

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Spam

July 12th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

What has happened. I am getting spammed like crazy this week on my blog.
is there anyway to stop this?

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Update on Sampson

June 23rd, 2010 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

All-Sampson has been walking much better. We are no longer concerned that he has cancer in his other leg. He is also getting up and down the stairs in our house all by himself.  We put on  his ruff-wear harness for support if needed.   His  chemo is going well.  His appetite is good (not great).   He seems to eat more frequent, smaller meals.   Rotisserie chicken works (rottie-chicken as we call it in our house).  Sammy  does need to take metronidazole for his BMs.   He doesn’t have diarrhea, but after breakfast during his nap a little poop escapes.   I am starting to enjoy the smell of rottie gas in our house. His brother Owen has Addison’s disease and quite a bit of GI distress too.  That said, the boys are having a good time and taking care of one another.

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Sampson the Rottie 7 weeks post surgery

June 23rd, 2010 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Sampson has been doing great. We haven’t written because we have been enjoying the summer. It is hard to beleive it is 7 weeks post surgery and he is doing so well. Seeing is believing. It is good to know we made the right decision

Sampson in the pool 7 weeks post surgery-does this look like a 12 year old rottweiler with cancer?

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Hopping rottie

May 22nd, 2010 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Thanks all for your comments, it is so wonderful, helpful and comforting to read all of your experiences.  Our dog has seems to be hopping on his two back legs.  I am hoping he is just getting used to walking and maybe he is a little tired on the remaining front. Our vet scared the life out of us when she said he looks lame.  We need to watch him. Sam is home with his Dad. I can’t wait to get home and see my babies

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Sampson’s 1st day of Chemo

May 20th, 2010 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

It has been two weeks since Sampson’s surgery and he has been doing great. His appetite is almost back to normal. He is getting around much better, walking up the stairs and playing ball. Today, Sampson had his consultation with his oncologist and his first day of chemotherapy. I was thrown for a loop when the doctor thought he was walking funny. My first thought was no kidding-he has 3 legs. Well, the vet noticed he is hopping with his two back legs. He has done this occasionally at home, I though he was just figuring out how to walk. So he was given a more through exam and they were not able to come to any conclusions. It can either be that he is in pain because he is putting so much pressure on his remaining front leg. I have noticed that he is licking it more. But then again that is what he did on his osteosarcoma leg (yikes) or worst scenario-maybe he has a tumor on his back leg. We need to watch him for a few days and pray it does not get worse. I am hoping he just over-exercised the last few days. Also, his alkaline phosphatase is higher than it was at prior to amputation and we were told to discontinue his rimadyl (which is the only thing that helps him feel better). We were instructed to continue his pain meds (tramadol).
It has been a confusing day. I am sure it will not be the last. I am trying not to worry because we do not have any definitive news-well as you know that is impossible.
Unfortunately, I have a meeting and I am out of town, so Sampson is at home with his Dad and rottie brother. I was told, he was a little nasty tonight. He likes to relax outside on our front deck and did not want to come in. When his dad tried to bring him in, he showed his teeth. Can the chemotherapy affect behavior? And if so, can it happen so soon after treatment. We have a lot to learn-any insights out there?

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