Story told by Charlene
This is a story with a heartbreaking ending about our boy, King. He was a Dobey, who weighed 116 lbs. He was the most beautiful dog I had ever seen. We rescued him from a shelter, he was 2 at the time. It took him time to trust us, but when he finally did he was faithful, friendly, protective and lovable. Picture this dog in bed with 2 adults, it was funny to see. He was my dog and followed me everywhere. When my husband worked late he protected my son and I.
In January of 2010, there was a lot of snow in North Carolina, an extreme winter. We saw King limping one day and we thought he hurt himself on the snow. He loved to run and play in it. Then he found it hard to get up from lying down. I thought he pulled a muscle. We kept watching him and he got better.
Then a few weeks later he had trouble getting up again. We took him to the vet for a check up. We also noticed he was losing weight. When they weighed him he was 98 lbs. The vet said he is at a healthy weight now. He was not over weight, he was a huge dog. He said to give him joint medicine. He just didn't seem to care.
After a few weeks the weather got better and King seemed like his old self. He was still losing weight but he was eating more, so we were worried again. We took him back to the vet, again they said he was fine. We suggested blood tests, they said there was no need he needed to lose some weight. This went on for a couple of months his weight seemed ok, but he was having harded days getting up, like an adult with arthritis. The vet said that's what he probably has.
Then in May we noticed a bump on his back leg and he was limping. He was losing muscle now. He was a very muscular dog and strong as could be. We took him back to the vet again. Now the vet is talking cancer. No tests yet just his opinion. Where was his opinion for months when we thought something was wrong. Maybe he knew and did not want to tell us. If we knew in January maybe we could have helped King somehow.
So now they do a biopsy and said we just have to wait for the results.We brought king home, his leg was a little swollen. Three days later his leg was swelling more and more. Then we got the results, cancer. Histiocytic Sarcoma, the most awful words you want to hear. When my husband got off the phone with the vet we just cried. This was May 10th. My son was finishing up the school year and major tests for him. We told him to spend time with King but did not tell him what the vet had told us. That there was nothing that they could do, it was just a matter of time.
I spent every minute with King while my husband went to work and my son to school. I spent all the time petting him and telling him stories about all the fun years we had together. I was brokenhearted and hated every day watching him slowly get worse. His leg swelled more and more. We asked our vet if he would euthanize King if he got where he was in too much pain. He was so big and hurt we could not get him in a car. The vet said no, they did not do house calls. We told him we would pay him, we did not want King to suffer getting in a car. He said no, but gave us the name of someone who would. Our vet gave him medicine for pain and diarrhea. Big deal!!
Oh I forgot to mention, when the vet thought it was cancer they asked us if we wanted his teeth cleaned while he was under anesthesia. What idiots! You think he has cancer but get more money to clean his teeth. This is when we knew they were just in it for the money and did not care. Well we were not sure what to do but we called this vet and made arrangements for King to be put down 2 weeks later. He said he would be there when we needed him and call if King gets worse. This was Dr. Fisher, a vet with a heart.
So the next week we thought we were wrong and should call the vet back, King seems not so bad. My son was now smack in the middle of his test and the next day King took a major turn for the worse. He could not get up the outside stairs, he had diarrhea, and you could tell he was in pain. We blocked off the stairs so he could do his business on the deck,but we knew he felt bad he would not go on the deck. He was such a well trained dog he never did anything on the deck. Then finally he did, we washed if off and he knew it was ok. This was Thursday, the vet was coming to put him down on Friday. He said he would be there around 12 pm. My son came home from school testing was finished. We told him what we had decided and told him we did not want him to worry about King during his tests. He was now heartbroken too. He would not leave Kings side. Everyone was sick, sad and crying!
The next morning I went to the store, I could not stand seeing King like that one more minute. My son and husband were home with him. My son stayed home from school. When I got back everyone was on the deck with King laying in the sun. My husband was shooing flies off of him. He looked so cute laying on his bed, I knew he was better. Then everyone went in the house, it was 9am, King and I stayed on the deck. All of a sudden he got up and started pooping blood. Not a little,it was horrible. I yelled for my husband to call the vet now, he looked like he was in so much pain. The vet came as soon as he could, we had settled King down on his bed in the living room. Dr. Fisher was so kind and gentle and explained what he would do and what would happen. A few minutes and King was asleep forever and in no more pain. He looked so peaceful just lying there. We put him in the casket we bought for him, knowing his time would be soon. We buried him in the rain, in the back yard. My husband took such great care to make sure King had a peaceful resting spot. My son decorated the grave with stones. We told stories about him all night and the funny things he did. I swore I would never get another dog. King was 8 years old when he died and so loved by us.
A few months later we saw a Dobey who needed rescuing and we got Zeus. When we brought Zeus home he went on the deck and stood looking towards Kings grave. It was like they were having a conversation and King was telling Zeus to take care of us. Zeus sometimes does the same funny things King did. We loved our King so much and miss him every day. We still tell stories and cry together. I hope this helps others who's read this. When we knew the results of King's biopsy I found this website and it helped me to prepare for the inevitable. If you can do the survey to help Mo, who is trying to help all of us. God bless you Mo.