I remember my last Rottweiler Dylan had passed away after 8 beautiful years together and I remember being devastated and thinking I will never find another dog Like Dylan. I waited over a year and was volunteering with the Rottie Rescue and all the dogs I had met were cute but it was never like Sam and I. He was my dog one day at an adoption at Petsmart, ya know trying to show people him and see if any potential adopters caught his eye, well let's just say every time someone came over I had my arms around him as if to say back off.
Make a long story short it was love at first sight for BOTH of us. I was living in a townhouse at the time that started this stupid dog rule of no dogs over 20 pounds, let's just say my house was listed the next day. I was already going to sell but meeting Sam pushed the envelope. He had come from an awful situation, had lived in a car with two other rotties living off of Taco Bell and just trying to survive. He had been shipped place to place because his "Guardian" was a drug addict. He never wanted "that life" and thank God I have given him more love than any human being could of ever given him.
Sampson and I are SO close ,I always say he is my soul dog. We read each others thoughts, he always lays down next to me and he gazes into my eyes. You have to see it to know how much love is in them. My Mom always said she has never seen a dog love a person so much. So, with Sam anything that would seem odd I of course would take him to a vet.
After our daily walks he started to get really, really tired and that was not Sam. One night he actually stopped and sat down right in the middle of our walk,this had been going on for 2 days and on day two he had a lump on his back leg so I was scared it was Osteosarcoma. Sam has always loved food which most rotts do but he REALLY loves food. No matter how much I feed him he inhales it like he has been starving! lol! So, the day I took him to the vet he was not eating his dog food and I knew something was not "right".
I rushed him to the vet and they took blood work which was normal and x-rays of his abdomen and back right leg. She said she did not see any change in his bone and did not think it was cancer but his x-rays showed a lot of gas, so much so they could not see his organs. She did manage to notice arthritis which is normal for an almost 9 year old rottweiler so I went home thinking ok we can deal with that. They gave me Metacam but something told me do not give it to him as it can possibly interfere with liver function. He started eating anything that was not dog food so I thought maybe he has a toothache because it seemed that he would only eat soft foods. Over the course of the next week he became very, very weak.
My Sampson has always been an extremely healthy dog especially for his age(rotts tend to live shorter than some breeds). I took him back to the vet and did more x-rays and blood work. This time the gas was gone and it showed an enlarged liver and spleen.The vet told me, there is nothing you can do(told me he has cancer) and that if I am lucky he has 2 months to live. WHAT? last week they said all he has is arthritis! You can only imagine how upset I was. The doctor called me later with the blood work and said maybe he was "auto immune" and put him on Predisone. He became VERY ill from it and was vomiting and had SEVERE diarrhea. I know this may sound gross but the first time he threw up I knew he was dying. I have had dogs my entire life and never had smelled a smell like that. I had to shut my heater off and open windows. I was the most errie smell, it sent chills down me because it made me feel like death was coming. If death is not such a big deal then why would it have such a horrid feeling that sent chills down my spine?
I took him to the third vet who knows rottweilers as rotts have special needs and not a lot of vets know them well enough but the third vet did. We had more blood work and an ultrasound done of all his organs and a biopsy of his liver and spleen. When I returned to the vet to pick him up the doctor was happy because he said they did not see any tumors and although he was not ruling out cancer it was looking like he just had auto immune(anemia) which is a sign usually of another underlying disorder but hey I thought as long as it is not cancer.
He did have VERY low red blood cellsplatelets and high white blood cells but I thought we could beat that.So the next couple days he stopped vomiting and the diarrhea ceased so I thought ya know maybe just maybe he is getting better. I had blood work done a couple days later and he said his platelets were still dropping! He said if it continued he would certainly pass. I thought we can beat this and I started making him liver, anything that would help.
My worst fear came true when I received a phone call from my Doctor. He said I have the biopsy back. I thought ok lets hear it and I will never forget his voice saying "Sampson has cancer". I started shaking and held back tears. He said he had Malignant Histiocytosis and would see me the next day because he "wanted to talk to me". I looked up what he had on the web and my heart sank. It seemed like every site said "no matter what it is fatal" that even chemo would not help. How can this happen??? I took him to see the vet the following day and basically I was taking my dog back home to die.
I still was not ready to give up because I thought cancer cannot live in an oxygenated body so I went to the health food store and bought him some liquid oxygen called Cell Food. I gave it to him yesterday and he seemed to perk up ALOT. He had been laying on his side a lot and had been so weak and even though he was still weak he was "perky". He even ran up and down the stairs twice which he had not done for 2 weeks. I was overjoyed yesterday. This is really taking a toll on me as I have had maybe 6 hours of sleep in a week and have already lost 7 pounds from not eating.
Yesterday was the first day I felt relieved. Then today I awoke. Since Sam was feeling so well yesterday he ran up the stairs to our room because it was bed time. Sam and I have always slept in the same room and he even slept in bed next to me. This morning he was SO weak. I had to help him down the stairs. Something odd happened today. He is walking like he is drunk and I mean REALLY drunk. His back legs when walking keep going out really far to the side and when he stands they shake. He is still eating but how long that will last who knows. His urine is also very acidic looking with lots of bubbles. I also noticed his back leg is swollen which I think means it's in his lymph nodes now.
UPDATE, March 5, 2007
Sampson went downhill SO fast. I could feel the cancer every day eating his body up and slowly I could feel his muscles being eaten away. His belly became larger because his organs were so enlarged. How hard is that to watch him die slowly and there's nothing that can be done, there is NO cure for it and I mean NOTHING not even holistic. As he slowly died so did I. Yesterday I had to be strong for him and all day long I told him he is going to be ok and he will die a body death but will still live on. Last night I laid down on my side as he was and we faced each other gazing into each others eyes like we had every night and every day. The Doctor said "Goodbye old friend" and as he was injecting the solution into his precious vein I had NEVER felt my heart beat so fast in my life. I tried SOOOOOOO hard to be strong so he would not be afraid and as he passed his eyes never left mine, he died staring lovingly into my eyes. As soon as the Doctor said in a soft voice"he is gone" I lost it. I couldn't hold in my pain anymore as I had been strong for him for so long. I could not breathe and I could not believe my Angel was gone.