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My Dog Jack and Cancer


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Unknowingly at the time, my life was going to dramatically change the day I picked out a 9 week old german shepherd to share my home. I was immediately in love with him and named him Jack (he was a Christmas gift to myself, so Jack was from "Jack Frost").

About a year later I was awakened by a large thump. Jack, who slept on my bed, had fallen onto the floor and was shaking uncontrolably. I rushed him to the emergency animal hospital and he was eventually diagnosed with grand mal seizures. From this time on, he would have anywhere from 8-12 seizures in 3 days every 4-5 weeks (like clockwork). He was put on phenolbarbital and potassium bromide which needed to be administered every 12 hours. This helped control his seizures as much as possible (I would give him a shot of vallium if the seizures were too close together).

Well, as you can imagine, my life centered around his medication times and I would stay with him as much as possible during his episodes. I got married a few years later and my wife was a big help taking care of him (she was in love with him as much as I was). We even built him a special room in a walkin closet (with a half door) so he couldn't hurt himself if he had a seizure while we were at work. In August, 2004, while walking behind him going up the stairs to put him in his room, he had a seizure. I caught him and carried a shaking 92 lb. dog up the stairs, almost falling backwards in the process. By the time I got to the top, I was out of breath and very lightheaded. I called my wife and told her what happened and how I thought I was out of shape. She suggested going to the doctor before jumping on the treadmill. Well, to make a long story short, that's when they discovered my lung cancer (at an early stage).

On March 28, 2007, I noticed a change in Jack's breathing. He died in his sleep less than 24 hours later. He was twelve and a half years old, quite a full life for a german shepherd (especially considering the toll on his body from the medicines and seizures).

I took care of Jack his whole life and he paid me back a million fold. If it wasn't for him, I would never have found my cancer so early and would not be alive today (3 years and counting).

There's not a day that passes that I don't think of him. God led us to each other for a reason and I'm a living testiment to Jack. The picture you see was taken about 20 days before my doctors found my cancer.

Jack is the greatest dog I've ever known, and everyone who met him fell in love with him immediately. I just wanted to share Jack's story with everyone on this site (as tears are running down my face as I type this). I love you Jack.


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What a beautiful story. My tears are flowing right along with yours. Amazing how the furry family members can make such a difference in our lives. My dogs have been with me through some of my toughest times and I'm so grateful to have them. Congratulations on 3 years - hoping for many many many more!!! Thank you for sharing. (((Lenny)))


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Wow! What an amazing story. I do believe they bring is far more than we deserve, oftentimes! My dog Rambo had a special place in my dad's heart, and during Chemo Rambo (a 4 lb yorkie) stayed with them, and he woke my mom up in the night one time when my dad got sick...then, when mom tried to let him out, thinking that was what he wanted, he would NOT leave my dad's side.

Aren't they amazing creatures?

Blessings to God for the amazing gift of such faithful friends.


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Lenny, that was a wonderful story. Our precious golden retriever Hannah was also 12-1/2 when we had to put her to sleep this past February. I believe she knew I had cancer even before I started the persistent cough that eventually led me to see our family physician. For weeks she spent long periods looking at me intently without blinking an eye, something she hadn't done before to that degree. At the time I thought she knew her own time was limited and was trying to fix my face in her memory, but now I think she sensed something in me that gave her concern.

Sorry, can't write any more right now. Aloha,


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Lenny, I too loved reading your story. I absolutely adore dogs. You were truly blessed to have Jack in your life. You made his life better and he probably saved yours. We have a small mix dog from the Humane Society. She really sensed the shock and fear when Rod was dx and we were so different. We and Kasey are better now. I've considered getting another dog for her to have a pal. Her pal, Jack the cat, has moved on to another rural home I think. We haven't seen him in weeks. They were such good buds, the cat would play with Kasey like he was also a dog.

Take care and post again :D


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You are so lucky to have had Jack and he may have saved your life by helping you to know something was wrong long before you would have otherwise. I know Jack was lucky to have had you.

Our fur babies are so important. I lost my cat to feline renal disease last December. She had been diagnosed the March before and I was so sad until it dawned on me that instead of looking at how little time we were going to have together, I should look at each day I got to spend with her as a gift--something added rather than something that was going to be taken away.

Little did I know what she was getting me ready to deal with my mom's LC. After the shock wore off from the disgnosis, I thought I will be grateful fo everyday she is here and healthy because it is a beautiful gift.

Yes--our pets can teach us so much about love and about life.

God Bless You,


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What a great story. I had 2 Akita's 12 and 13 I had to put down due to cancer 3 months apart from each other last year. Saddest thing I have ever gone through in life. I never thought I could love another like I loved them - but I also couldn't imagine life without a dog. In 38 years I have never been without one. We now have a one year old Saint Bernard and I love him just as I have loved my other two. It's amazing what they bring to your life. I am so glad you had Jack and he truly did save your life.

Good Luck to you and wishing you continued good health


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Jack did his job. What a beautiful story.

Last winter, when my husband was midway through chemo, and really suffering with the side effects, he would have to stay home alone all day while I worked. He was sick, scared, and depressed. I have always had a cat or two, and my husband has always barely tolerated them. One day, a hungry little stray tomcat, about 9 months old, showed up suddenly in our yard and insistently followed me in from work one evening. He immediately went to the sofa, where my husband spent most of his time laying down all day. He positioned himself on the arm of the sofa, reached his paw out to touch my husbands leg, and simply watched him. I fully expected my husband to tell me to put the cat out. Instead, he just allowed him to remain as he was...the sofa arm became his usual station for the next several weeks. He never really became active until my husband had recovered from chemo many weeks later. It was as if he was sent to provide care and company to my husband during that difficult period.

We of course kept him - had no choice after what he had done for us. He and my husband are constant companions, and he follows my husband all over the house and yard like a loyal dog would. He actually provides a lot of joy to our household at a time when we need it. I believe in angels, and believe that help comes from the most unexpected sources

when we least expect it.

I'm glad that you had Jack.

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That is such a great story. I can understand the meds with the dog because my family had a rat terrier that had to be on the same meds & it was clock work. You and Jack had a special bond and he was going to let you know that. I am still crying because that is so touching. Congrats on 3 years and many more to go

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