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Life story
February 2, 2003
 

Born on February 2, 2003.

 

How Kobe Bear saved me:

“A good friend of mine had a small hobby farm out in the country with horses, dogs, pigs, and many other critters. My children and I would go out there on the weekends so the kids could ride the horses and I could drink coffee and chit chat with my friend. She had these dogs Reba and Garth………seriously………Kobe’s mom and dad. I loved them!! Reba was all black Lab and Garth was black Lab with Golden in his bloodline. Garth was beautiful…….stocky with a wavy back (solid black)……..with amber eyes that were so sweet he could melt your heart. We had just lost a lab puppy not too long before and also had my aging cocker at home so I was no way near ready to get a puppy. Out of the blue one day my friend says to me that Reba and Garth are going to be parents!

OMG the kids would not quit bugging me and I finally gave in………….we were going to get a puppy. Knowing the parents is what sold me………they were beautiful, smart, and wonderful with children (even though my kids were not so much kids anymore). We saw the puppies the day after they were born. Four yellow puppies, and Five black puppies………..one had a little wave of black curls on his back. I knew he was the one. We continued to see the puppies until it was time to pick one and take one home. The kids wanted a yellow lab…….but I had my eye on the wavy back black one. Kobe was sweet and cuddly and he came to me when I talked to him (my boyfriend teases me, tells me I know dog language and it sounds like Mickey Mouse lol). He looked like a bear cub. I wanted to name him Bear but the kids wanted Kobe so we compromised. Kobe Bear has no rare bloodlines and isn’t even a purebred……….we paid $50.00 for him but he is my special boy……..truly the best dog I’ve ever owned.

I was very depressed and guilt ridden after the death of our puppy. Getting Kobe made me realize that my house had to have at least two dogs in it to be a home.”

abouthim2-1.jpg picture by zawchenuk

October 10, 2007
 

My Kobe Bear’s horrible ordeal began when he had a hot-spot appear on his face.  His glands stared swelling on his neck so I assumed it was an infection…….boy was I wrong!!  Off to the vet we went thinking infection or Lyme’s.  I kissed my Bear and left him at the vet to be put under for a wound cleaning and maybe to be sent home with some antibiotics.  I barely remember getting the call from the vet that afternoon……..the call that would change my life forever.

 

After what seemed like an eternity, I recieved the call from the vet in regard to Kobe’s diagnosis.  I barely remember it.  POSITIVE FOR CANCER!!  How can this be.  My beautiful Bear is only 4 years old!!  There has to be some kind of mistake.

 I’ve had other dogs in my life but not like the Bear.  He is my heartdog.  The one I feel connected by our souls.  He understands what I’m thinking and vise versa.  I went home and cried in his fur for hours.  What was I going to do……….how could I watch the furbaby that I love waste away and die?

 

So after a few days of crying I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself (pity party) and do something.  Stage one as I call it.  Anger………how could this happen to an innocent animal like Kobe???  He was only 4 years old at diagnosis.  Stage one………..constant researching looking for some kind of miracle to save him.  Stage one………..had to decide on a course of treatment and fast.  Stage one is kind of a manic panic blur.  When given a diagnosis of Lymphoma, you have to act fast.  Kobe was given a month to live.  How ridiculous is that!!

Chemo was totally out of the question.  The cost of chemo per month was as much as my house payment.  Besides……….my thinking on this was……..chemo is poison.  Why would I want to put that into my babies body?  This was how I tried to justify my decision.  So at least I made one decision………..chemo out……….treat with Prednisone.  The vet warned me that once we start this, there is no going back.  Chemo would be no good once we start the pred.  More research.  Research shows that just treating with pred will give your dog 3-4 months.  Despair!!  But at least it was more than a month.  More research showed that fish oil will starve cancer cells and carbs feed cancer.  So off on a change of diet research I went.

 

Once I filled my head with large amounts of information, it was time to come up with a plan.  I had taken the advise of cancer.net and put Kobe on fishoil and Iam’s puppy chow immediately.  Puppy chow has less grains and more protein than any other dog food and it’s less expensive. Thank God we didn’t have issues with him eating it.  He thinks it’s a treat (the fishoil).  I had also purchased many cans of ND science cancer diet dog food from the vet.  This food is VERY expensive and Kobe is huge.  We needed to come up with something different unless I wanted to go broke.

 I ordered a book from the Internet about cancer diet. How to help your dog fight cancer by Laurie Kaplan……….VERY GOOD BOOK!  I started following her diet and this lasted about a month.  Kobe loved it!  But this too was very time consuming (chopping, peeling, etc.) and using fresh veggies turned out to be very expensive.

 I improvised.  Friends started donating venison.  This saved me a lot of money.  I also mixed in lean ground beef.  To save money, I started buying the veggies in canned form.  I use petite sliced tomatoes, green beans, and peas.  It’s  a mixture of 3/4 meat to 1/4 veggies.  I mix 2 cups Iam’s to 2 cups meat mixture twice a day.  That’s it ……….that’s my Bear’s diet!! :)  I throw in a pred pill every-other day and it works for us.

 I cook for him about every 8 days in a big roaster pan……..put 2 cups in baggies and freeze.  This may seem like a lot of work but I truly believe this is what’s kept him alive for so long!!  Diet is very important when fighting cancer.  It’s not cheap believe me!!  It could have been more expensive and Kobe is not small………..130 lbs. 

I don’t get all wrapped up in giving Kobe supplements.  I think it is stressful for the dog to be shoving pills down their throat.  Stress is hard on the immune system.

 I want to take this opportunity to thank all my friends that donated Venison and meat…….Sarah, Cheryl (Sarah’s mom), Jamie, Gina, and my son Micheal (who shot the dear himself).  You guys are angels and I LOVE YA’S!! :)

 

Once phase one is over and you find a plan that is workable………..it becomes a little less stressful.  Granted you always have the impending doom hanging over your head……….the dreaded death sentence that haunts your dreams………..but at least it’s a plan.  The best thing for me was finding something that works and sticking to it and never second guessing myself or looking back.

 Kobe’s menu is not cheap.  It costs approximately $200.00 a month to feed him.  In the end it will be worth it because I truly believe the home-cooked food is keeping him here longer.  He loves his food………..he lives for food……….it’s his favorite time of the day!

 I also made up a schedule for his pred to be sure that HE NEVER MISSED any medication.  You get the idea.  This is easily cut into 3 columns and rolled up to stick in his pill bottle.

 

This journal is about a journey that my Kobe Bear and I were on together.  How cancer has made us have an incredible bond that will stay in my heart forever.  Our struggle to fight the cancer that   eventually ended his young life.  And most important to learn a lesson on love and commitment to my fury friend…………..positive attitude………and how not to take the love of an animal for granted.

 

The attached picture is one of Kobe Bear when he came home from the hospital.  You can tell he is not a happy camper.

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August 3, 2008
 

Passed away on August 3, 2008.

 

This is messages that I posted on the cancer forum.  http://petswithcancer.forumcircle.com/index.php  My forum family has been a life saver for me and the Bear.  They have been there for me during good and bad times.  The attached picture is of Kobe's memorial rock.  His favorite ball and his lead are there too.  The flowers are from my daughter for Kobe.

 

This is by far the hardest post I’ve ever had to write crying hard

My sweet brown eyed Kobe Bear decided to leave us tonight. I don’t even know if I can write this but I thought that I needed to come here and let you all know. Todd and I are REALLY having a hard time with this. crying hard

Kobe’s breathing has been really labored this weekend. We didn’t even go to the dog park………..Thursday was the last time. Saturday he was having a hard time eating his dinner…………kept gagging on his food. He wouldn’t even eat the fish oil so I put them and his pain pills in his food. He didn’t eat it all. I KNEW in my GUT!!! I don’t know why I didn’t listen to my gut……..another cruel life lesson!!! Crying or Very sad

We stayed in all day. Kobe woke me up about 2:37 this morning gasping for air. I felt soooooooo helpless. He was obviously suffering. We decided it was time. I lost it. I couldn’t be strong for my Bear. Todd is an angel…………he called the emergency hospital and set everything up. Kobe wanted outside and he pooped all over before we could even get him outside. We were loosing him fast!! crying hard he went out in the yard and I couldn’t get him up so we could get him in the car. I WAITED TOO LONG!!! crying hard . OMG this is so hard for me to type!!! My sweet boy took his last breath outside under the stars at 3:00 a.m. this morning looking at my face.

This is all I can muster up right now. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through and my heart is broken. I’m haunted by this ………..thinking about all the shoulda did this shoulda done that. HE WAS GONE SO FAST!! Not much warning…….eating right to the end. WE won’t have no one year party crying hard crying hard crying hard crying hard

Ro and Todd

 To my friends,

There is so much I want to share with you all but I just don’t have it in my heart right now. I wanted to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being here for me when I need you the most. I miss my Bear so much and we are having a hard day. We have had a house full today and I’m trying to keep busy. John sorry to say but lots of toasting going on. Everyone loved my beautiful boy Smile and he will be missed by all.

I will get Kobe’s ashes back soon and we have a special garden planned. Todd spent time digging out that rock out of Kobe’s hole as soon as it was light. And wouldn’t you know it is a perfect shape for a headstone Sad

I’m sorry I just can’t type any more. I’m so tired and afraid to sleep………….yet hoping that I will see MY Bear in my dreams………happy and painfree.
I will love him forever.
Ro

Hi all,

I’m at work today and it’s really helping me focus on something else. I’m glad I can get my mind off of the hell I went through this weekend. I ache for my Bear but I’m also trying to think positive knowing that we did everything that we could. It would be nice to say “I want a do over” but the reality is what it is and we did the best we could. In a few days I’m hoping that I will be able to get back here and help all of you that are still going through this. I’m not going anywhere Smile I just need some time to get myself on course again. I truly feel a little lost. We had a routine the Bear and I like a well oiled machine. Everything is different. No schedualed feedings, no medications to monitor, no hopping into the car to go on a daily dog park romp, and it’s so freakin quiet!! Sad that’s what’s the worst about it all. I’ve grown so used to him being in every room with me panting and watching me. Know what scares me the most…………….I have to go home tonight after work and my boy won’t be there to greet me. I’m going to fall apart again. I looked forward to that everyday of his life. He was always glad to see me.

Thanks for listening and for being here for me. You all have touched my heart with your messages and I soooooo appreciate all of you!!

Ro

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