Jake the Rocket

June 16, 2009 We lost Jake today.  He seemed OK this morning, though a bit sluggish (not unusual for him for a hot day.)  This evening he could hardly move and was rushed to the emergency clinic.  He just lay there non responsive and had a huge mass in his gut and was bleeding from his gums and anus.  We lost our big boy at 9:05 pm.

June 18, 2009 We had a follow up on Jake with a review of the X-Rays and lab data.  It appears he had a tumor, probably cancerous, on his spleen which ruptured.  This type of tumor is not uncommon on large dogs, particularly in Sheppards and is basically undetectable until it ruptures.  According to the published data, even if detected early the type of cancer associated with these tumors is so aggressive that treatment is ineffective and generally makes quality of life much worse.  We still dearly miss our big boy and always will.

Video of Jake as a puppy (file is apx 5 mb)


Jake at the Shelter

You can see how long Jake was at the shelter - the picture on the left was taken at the shelter when he was relatively new there, the picture on the right was taken shortly after he came to live with us.  

We hadn't taken him earlier because several people had put in applications to adopt him.  For various reasons none worked out (including people

who put down  deposits and
never came back.) 

He was there quite a long while, but now he's a happy part of our family.  At 108 pounds he's the largest of the 4 legged members of our family, and has grown from a timid puppy to a very confident "protector of the

pack".  He's not the least bit aggressive, but is very vocal and, because of his size and the strength of his voice, can seem quite intimidating when he sees a person or another dog and he's with the rest of the group.  (Actually he's saying "come play with us"!)

More Jake photos:
(Click on thumbnails to view larger image)

mvc-152f.jpg (62760 bytes)

October 6, 2002 - The big boy was 104 lbs (all muscle) at his last checkup.  Three weeks ago we found a small tumor on his belly.  We had it removed, but the pathology report showed some questionable cells.  A larger area was excised this past week.  The wound site was very tender and I did have to put the "radar dish" on his head to stop him from licking at it.  It's been 5 days since the surgery and he seems a bit better.  The stitches don't come out until later this week.

October 26,2002 - Jake's recovery has been pretty unremarkable (that's a good thing!)  I did have to put a big plastic "radio dish" on him to keep him from licking the site, but only for a few days.  He has healed nicely and all seems well.  He did gain some weight from the steroids (he was 107 lbs at his last weighing) but otherwise he's doing just fine.