Copyright ©1996 Tiffany D. Montano


This is my beloved Samson just after I adopted him.  He was about 2 ½ years old when this picture was taken.



A better friend I never had

You never hurt nor made me sad

All you wanted was just to be near

To kiss a tear or lend an ear

When another came to take your place

You just moved over and gave him space

Then Delilah to give you love

A little angel from above

First there were two then there were four

I gave you love, you gave me more

Just a few years and then you were gone

In our hearts you will always live on

For six short years you walked by my side

A river of tears I cried July 14th, the night you died

As I gather treasures for your grave

I pray another life your death will save

Good bye my friend.

Copyright ©2001 Tiffany D. Montano

Best Poems and Poets 2002 Editor's Choice Award



DelilahYogiBoobooSamson Geronimo

Wild Animals

Tiger BoyHere Kitty KittyRoyaltyBirdsFlamingo


 Samson went everywhere with us. He died July 14th  in intensive care unit at UC Davis Veterinary Hospital  We are working with UC Davis to set up The Samson Memorial Fund to research and classify Lymphomas.  We will update you as soon as we have more information.  In the mean while you can make a contribution in Samson’s name to UC Davis.  This cancer is also found in humans.  Over 50% of all dogs over the age of ten die from cancer.  They are our environmental markers and warn us of the pollution to Our Mother Earth but most of all they are little angels who because of their unconditional love have a direct pathway to heaven. 


They found Lymphoblastic Lymphoma a rare form of Lymphoma that had spread through out Samson’s spleen, liver and lymphatic system. He was suffering so much and I promised him I wouldn’t let him suffer so we put him down around 9:00 at night.  Just twenty four hours after taking him in.  I know he had the best of care but the reasons I believe caused this, will scare any pet owner.




High fevers over 104 degrees and up to 105 degrease.

Swollen and red inflamed throat like you would see in tonsillitis

Heavy breathing and panting.

Slobbering from panting so hard.

One attack of diarrhea a week into it


Inability to eat. With accompanying weight loss

Drinking lots of water

Muscle weakness


He also had an area on his back that he had gotten sunburned after we shaved him that had turned dark and the hair hadn’t grown in the way it should have and one small bump on his left leg at his groin area the size of a white head.  Were these symptoms?  I don’t know.  I know only that I miss my buddy and my heart is breaking.


Samson’s fever kept spiking and his throat was sore.  He was originally diagnosed with Pneumonia and put on antibiotics but he didn’t respond.  The vet we originally went to took no blood tests or x-rays.  He told us if Samson wasn’t better in a week and a half to bring him back.  He continued to deteriorate and when I took him back to the vet he stayed in ICU for four days.  After two days at home it was to a new vet, Urgent care, and finally UC Davis.  At UC Davis they ran an ultrasound and found tumors in his liver spleen and lymph nodes. They aspirated one of the tumors and when the diagnosis of Lymphoblastic Lymphoma  we were devastated and left for the two hour drive to Davis where we said goodbye.  Eight weeks prior to Samson becoming ill, he had his annual 4in1, Rabies and Lyme vaccine.  At that time he was healthy, happy and in the prime of his life.  I feel like I killed my baby.  I believe in my heart that the Lyme vaccine triggered his disease.  Some answers may be found in an article on Mycoplasmas.  This article links vaccines to Mycoplasmas to Lymphomas and Lymes disease stating as much as 6% of all vaccines may be contaminated  I believe it is probable that had I not have vaccinated him, he might not have gotten sick so soon. If you lost your pet to this insidious disease, did you recently vaccinate your animal?  If so please email me.  This disease is most common in cats that have been exposed to crop dusting.  Samson was always by our side as is Delilah and if Samson were exposed so would the three of us.  .  It is possible that if we would have demanded blood tests before we vaccinated him we would have seen something was wrong.  We probably could not have prevented it but perhaps prolonged his quality of life before he died.   I wonder if I missed something.  He seemed constipated.  Should that have given me a clue?    I am not a doctor.  This cancer accounts for only 2% of all cancers.  By the time Samson manifested symptoms it was too late.  He was so ill any treatment would have killed so we helped him out of his pain.  In a way I am glad that it was so quick, although the shock and pain are unimaginable. I can’t even fathom being told he had to go through months or even years of treatment just to prolong his life, with no Quality of Life there.  I know he wouldn’t have wanted to live that way and I am glad the Great Spirit took that difficult burden from us.


A quote from Joan Teitler, the Veterinarian who took care of Samson at UC Davis regarding the article mentioned above:


WOW That is interesting. 
I wish we would have tested Samson for Mycoplasma. It was too late to stop
the cancer cell growth because it was so extensive but if we could avoid
other animals from developing this it would be so great! I will start adding
the test in to see what the incidence is for dogs.  Goats have very high
morbidity and mortality with mycoplasma infections....I will definitely
follow up on this article and pass it on to one of the
oncologists.....sometimes, they don't like popular information, but I think
this is extremely interesting!   Thank you so much.
Dr. Kent will probably call you tomorrow about the fund for Samson.  He is a
wonderful person and brilliant oncologist.  The other administrator I talked
to said you could donate the money to the VMTH and it would go to the angel
fund...but I told her you wanted it to be for cancer research.  Please
keep me posted--you are doing a great job researching this in ways I
hadn't considered.  Thank you again,  Joan”


 If your pet develops these symptoms or any others and doesn’t show improvement in twenty-four hours, take him to the nearest Urgent Care facility and demand blood work and x-rays and if needed ultrasound.  We thought we were doing our best, we just didn’t know.  If you need a comprehensive oncology department or want your pet to participate in clinical trials please contact UC Davis  I love my baby Samson very much.  He was adopted from the Santa Clara Humane Society.  I loved Samson so much that I had to get a Delilah for him.  We got her from the Keeshond Rescue Society.  I prayed that my Samson would get well.  I want to tell anyone considering a Keeshond that they are loving and intelligent and a blessing to have around.  Everyone loved my Samson even people who didn’t like dogs would ask to take him home with them.  And Samson loved everybody.  I am a better person for having him in my life.  David says he is up in heaven chasing squirrels into the Pearly Gates.  Getting into mischief.  He can talk in heaven too.


If you can, please rescue a dog or cat and don’t forget to have them spaded or neutered..  I also want to advise semi-annual checkups for your babies that include blood work.  Below you will find the hematology report on my baby Samson.  I hope this information helps in your quest for answers.  But more than that I pray we find answers so no one needs to go through this type of loss again.




This is in no way intended to replace a Veterinarian’s advice but rather to

honor my Beloved Samson by helping others.   I believe all pets

should be vaccinated but demand we have better control on our vaccines. 

From personal experience I have long suspected a coloration between vaccines and disease.


One ironic twist of fate.  We scheduled a private cremation through UC Davis and Sacramento Pet Cemetery.   The first time they went to pick up Samson they “couldn’t get him” when they went back, they discovered that there had been a foul up and Samson was put in the mass cremation.  I feel like he was thrown out with the trash.  UC Davis did call us and are taking full responsibility for the “mix up” and have apologized profusely.  Nothing can make up for the pain this has caused but we will bring back the entire cremation lot and bury them on a special place on our property.  We plan to put up a monument to Samson and all his little friends who have no place else.  UC Davis has furnished the names of the dogs and cats and that were cremated with Samson.  The dogs names were:

Kahlua, Willy, Joey, Sierra, Simba, Kashi, Cabo and Cobe

The cats names were:

Pepper, Tanga and Chester




Hematology AJ8850 Final Report

Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital              
Hematology/Urinalysis/Cytology                                17Jul01 at
University of California, Davis                                            
                                                 Page  1
                             CYTOLOGY FINAL REPORT

 Patient#: 33-00-98                       Client#: M31669
Name/Tag#: Samson                          Client: Montano, Tiffany
    Breed: K9-KEESHOND                    Address: 11997 Oro Quincy Hwy
      Sex: MC  Color: Silver                 City: Berry Creek, CA 95916
Birthdate: 1994                             Phone: 530 990 0855

 Request#: AJ8850                       Clinician: Teitler, Joan
Requested: 14Jul01                       Reported: 14Jul01
 Specimen: SPLEEN

ASPIRATION CYTOLOGY  #1                                                    
   Microscopic Eval        Three coverslip smears examined, all are similar.
                           The smears are highly cellular, being composed
                           primarily of large lymphocytes and lymphoblasts.
                           Fewer small lymphocytes are present. Mitotic
                           figures are frequent

   Interpretation          Lymphoma



Artwork by Coyote