Update: The Dog Who Taught Us All To Embrace Life Loses His Battle With Cancer

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

August 4, 2015

Update September 11, 2015

It is with great sadness that we share the news of Roo’s passing. His story changed the lives of thousands of people. He taught us to live life with absolute joy and to seize every moment.

Below is the touching tribute Roo’s humans posted to his Facebook page.

We are very sorry to bring sad news today.We had a lot of plans with Roo-visits to schools, ice cream, meeting a…

Posted by Live Like Roo on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Run free, sweet Roo. Thank you for showing all of us how wonderful life can be.


Roosevelt (or Roo), a 5-years-young Pittie, very suddenly found himself alone and in a shelter when his previous owners surrendered him due to urinating issues. When Kelly Michael and Sarah Lauch stepped inside Chicago Animal Care and Control, they say Roo looked “so sad and so weepy,” and felt an unmistakable soft spot for the big guy.


He was unusually calm and quiet in a horde of barking, jumping dogs. The two had to take him out to the yard for an official introduction, and it’s no surprise that they fell head over paws in love.

Roo didn’t come without issues, though. He definitely had urinary problems–peeing (or rather, dribbling) for a very long time–and his teeth were totally ground down, probably from eating rocks or gnawing on cage bars.


When these two lovely ladies took Roo home as their foster, a dental appointment revealed a lump near his groin. It was bone cancer, and the doctors left Roo with a prognosis of only a few months to live. A unanimous decision left him with Kelly as his permanent home.

Of course, Roo doesn’t know he’s dying. In fact, this might be one of the most gleeful Pit Bulls I’ve ever seen!


He now has a bucket list of sorts, although there is no official “list.” Roo simply lives like all dogs do–in the moment, and his pawrents are helping him to have the best last months of his life. They even have a campaign for Roo on Facebook to encourage everyone to “Live Like Roo” even after this awesome boy has gone.

So far, Roo has walked the trails with his pals at Starved Rock

starved rock

… and shared delicious snacks with Fifty the Pittie.

roo and fifty

He’s snuggled in blankets in his very own home…

roo bein' goofy

… and got a relaxing dawg massage! Look how blissed-out he is!

roo getting a massage

Roo’s even gone for a swim–one of his all-time favorite activities…

roo swimming

… gorged on hot dogs at a softball game…

softball and hotdogs

… and grumbled at hooligan teenagers. They’re the worst.

grumble roo

All in all, Roo is livin’ it up and getting love from across the nation. People have sent him endless toys, treats, and love, and Roo goes nuts for it! But there’s only one thing he likes more than any of the rest, and that thing is ice cream.


If you’d like to inquire about sending Roo some love, message his humans on his Facebook page!

H/t Inside Edition & Live Like Roo, Featured Image via Live Like Roo

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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

August 4, 2015

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