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Adventures of Lupedog

Another Amazing Tripawds Three Legged Dog Blog

Adventures of Lupedog

June 14, 2012

June 21st, 2012 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

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Its been 1 week since my sweet Lupe earned her wings.  Its been so hard without her, the grief and sadness comes in waves but I know that is normal.  I’ve been trying to summon the strength to blog about last Thursday and today I figured was as good as any, so here goes…

Thursday morning at around 5:30 I heard her get up and take a big drink, but then she threw up.  I took her outside and she just lied down in the grass.  So I got ready as quickly as possible to take her to the ER.  As we were leaving, we saw our normal morning walking pals Yodi and her mom (I don’t know Yodi’s Mom’s name).  We hadn’t seen them since before Lupe’s surgery and I was glad they stopped over to say hello.  Lupe stood up, circled and then pooped!  This was the first time she pooped since the day before surgery when Yodi came by to say hello.  It was like Yodi was good luck for Lupe pooping.

I drove as quickly up to the ER as I could.  I had to carry her in, she had no strength to walk.  The vet ran a quick blood panel on her and her kidney and liver levels were on the rise but more disturbing is that she was severely aenemic.  He didn’t think it was the surgery as there was no signs of internal bleeding or infection, in fact, the incision was healing beautifully.  He told me she would need a blood transfusion and that maybe that would get her over the hump. He went to go check on her and look at her records a little more, basically it was a transfusion or let her go.  I called my brother, my cousin and a dear friend to talk through things.  I couldn’t get a hold of my father.  The choice was pretty clear, everything I had done to that point was to give her a shot at beating the cancer, the surgery, the fluids, the meds…a transfusion would be for me to help me delay the inevitable.

The ER vet came back a few minutes later and said after looking at the pathology and seeing the type of tumor she had and the extent that it had invaded her vascular and lymphatic systems the anemia was a sign of the cancer attacking her bone marrow.  A tranfusion would help her for a couple of days but it wouldn’t help her out past that. I waited for Dr. Z to come in so I could talk to her, which was only about 20 minutes.  She was so upset but agreed with the ER vet and then my decision to let Lupe go.  I had the staff go get Lupe’s blanket from the car so that she could be on a familiar surface that smelled of her and me.  Dr. Z and I were both with Lupe and held her, spoke to her, and pet her while she slipped away.  The vet was crying with me and told me that Lupe was such a sweet soul and fought so hard.  I picked her up to give her one last hug and the little stink peed all over me!  I realize that’s a natural reaction but ironically she did that the first time I ever picked her up.

I left the vet and instinctively drove to NH to see my cousin.  I knew I couldn’t go home without her being there and there was no way I was going to be able to be productive at work.  I called my brother to let her know she was gone and we cried together.  I spent the day surrounded by my cousin, 2 nieces and infant nephew, dreading the drive home to an empty apartment.  When I did get home, I pulled up the mats, threw out all the food in the fridge (my attempts to get her to eat anything possible) and sat dazed at what had transpired.  Scared to sleep and scared to be awake without her…my best friend and companion of almost 15 years was gone.

A week later and a day doesn’t go by where I don’t feel her presence, where thinking of her doesn’t make me cry or smile, where I don’t miss giving her belly rubs or scratches.  Trying to find my new sense of normal and it just sucks.  I picked up her ashes on Tuesday and I don’t know what to with them.  So the cedar box is in a sealed white cardboard box sitting on her favorite bed…for now that is where they will stay.  She is up on her daycare’s website which is sweet but its strange to see her there… http://thedogscoop.com/index.php?p=55

As I said, the surgery was a chance for her to have the cancer removed and live out her lifespan with no pain.  Anything past that would have been for me and it wasn’t fair to her.  I miss her more than words can express but I know she is with my Mom and Grandma, getting all the love, scratches and table scraps possible.

 


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From dancing to wings…

June 14th, 2012 · 9 Comments · Uncategorized

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The dancing is for the poop that Lupe made today…

The wings are for the ones she now has…

It was time to let her go, she had grown so weak and the cancer was taking over…

The emotions are too raw, the house is too quiet…I will chronicle the day at some point, but for now rest well my sweet girl, run free my pooh bear and know that you are forever in my heart…

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Coming up on a week post surgery

June 13th, 2012 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

Trying to remain pawsitive but Lupe seems to be fading.  She is still not eating and seems to be so sleepy that she isn’t really moving.  She is still drinking and will go out to pee 2 or 3 times a day, but still no poop.  I have a call in to Dr. Z to give her an update, as Dr. B is not in the office today.  Dr. B did call last night and said she wanted me to follow up with Dr. Z as she is more knowledgable on how dogs react post amputation.

I went to the office for a few hours yesterday.  I needed to change of scenery and needed not to be jumping up every time I heard her move.  I think we both needed a break.  There were some tail wags and she did left her head up when I walked by her last night.  But so far this morning, she went outside and is lying by the door, she didn’t even really walk into the apartment.

Do I regret surgery?  No.  I do feel like I had to give her a shot to be cancer free and live out her lifespan healthy and feeling good.  I just don’t know if that’s a possibility right now.  I don’t like the thoughts that are going through my head or the dreams I am having about things.  But then I try to wipe those thoughts away and remember that she had major surgery at almost 15 and may need longer to heal.  I guess I will see what Dr. Z has to say.

***Updated post for Lupe fashion show***

Lupe resting in red 6/11/12

Lupe the life guard (and my foot) 6/12/12Orange sherbert 6/13/12

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Quiet night

June 12th, 2012 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Lupe had a quiet night, I kept waking to check on her but she was out cold.  I had horrible dreams about her which added to my sleeplessness.  She is still sleeping and its time to get her up to go outside.

Hopeful that today will be an eating day…fingers and paws crossed.  Wondering if going into the office tomorrow will help her return to some sort of “normal”.  The rollercoaster ride is ongoing and don’t I hate amuzement parks!!!

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Yet another vet visit

June 11th, 2012 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Lupe is still not eating even on the appetite stimulant.  So I called Dr. Z’s office and one of the nurses called me back.  She said it would be worthwhile getting her checked out to make sure there wasn’t any infection or underlying issues, but thinks that it may be an issue of pain management.  Lupe has been on .20 cc of Bupranex twice a day and the nurse said that is the low end of the spectrum.

Brought her in to see Dr. B for an eval.  Temp was good and she’s a little dehydrated.  Her heartrate was high so Dr. B is agreeing that the lack of appetite is due to pain.  She doesn’t think that there is anything underlying that could be an issue.  So her Bupranex has been increased to .30 cc three times a day and she’s back on Pepcid for any stomach issues/reflux.  Dr. B feels that if we can get her pain under control, she will start eating and to coax her with anything and everything.  She was given sub-cuteanous fluids and a shot of Metacam to help with some of the inflamation around the incision.  She hasn’t pooped since before the surgery which is to be expected, but Dr. B did a quick check and said she is forming a stool that I should see in a couple of days.  I will be dancing the poopy dance like never before when that happens!!!

She was the hit of the office.  Every vet tech had to come in and say hi to her.  They were so happy to see her and all agreed (including Dr. B) that she is better than she was at this point last week.  I almost had a heart attack when they first weighed her they told me she weighed 13 pounds and she was 16.5 pre-surgery…then I realized they took off a leg, duh!  Dr. B weighed her on the baby scale for a more accurate reading which was 15.75 which is pretty good.

Fingers crossed that we get her pain under control and that her appetite comes back…pulling for her, she needs to pull back.  I ask nightly for the patience to help her and I need to dig deep and give her time to heel.  I guess this may be the crash and low I’ve heard about that hits about 4 or 5 days post-op.  Baby steps end up equaling strides and leaps…hard to see it when you are the midst of it though.

 

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Back to work

June 11th, 2012 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Its Monday morning and that means back to work for me.  Luckily my job is flexible enough that I can work from home for the next couple of days. I left Lupe for a few hours yesterday and had my neighbor come check on her. She brought her 5 year old to say hi to Lupe, glad I kept her shirt on, which was a hit with my neighbor’s daughter.

Purple butterfly t-shirt...one of my favs

Lupe is still not eating. She’s on an appetite stimulant but she seems to have no interest in food.  She is still drinking and going pee. I bought the same chicken they had been feeding her in the hospital but she wants nothing to do with it.

I’ve also been having issues with giving her pain meds. She is on Buprenex and I’m supposed to give it to her in her cheek cavity. Its become a battle with her struggling to move away from me and actually snapping her jaw as if to bite me. She screams because she’s moving too much which is so upsetting to hear. I try to get her when she’s asleep but doesn’t always work. She hasn’t been a fan of getting the meds but its getting worse.

Time for my breakfast and to start my work day…Lupe is resting in the other room on her bed fuming from having to get meds.

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She’s home!!!

June 9th, 2012 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Lupe came home yesterday!!! I had to leave work early so that I could get things ready just in case she came home (a new more supportive bed, t-shirts to cover the incision, floor mats, etc.).  I was honestly nervous to see her but Dr. Z assured me that she was doing wonderfully.  So in walked my little girl.  All that I’ve read about looking in her eyes, remaining calm and pawsitive really did help.  I was just so happy to see her that it didn’t matter what she looked like, which really wasn’t that bad.  It was better to see her without the bad leg than to see it reminding me of what was inside of her.  I spent about 20 minutes with her, snuggling, taking pictures, feeding her and I knew she would be coming home.  Dr. Z came back in and told me the decision was mine but she felt that Lupe would do better at home in her normal environment.  Lupe walked out of the hospital (wearing a new shirt), head held high and proceeded to tinkle on the driveway…guess she had to go.

Our first night home went pretty well.  She was okay walking around, ate a little bit and just rested.  She woke up a couple of times during the night but seemed to settle herself back down fairly quickly.  I did have to help her the first time cuz she had gotten off her bed.  I’m a light sleeper so I was up at every little noise but got a decent night sleep, except that I’

m up extra early on a Saturday morning.  Plan for today is to just relax and be around for her.

I know that we are not out of the woods but after all that transpired before the surgery, I truly feel like we are heading down the right path.  The decision to do the amputation was the right one.  Dr. Z said that if we had kept the leg, her quality of life would have declined very rapidly.  So while we don’t know what the future holds and there will definitely be some bumps along the way but I’m glad to have her home.

Okay, now time for pictures…not many close ups but there are some shots with the incision visable…

Lupe 24 hours post surgery

Going home!!!

Relaxing at home

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Day 1

June 8th, 2012 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

Think I actually got some sleep last night.  The apartment was oddly quiet and lonely with Lupe, but I made it through and so did she!

Dr. Z just called and she sounds so upbeat.  Lupe is up, walking around, alert and doing great.  She still doesn’t have an appetite but she’s been on fluids and glucose so Dr. Z doesn’t expect her to have one.  I’m going over around 3 to see her and we will decide if I’m ready and she’s ready to come home.  Dr. Z has seen this type of quick turnaround once before and that was with her dog.  She thinks that the tumor/leg was so painful and no that its gone she’s a new dog!

I have to leave work a little early because I haven’t prepared for her to come home today!  Need to pick up mats/carpets to cover the floors and get some t-shirts to cover the incision…and then be ready to see her at 3.

There have been so many people pulling for Lupe, sending prayers and good vibes her way, so thank you all as they have worked!  I know we have a long road ahead of us and may have some bumps in that road but after the last few weeks, I truly think we can handle just about anything…just me and my tripawd 🙂

 

Groggy Lupe from our video chat last night

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So long monkeybutt!!!

June 7th, 2012 · 10 Comments · Uncategorized

After almost 15 years, Lupe is now a tripawd!!!

I dropped her off with Dr. Z this morning.  The tech came to get her so I kissed her nose, scratched her ear and under her cheek and kissed that cancerous leg good bye.  Dr. Z called shortly after and said that Lupe’s blood work looked good, consistent with what we had been seeing.  She was a little dehydrated and her blood sugar was a little low, but she was getting fluids and glucose.  Dr. Z said if we were going to do the surgery it was better not to wait.  It was a quick decision…

Dr. Z called me a little before 2 to let me know Lupe got through the surgery wonderfully, no complications.  She was awake and breathing on her own.  Dr. Z was amazed at how her leg had changed from a week ago.  It was severly inflammed and must have been causing so much pain.  I spoke to her nurse a couple of hours ago and Lupe was resting comfortably, still coming out of the anethesia but we set up a time to have a video call at 9 pm.  So what they do is have the nurse and me on the phone talking about her progress while they have a video camera on Lupe so I can see her.  I should be able to see her tomorrow and hopefully she will be coming home on Saturday.

I’m overwhelmed by everything.  Driving home tonight I saw people walking their dogs and the guilt hit me along with the anger.  I guess its normally to be jealous of the monkeybutts with knowing what is happening with Lupe and I.  I’m not sure what to do to prepare for what I am going to see and how things are going to be when she comes home.  She’s still my Pooh Bear and I need to not lose sight of that and treasure the time we have as we move forward on this new road we are going down.  Wow, Lupe is tripawd and I’m a tripawd pawrent…craziness!!!

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Today could be her big day…

June 7th, 2012 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

Just got into work having dropped Lupe off at Dr. Z’s.  Signed all the forms for the amputation but not sure if it is still an option.  Dr. Z and I spoke yesterday and she felt that all of Lupe’s symptoms (not eating, lethargy, upset tummy, etc.) are related to the pain and the meds.  So we agreed that I would drop her off as scheduled this morning, Dr. Z would do some blood work and an exam and then call me to discuss our options.  Surgery may give her the best chance of being pain free and returning more towards normal, but she may not be able to handle surgery and even if we do it, nothing is guaranteed…but isn’t that the way in life?

I handed over my sweet girl to the surgery tech, kissed her beautiful nose and her cancer leg, gave her a big ear scratch and she was gone.  Now to through myself into work until I hear back from Dr. Z…but first, a deep thought from Lupe…

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