So this is going to be a weird post, anyone who has read Rascal’s journey will know that it’s gone remarkably well.

I want the community to know that all our good days haven’t completely prevented the not so good human feelings. I don’t think this is exclusive to having an old dog, but I think in my situation there’s something to it. During the days Rascal is energetic and makes do demanding kingly treatment to make up for his still recuperating mobility.

It’s the nights that we struggle. Rascal always used to rest his head on his front paws, and I see him look for the paw that isn’t there to pillow his head anymore. He’ll give me this look, this simultaneously knowing and questioning look. I know I’m reading too much into it, but I’ve come to dread that look. It makes me feel so guilty, despite knowing we had no other option. It brings all these questions I have to the forefront of my mind.

He hasn’t cuddled up to me to sleep since the surgery. He’s been achy despite all the massages. I also see his muscles pull and twitch in the shoulder, knowing he’s trying to pull my hand to his chest for pets. The vet said leaving his scapula in was for the best, given his age and stout gait. That it would be a less stressful amount of damage and was in his best interest. I almost wish it wasn’t there for me to see the clear would-be movement he keeps up despite knowing the leg is gone. I think indistinct movement┬áthat wasn’t so recognizable would be easier for me to deal with. Now back to those burning questions/worries.

See, I’m a college student that lives with my lower middle class parents. We scrounged up enough money for his surgeries and his medications, my well off brother helped us buy the Farabloc and a new harness. I worry about what the regrowing tumor on his leg actually was. And I worry for any other lump I find on his body even after the vet tells me not to worry, that it’s just a benign fatty tumor. He’s got new ones since the surgery I haven’t been able to have checked out.

My family is never going to be able to afford┬áseeing a veterinary oncologist or have extensive testing, especially considering my tuition costs and his age. I feel very guilty about how much more care I’d like to provide for him, but can’t seem to manage. I have severe anxiety, so I am definitely a worry-wart. I know a lot of this is just me, the human, being ridiculous. I am glad to be doing my best for my best bud, and that the smaller amount of surgical damage has meant a lovely recovery. I don’t resent having to go through this, I just worry and hope for a lot more time with my dog.

I don’t even know what I’m hoping to accomplish with writing all this down, but perhaps its just for the catharsis.

Thanks from the bottom of my heart Tripawd Nation for going through this before me, with me.

Rascal and Co.

7 thoughts on “Confessions”

  1. During my time on this site I realize that everyone is in different place in their lives with varying amounts of support and resources. Although there are financial limitations it sounds like your family has been incredible in supporting you through the amputation process.

    Going to a specialist might help Rascal live a bit longer, but then it might not. In addition these additional costs would put stress on you. Would the stress be worth the unknown outcome? Probably not. I think you did the right thing for you and Rascal.

    You will find Rascal will get stronger every day. Check out some of the therapy exercises here and online. You can do them with Rascal for free.

    Since you are a student, are there counselors who offer their services for free at your college? It might help you to talk to someone and to help with your anxiety and worry. “Worry is misuse of the imagination.” A counselor may help you develop techniques to shift your worrying thoughts back to reality.

    I believe the reality is that Rascal has a great mom who is you; lives with a fabulous family; is energetic and only wants play and be loved by you.

    I hope for peace and happiness for Rascal and Co.

    Kerren and Tripawd Mona

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      I have been to therapy for my anxiety and am part of a support group.

      I just felt like sharing the negatives as well as the positives so that this blog would be a more honest account of events. I need to be more dog!

      1. I can relate. I also need to be more dog and CAT – sleep more, stretch before I get out of bed, find play in the simplest of ways, cuddle when I want, live life on my terms and in the moment.

        I look forward to more photos of Rascal!

        Kerren and Tripawd Mona

  2. Oh yes, we can all relate to mastering the art of worrying! This journey gives us all a Masters Degree!!

    We understand all the turmoil going on in that head of yours all too well! Worrying about the “what it’s”….the wudda’, shudda’, cudda’. No matter what, you’ll always wish you had more finances to do this…to try that…you’ll always want to be doing more.

    The reality is…we do the best we can with the circumstances we have! And, as far as chemo, it’s a crap shoot! Some appear to get extended time with it, some don’t even complete the treatment before they cross over. Some who do NO chemo are still around a couple of years lster…some are not.

    One thing we all learn on this journey (and you already have a great attitude to befin with), is to let NOTHING ROB US OF OUR TIME TOGETHER! That’s yet another way that nasty oiece of crap disease tries to steal time. Do not let that happen!!

    For whatever it’s worth, Frankie, my adopted front legger, did have the scapular removed and I can still see the twitching and movement as though he’s trying to “use” that missing leg. I barely notice now simply because I’m used to it and I’m always looking at his happy face and wagging tail.

    Rascal is sooooo happy to have that bum leg gone!! You made the right decision!! The best decision for Rascal! I like that the vet did the surgerynthe way he felt was best specifically for Rascal…well thought out.

    Rascal is still soooo early in recovery and is still figuring things out. My Happy Hannah did not even lay on her amp. side for five weeks after surgery! Btw, she was a rear legger and Icould still see her tiny bit of a nub that was left twitch and .ove too. It really is just atural reflex.

    Being strapped financially is difficult for all of us. You have already done the most important thing and that is get rid of Rascal’s pain. The reality of life is we must be able to afford a roof over our head and food. When something like this strikes out of the blue, we can only do the best we can with the resources we have.

    One thing you might check into is some holistic and nutritional supplements. Many people go that route and have great success. Mushroom therapy is something you may look into. Also K9 Immunity supplements

    Now, let’s get back to letting nothing interfere with your time together! Rascal sure isn’t! He’s just thoroughly enjoying living life to the fullest!! And he seems to be doing that just BRILLIANTLY! I really can’t believe how well and how quickly his recovery has gone. Sometimes “mature” dogs have a little harder time!

    Oh, one more thing. Try putting a little soft folded towel where is paw was for him to lay his head. But I really doubt he’s giving it all the thought youvew attributed to his “look”:-) Yeah, pretty sure that’s just us being human!

    Thanks for sharing your concerns today. It really does help just to “talk it out”! That’s what we do here and usually feel better afterwards.

    Now go hug on that ADORABLE Rascal aan post some pictures! I just love seeing that cute little man!!

    Sending lots of love!!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

    1. You’ve commented on every post Sally, I can’t tell you how much I adore you for it!

      It’s like you know just what I need to hear!

      I hope you and your Alumni are doing well!

  3. Yup… this post definitely sounds like me during my journey … I was (and still am) a ‘single mom’ and it was hard and painful and paralyzing. I really tried to be in the moment for my Shelby girl and it was hard. And now that she has passed and I have little Jasper, I try and be more ‘dog’ for her. But I still worry – all the time. I even think how will Jasper look on 3 legs … even though she’s 100% healthy. It’s what makes us human but definitely not a good use of my time. Stay here with us. This journey is hard but the rewards are awesome. Look at how well your buddy is doing – he isn’t worrying about tomorrow. He’s happy today and with you! And i hear you on finances … ouch! That was Shelby’s college fund! LOL

    Hugs and love and support.
    alison with spirit shelby in her heart (and little jasper too)

  4. {{{{hugs}}} I know this wasn’t easy to write or share. But thank you. because it’s this kind of honesty that shows newcomers they are not alone.

    There isn’t one person here who hasn’t felt what you feel when the guilt and all the “what ifs.” We ALL do it. And you know what? No matter how much $$$ anyone has, it’s never enough. No matter how much anyone is able to put into treatment, it cannot guarantee anything at all. It’s a crapshoot no matter what kind of money you have, truly. I’ve seen it over and over. So please, please know that you are doing your best and that Rascal knows this. And that all of your feelings are a silly human burden, not his. He is not regretful or full of blame, ever.

    Cancer is a sucky time but it’s full of so many life-changing lessons that make us better humans in the long run, if we are open to learning them. Keep your heart open to all that Rascal is here to teach you about living in the now, and your life will be so much brighter and better because of it. You’re very lucky to be in this position at a young age (I know it doesn’t feel like it!), but most of us here didn’t figure these things out until many, many years later than where you are now.

    thanks again for sharing.

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