Rascal and Co. had a lovely morning today, and I feel like sharing. We live in a circle of 100 ft. trees which we are very grateful for during these summer heat waves. It also means we have a few hours in the morning when everything is shaded and we can get some landscape maintenance done.
Ultimately I just want an excuse to share this photo. It’s one thing to say they make a cute dog couple and another to see it in action. Ebbie is the only animal Rascal will let that close to his incision. So with all of us out gardening or just enjoying the fresh air, Rascal himself couldn’t stay behind in the house! This porch swing faces the flowerbeds and is as clean as it’s gonna get so we decided to settle him there for a soft surface and a gentle rocking motion. Soon enough his adorable dog wife joined him and they contentedly laid there while we sat on the ground digging in the dirt. What a role reversal!
We survived the first week! The enthusiasm I’m feeling is over the top and vaguely ridiculous.
To give you guys a good idea of how awesome and simultaneously terrifying this week has been, I have pictures and a story:
This bruising only appeared after Rascal slept on his incision/stump for the first time on his Farabloc blanket. Until that time he had remained on his good side, and hadn’t had any bruising.
But as you can see with the second photo, as fast as it appeared it was gone. Back to his pink skin with hardly any sign it’d ever been there at all. And yes, he is still sleeping incision side down on the Farabloc, the bruising just hasn’t reappeared. He may be 13 years old, but this dog is healing like a champion. I’m so excited about the progress we’ve made together, and the funny antics that have punctuated his experience so far. He proves to me over and over what an amazing animal he is. It makes me so grateful that he’s spending his life with me and that we’re doing this thing together. He’s not bitter, he isn’t pouting; he’s just trying to convince me he totally can jump off the couch without assistance even though he knows the one time he tried he face-planted into his bed. Thank goodness for strategically placed soft things!
To say that there haven’t been any scary moments or near-disasters would be a falsification on my part. As part of this wonderful community I feel I have to share the moments that feel like failures as well because we got through them, even if they could’ve gone horribly wrong. Some of this has been pure luck, and I am not the perfect human that watches him every second of every day.
One such moment was when the baby gate was down so that my pops could come and retrieve his lunch and bring it back downstairs with him. We were all preparing to eat and moving about, and not one of us noticed Rascal hobbling after pops knowing that he’s the sucker most likely to share some food. We only realized when pops called up, “Rascal is somehow down here and begging!”
To put it simply, Rascal climbed down our thirteen wooden stairs with no supervision, and it could’ve been such a disaster. My appetite gone, I rushed down to check him over and direct my angry panic at my poor pops who wasn’t any more aware of it than I was.
How could he not close the baby gate behind him! Never mind the food that occupied his hands, Rascal’s safety was momentarily at risk! I don’t care that he’s fine I’m too busy freaking out at the possibilities of what could’ve happened!
It was scary, it could have gone so terribly and Rascal could have been seriously injured. Our stairs are steep and have no runners to help him grip. I can only chalk it up to Rascal having so many years of practice going up and down those damned steps that kept him okay when no one was looking. I’ve been so paranoid about the many stairs in and around my hilltop house since, that the gates are always up and the family members are having to use the outdoor stairs to go between floors because that cannot happen again.
So yes, Rascal is doing well and healing with aplomb. But that also means he doesn’t really seem to understand his limits, and he’s willing to put himself in some questionable situations when I so much as focus on a meal.
However, today is not about how close Rascal came to injury. Today is about the fact that he didn’t hurt himself, and he’s had an entire week to try. Time to celebrate!
Wishing the Tripawds Nation all the reasons to celebrate with us,
Rascal has been doing so well he’s frankly been driving his human up a wall with trying to keep him mellow and resting! The puppy’s been having some trouble adjusting to her main man looking like frankendog, and there have been some power struggles over kibble that Rascal hasn’t even been allowed to eat yet.
Since the activity level has been so over the top, he does appear to have about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of fluid floating about in the loose skin around the incision. We’ve got an eye on it, and we’re prepared to have it drained if it doesn’t dissipate post-haste.
He really did live up to his name today, many trips were taken in his human’s arms down the spiral stairs to the flat front yard. From pretending to really need a potty break, to sitting down and just sunbathing once we made it to the grass. That had been his plan all along. One should never underestimate a Rascal’s will to have a good time.
It fits his personality to drive us crazy for entertainment if he can’t go hunting in the garden.
So while he’s been working my last nerve and thoroughly enjoying himself doing it, I’m genuinely pleased he’s still doing so well. I’ve read a lot that this whole process feels so worth it when your dog regains the sparkle in their eye. I’ve gotta say, it doesn’t seem like my bud has lost his sparkle in the first place. It could be that he’s already had two surgeries in the past 9 months and as such knows the drill, or that those helped my vet know the perfect pain management routine, or what; but I’m grateful for it all the same.
Mischief reigns supreme over the humans of his house, and all is still well.
Oh so where to start… Just a doo-dad of an update today. Last night was rough for both Rascal and I. He was hungry and since I couldn’t/wouldn’t feed him he wouldn’t let me sleep. I became very cranky after hitting the 24 hours awake mark.
He’s been much better today since devouring his breakfast. His pain seems well managed on the two oral pain medications he’s rocking, and overall seems to be doing well. Which I think is ultimately why moments like these have taken place; well fed, hydrated, and pain managed pup trying to show off too soon. We’re doing our best to encourage rest, putting him behind a closed kennel door has only resulted in loud, loud whining. So he’s planted on his less fancy pillow bed center of the room by the fan. It’s been convenient that we can just scoop him up and plonk him back on his pillow should he try and move about too much.
It’s a little heart breaking seeing the muscles twitch in a way that you know would’ve moved his missing leg, but he’s learning to hop faster than I’d like, and has very quickly mastered the spread leg squat pee after one stumble trying to lift his leg (caught him before he could fall).
I’m really craving cheese soup fellow tripawd pawrents, but I really don’t feel like cooking in this heat. I got a good five hour nap this morning when my mom woke up and agreed to watch Rascal for me, so thank goodness for that! However, I woke up to a story about how he hopped onto the porch when she wasn’t paying attention and left the door open while watering her plants! Anyone feel like sharing stories of a dog that wanted to be active way too soon? I’m worried he’ll get fluid buildup at this point, though the vet said she put in extra effort with his sutures to try and help prevent that because she knows what a spunky, active kid he is.
I’ll just be thankful in knowing that as long as I’m in the room, he knows the stay-on-the-pillow law will be enforced. He’s napping as I type this a few feet from him. He also has next to no bruising, which has me thinking it just hasn’t shown up yet and is late to the party. I laid a towel and a fuzzy ice pack on him last night to help with some swelling as well, and I just think his incision looks so good! Even if it’s a bit jiggly from all his loose skin.
Oh my! He just rolled to lay on his incision for the first time! I think he’s sick of laying on his other side. I wish it wasn’t so hot, I would put his shirt on to keep it clean. At least the pillow is clean and only bears his own shed fur.
This has turned into such a ramble versus a clear and concise update!
We hope the Tripawds Nation is enjoying the last day of June,
I’ve decided to create a blog about it instead of clogging up the forums of tripawds.com with photos of my boy as we take this journey together.
As I stated in the forum where I asked my very first questions, it’s been decided that the best course of action from here would be to remove Rascal’s right fore-leg versus continually removing the tumor on his ankle joint. I’ve been keeping myself in a very strict head space since this decision was made, only optimism and faith in the grit of my dog are welcome in this brain. My one wish is that I could sit him down and communicate what is going to happen, it’s the dropping him off for an operation resulting in weeks of pain that will hurt like betrayal. Luckily for me I know Rascal won’t see it that way.
His tumor looks horrible, the skin so tight it’s ready to split, the scar tissue from previous removal operations is actually almost a centimeter wide from the skin stretching so much! Rascal licks at it and I think that’s aided the stretching, but we’ve run out of time and the surgery is scheduled.
The surgery will take place on Monday, June 29th 2015.
Today was a fun day though! Since his human has been feeling the stress and wants to be prepared for his post-op, we participated in a bit of retail therapy today! I took Rascal to two different pet stores to look at a few simple things like a soft but very light t-shirt to heal in, a stand to elevate his food bowl, and some peanut butter pill pockets for the series of pain medications he’ll soon be taking.
I wanted to take a look at the pro-collar inflatable cone alternative as well, despite Rascal handling traditional cones fine. Frustratingly enough both stores didn’t have what I was looking for, either the wrong size or way overpriced! That’s okay though, there’s always online!