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 that 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 seeing 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.

1 Week Post-Op!

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:

Bruised Boy
Bruised Boy

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.


Where'd it go?!
Where’d it go?!

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 and Co.

The Pulled Stitch Debacle

So after my post yesterday things went a little wonky. I have concluded I should’ve done the taped sock to the back foot sooner.

Dapper Dog
Dapper Dog

I went into town for the first time since Rascal’s surgery to pick up some tea because who can live in summer without tea? I left Rascal under the careful watch of my mom. When I got back from this quick jaunt, things had already gone wrong. Mom said she was watching him very closely, but she did have to go pee and that short amount of time is apparently all Rascal needed to pull a good chunk of his stitches out.

As a result we put him into his new bow tie and took him to the vet before they closed for the holiday weekend to have him fixed up fresh. If he’s going to cause trouble the least he can do is look cute for the lovely ladies at the vet’s office.

20150702_234446_resizedSo, Rascal m’boy has some new jewelry in the form of three staples. Good news being where he pulled the stitches had healed enough to stay mostly closed and didn’t bleed; the vet techs gave it a wash and his new combo stitch and staples look great. Bonus picture of Rascal enjoying his Farabloc blanket!


Hoping this finds you all well,

Rascal and Co.