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Alex wanted to say hello…

December 5, 2010

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We have been a little occupied getting a routine on track, meals squared away, medication scheduled and finding time to chase squirrels in between.  But Alex wanted to say hello and let others that are experiencing similar issues that he is doing great.  So far, learning to chew his pressed rawhides seems to be the single biggest obstacle that has challenged him.  He loves the fact that I rarely put him on lead anymore when it’s time to take a walk.   He promised me he would stop at every corner and wait to be crossed.

Although Alexei has not blogged much lately, we have kept up with the status of so many great dogs and their pawrents on the Tripawds community forum.  We are not so naive as to think Alex is a “ten percenter,” but we hope that he is, we supplement him as if he is not and appreciate every day we get to share him.  There is no way to know what chaos is occurring inside his body.  We’re just going to follow Alexei’s lead and live in the moment…SQUIRREL-

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14 days post surgery…

November 5, 2010

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Alex had all his bandages removed for good and is enjoying the added comfort of only wearing a T-shirt.  Important lesson learned when this Pawrent allowed Alexei to do everything he wanted on day 3 and 4 which included car rides and lots of time outside.  We experienced the most uncomfortable night and I had to use the same drugs he had on the eve of his surgery just to settle him down.  We have paced ourselves since then and things have been really good.

Its’ wonderful to see him out of pain and enjoying all the things that made him happy again.  From the moment he was on his feet all he wanted was to be in the sun out on the deck.  By day four he was looking for the OK to get up on his sofa/love seat.  And by the fifth night he was sleeping upstairs with his pack…

Post surgery

November 1, 2010

Alex was a real trooper and was home with me Tuesday night just seven hours after his surgery.  He was heavily drugged for about two days and required intense attention.  Although this was exhausting and stressful, it was extremely rewarding.  Rarely have I had the opportunity to be the more giving one in our relationship.

Thursday morning Alexei growled as his brother peered over the gate at him.  It was the first sighting of his personality in days and an indication that he was back.  A short time later he rose to his feet like a laying horse off the barn floor.  Alex made his way over to look out the window and I knew he was on his way to a full recovery.

We spent the day in Alexei’s favorite spot, on the rear deck.  Alex was in his glory, laying in the sun with his pack.  A little sore from the operation with lots of work ahead, but he was out of pain and enjoying life again…

Alex the proud Dobie…

October 18, 2010

Alexei is the big guy on the left (header) taking on his two brothers in a game of Tug O War.  Alexei is a nine year old male Doberman with a Russian name that often leaves people confused.  But he is every bit the boy and has the scars to prove it.

About four weeks ago we thought Alex had hurt his right front paw roughhousing with his brothers in the yard. When it didn’t get any better it was off to the Veterinarian. The Doctor was concerned with the location of his injury, but prescribed anti-inflammatory medication after the x-rays were negative. Alex was back at the Vets’ office in two weeks when he was not healing and in obvious intense pain. What we thought was swelling was actually a mass. He was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and we were referred to a specialist. Two days later Alex was sitting patiently in the Oncologist’s exam room with his mom. Just the sight of the man’s white coat had Alex’s bad paw raised for examination before the Doctor could even close the door. The earlier diagnosis was confirmed. Alex underwent a battery of tests that yielded positive results. But this cancer returns 90% of the time and even when images and chemistry is clear, micro-metastasis is present just not detected.

We desperately searched the internet for all the information needed to make the proper choices. It is clear that amputation is the only way to permanently stop his pain. Tripawds is a site that provides virtually everything pawrents need to make that informed decision. The discussion forums and blogs provide a support community of people and K9s that have experienced this horrible disease. At this point my concern is stopping his pain and “doing time” on pain killers is not Alexs’ style. Alexei is a proud Doberman that insists on running with his pack until that is no longer an option. What I have learned in the past few days is that its’ better to hop on three paws than limp on four.

Well, tomorrow is the big day. I am confident in our decision, but I have pause to question when I watch Alex sleeping so soundly on the sofa tonight. I have to think it is only the medication that is making this possible. Our path of treatments post surgery is a decision for another day. Everyone needs to get some rest for the long day tomorrow…