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Our Amazing Buddy

Old dogs can learn new tricks!

Our Amazing Buddy

Coming home and the days leading up to today.

September 24th, 2015 · 11 Comments · Uncategorized

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We got the all clear from the vet office to come get Buddy, Tuesday night, September 15th. We loaded the car up with his big bed and headed to their office. We were excited and terrified all at the same time. The vet tech came out to discuss medications and answer any questions we had. She left with another tech to go get Buddy loaded up on a gurney while we waited in the parking lot for his arrival. My first thought when they brought Buddy through the doors was, it looks like Buddy! I was expecting some Frankenstein sort of appearance but it was our Buddy minus a limb. He really looked pretty good! The tech made mention that his weight was now 71 lbs. Puzzled, we said, ” He came in at 81.” Then the lightbulb went on and we both said, ” Oh.” They loaded him into the back of our van like a huge load of potatoes with 2 towels but he certainly didn’t seem to mind. I sat in the back just to make sure he was safe. And off we went for home. I will not lie. I sat in the back and cried thinking OMG what have we done? We drove into the garage and got him out of the car by carrying his bed into the living room. He’s probably got to pee. How in the heck are we going to do this? We carried all 71 lbs of him in his bed out to the walkway. We stuck one towel under his front end and another under his back end. He face planted and it was a struggle but some how we managed and he peed. Success. We carried him back into the house and face timed our daughter in college. Buddy looked around the room and I swear he was smiling. He was so happy to be home. (Or maybe he was hallucinating that he was in room full of giant dog bones.) We offered him water  to which he refused. So I added some chicken broth to make it more enticing. Success! He loved it!

Wednesday morning was another struggle in trying to figure out how to get him out to do his business. All the blogs I had read at that point had made it seem like it was so easy. I kept seeing how other dogs were up and moving around after 24 hours. Stupidly I thought, why does he need so much help? Exhausted from 5 nights of no sleep, I wrote to one of the forums at tripawds and asked how long until he is up and mobile? I wrote a short clip about him and our struggle and almost immediately I got a response. And then there were 2 more responses. I sat and cried. The support we were receiving was overwhelming. Our new friends helped us to see that he was an older dog who needed his rest and that front limb amputations take a bit longer to adjust. Get rid of the stupid towels and get a canvas grocery bag to create a sling for him. And that rest assured, he was going to be just fine and to hang in there. I wanted to jump through my screen and hug every one of them. It meant so much to us that people cared that much and wanted to reach out to us. I finally settled down that night and slept.

Thursday morning I was on a mission to make him that sling. No more crappy towels. My youngest came home from school to help me test drive it. We carried him out to the lawn on his dog bed. Shoved the sling under him and up he went. It took a little tweaking but it worked! Yippee! My mom and stepfather were in town for my nieces wedding and stopped by. Well my goodness. Buddy was so excited! He was trying to get up on his own to greet them! He wasn’t successful but he was trying! His tail wagged and he smiled! He was one happy dog! He even ate a little more dinner than usual. We carried his bed out to the lawn and got him up with his new sling again, he face planted  but he had another successful release from his bladder. Still no poop but thats ok. Poop happens. It always does.

Friday morning Buddy had more visitors. My dad and stepmother were staying with us for the wedding on Saturday. More smiles and more tail wagging. Dad and I headed to the dog food store that morning to get some advice on how to help Buddy loose weight. A sleek dog is a healthy dog when you are working with 3  legs. As usual they were very helpful. 1/2 cup of his grain free dog food and 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal for breakfast and dinner. (This was tweaked later in the week by our vet to 1/2 c grain free dog food and 1/2 cooked oatmeal for breakfast. 1/2 c grain free dog food, 1/2 c boiled chicken and 1 cup of green beans for dinner) Friday night was more visits from my brother and his wife who were also in town for the wedding. Buddy was thrilled! More visitors for me?! My daughters best friend since 3rd grade came by  with our neighbors to learn how to help take care of Buddy while we were gone on Saturday for the wedding.  These people are a blessing. Carrying a 71 lb dog outside and then helping him up with a sling is no easy task. They assured us all would be well. That night we took him out for his nightly pee but still no poop. Thats ok. Poop happens. It always does.

Saturday morning was filled with lots of attention again as we all readied ourselves for the wedding. I finally removed the pain patch from his back paw. I know he didn’t like it there because he kept sticking his leg out while he was resting as if to say, what is this and get it off please. Sheer guilt took over in leaving him so soon after surgery but I knew he was in good hands. The wedding was beautiful and a welcome distraction from my constant worry over our beloved dog. Our neighbors and our daughters friend had no problems except for the fact that he wouldn’t drink much for them. That was much better than I had expected. Usually he lays around depressed all day when we are gone for long periods. We came home that  night and carried his bed out to the front lawn. We lifted him up in his sling and off he hobbled to the garden. He turned, positioned his butt and mission control, we have poop! I think I yelled it! POOP! He’s pooping!! I’ve never been so excited to see poop!! Poop happened. It always does.

Sunday was a pretty good day. We carried Buddy on his bed out to the front lawn to sun himself for the first time. He was one happy dog. We said goodbye to most of our family as they headed back home. That afternoon Buddy started to shake and pant. He’s had anxiety before over storms. Rain was in the forecast for Monday but really, we weren’t sure what was up. My mom was at home with us and sat and sang to him. We stroked his paw, cuddled him and took his t-shirt off. Nothing helped. He wasn’t acting like he was in pain. That evening we took him out to do his business and off he hopped in his sling around the whole front of the garden and headed towards the street! He wanted to go for a walk! OMG! We turned him around and off he wobbly hopped back in the house and flopped on to his bed in the hallway. WOW! But the shaking still persisted.

Monday morning was filled with more uncontrollable shaking and panting. Maybe all the company we had was just to much for him. Unfortunately it was raining out so he couldn’t go sun himself. It was just awful seeing him like that. My oldest son came by to help me take him out to pee (as he had everyday at noon). We carried his bed to the garage, pulled him up on his sling and off he hobbled to the garden to pee. Just as he was finishing he face planted. But this time he lifted himself up all by himself. “Oh my gosh mom! Did you see that?!”,exclaimed my son. He did it! He had gotten up all on his own. But the shaking and panting persisted.

Tuesday morning I texted the vet. She called and we both scratched our heads as to what was wrong. Is he in pain? Was he getting to much pain medicine? Did the rain the day before bother him? To much company? We both decided that maybe it was time to introduce some doggy Xanax to help calm him down. He wasn’t shaking when I came home from work at noon. Go figure! So I held off. My son and I decided to try something different that day. Lets try taking him outside with out his bed. We laid down rugs everywhere so he wouldn’t slip on the floor. Then we hoisted him up in his sling and off he hobbled to the door. He hobbled around the garden and out came our neighbors from across the street. Oh my gosh! What happened to Buddy?!! We hadn’t told them yet. While we were explaining what had happened the sling got loose and we dropped it. And off Buddy hopped with out it!! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!! Did that just happen?!! He hopped along with out his sling, for the first time, around the garden and up to the house all on his own! He plopped himself down on his bed as if to say… And that my friends, is hows its done. 3 paws forward then one paw back. The shaking began. I gave him a Xanax and laid down with him to keep him calm. For the time being it helped. We brought him out front to sun himself where our little Chelsea kitty anxiously joined him.

Chelsea and Buddy

Chelsea and Buddy

One happy puppy!

One happy puppy!

Wednesday morning I came downstairs to find that some how he had gotten off of his bed and had peed on the floor. He had only one accident since his surgery so this was strange. We cleaned him up and took him outside with out his bed. Brought him back in and gave him another Xanax because I could see the shaking was about to begin. I came home from work to find my son cleaning up more pee. The Xanax must have made him to relaxed. We lifted him with his sling and took him to his kingdom for the first time since surgery. The backyard is his domain. Whoa the person, animal or thing that should walk by his kingdom. He hopped along with out his sling over to his thrown(a beat up old pink blanket) and plopped himself down all by himself. OMG. Rolled himself on his back to get a sunbath and looked like my old Bud Bud again. I went out to check on him 30 minutes later and couldn’t find him! WHAT??!! I ran out back to find him under a bush pooping. He face planted. Got up, wobbly hopped to another location, pooped again. Wobbly hopped back to his thrown and plopped himself down. ALL BY HIMSELF. AMAZING. We gave him dinner. Took him out with next to no help with his sling for his nightly pee. He wobbly hopped around the yard. Stopped, stood by himself and shoved his head between my knee’s for a head rub. BEST DAY EVER.

Today, I decided no Xanax. There was no shaking this morning. And no pee on the floor. I took him out back at noon with very minimal help with his sling. (all by myself!) 30 minutes later I couldn’t find him again! Little stinker decided that the sun was to hot and got under our back deck. And he has done that several times today all on his own. His back legs are still very shaky but I imagine with time that that to will get better. Amazing. Just amazing.

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11 Comments so far ↓

  • Paula Ehlers

    What a great post! This journey truly is 2 steps forward, 1 step back, but he’s getting there! After all the stress and worry this must make you so happy. Celebrate each and every milestone, no matter how small they seem. Yay Buddy!

    Paula and Nitro

  • linda8115

    Your journey will help others as they travel this same road. Way to go Buddy! He’s beautiful and so happy to get on with his life. Each day will have new things to celebrate. Thank you for sharing!

    Max, Linda & Bob

  • penny4weims

    Buddy is a riot, you have to post pictures of carrying him out on his bed. Glad the shaking has stopped and he is getting the hang of being a tripawd.
    Penny and her Gang

  • annapyr

    Lovely post! You’re a great writer. And it helps to have a good story to tell. I’m so glad Buddy is still at your side and enjoying life. It is the whole reason we go through all of this.

  • benny55

    Yes, you are doing a beautiful job of chronicling Buddy’s journey….the ups, downs, face plants, pooping victories, escaping the dreaded sling, and all the amazing things that make Buddy be Buddy! 🙂

    Ive been reading all of Buddy’s blogs and am thoroughly enjoying getting to know Buddy and his team! Welcome to the family Buddy! You are an absolute delight!!

    And your pictures depict a very gentle Soul…a feisty one too!

    Hugs to all…

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

  • benny55

    PS…I LOVE the banner picture of Buddy in the snow!

  • abby813

    OMG, this is the story I am living now. My Abby diagnosed with osteosarcoma in left rear leg. We are in 3rd day post op. The exact fears what did I do. Why is she panting, are the meds right, she’s not eating much. No poop. She may have it slightly easier than buddy being a rear leg. It is comforting to read this and know it gets better. Like you, I wanted to jump out of the page and hug you. Thank you, thank you, I may sleep tonite!!

    • tinkbubble66

      Oh my goodness. I am so sorry you are going through this with your Abby. I wish I could run to your home and hug you. Its going to be ok. It really is. Cross my heart. This really is the hardest part but Abby is going to get through this and so are you! It really, really does get better! Start writing down her 1 best accomplishment of the day. Then look back at it all 1 week later, then 1 month later and etc. When you are going through it you think, why oh why is this taking so long to heal! But then you look back and you think oh my goodness! She was healing at her own pace and she’s doing great! I honestly have no regrets what so ever in doing this surgery. We are at about 5 months post op and its just everyday life now. They have new funny walks and do new quirky things and life is good! Life is good because we made the biggest, best decision ever for our Bud Bud and so did you! You gave her another shot at life! Hang in there! I’ll say an extra prayer for you and your Abby! 🙂

  • Judy

    Perfect timing. Ranger and I are 2 days postop and I am living your story. I really needed to see this right now. Thank you for sharing.

    • tinkbubble66

      I am so glad to hear that! It really does get better! He is 8 months post op now and still going strong. He’s clumsy and will fall sometimes but he’s ok with it and so are we! It’s his “normal”. Hang in there! Hugs to your Ranger!!

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