Showing posts with label tripawd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tripawd. Show all posts

July 12, 2011

Dog Dazed

Well, not just the dog... but both the dog and I are completely dazed (and confused) that she didn't win anything in the Orvis Cover Dog Contest! [In case you are joining us here late, I blogged in Feb. about entering Abby in this Orvis contest, because she loves her Orvis bed. She actually finished on the podium - 3rd place out of almost 13,000 dogs - in the "Most Unique Voters" contest.] With all the votes from you guys, I knew we'd get her pic in front of the judges so she'd stand out amongst the 1000s of entries, and I thought we'd at least get an Honorable Mention. 


We didn't even make the grade for the "Other Favorites." You can view the winners, HM's and Other Faves here. Geez, they couldn't squeeze a pic of an adorable tripawd in there?? Oh well, at least all your votes raised money for canine cancer research. And I suppose that is the important thing.

Nevertheless, we are undaunted. We are going to enter Abby in the local paper's "Dog Days of Summer" photo contest. I'd like to submit her entry by next week and I thought I'd ask your help first in selecting a photo. I tried to pick out some photos that say "summer" (or at least ones that say "hot dog"), so have a look and please comment regarding which you think I should enter:
Tripawd Lifeguard Girl

Just Another Fabulous Day at the Beach

Water Stop (this one doesn't even play the Tripawd card...)

Probably wouldn't really send this one, but I think it's cute

Nuthin' says summer like watermelon...

And more watermelon...

The "losing" shot from Orvis (might save this for the Humane Society calendar contest...)

Just included this one for your enjoyment
Once the pics are in, there will be a voting period from July 20 through the 29th and the top vote-getters will be published in the paper on July 31st and win movie passes. I'll remind you guys to vote next week. Don't really care about the movie passes since we never go to the movies, but it would be fun to see our lovely girl in print. We think she's so cute, we want to share her cuteness with everyone. So, let me know which pic you think I should pick??

July 6, 2011

Another Good Check Up & Feeling Crafty

Abby had a quick check up at the Vet Cancer Group today just to check her blood and make sure she is doing OK taking the Cytoxan every day now. All went well and Dr. V. said her blood looked great - in fact, it was the best it's been. We go back again in two weeks for x-rays. Of course we are hoping the Lone Met will still be a loner, and once we have confirmed that he is, we will have the "Rename the Lone Met" contest. Don't want to have it now, just in case... So fingers and paws are crossed for good news in two weeks. 

We still haven't started Abby on the artemisinin (which I blogged about here) as she's had a wee bit of tummy issues. I'm certain it's from stealing green peaches off another of our peach trees which is not producing much yet. (We've caught her munching on the pits a couple of times...) She is almost back to being a "solid citizen" so we'll be starting the "arte" soon.

As for feeling crafty, I've been playing with my "Brushes" app on my iPad a bit more and did this e-painting of Abby. This is the pose you will most often find her in as she very much enjoys a bit of belly rubbing. She pretty much lays around like that, in the hopes that a hand will come by. (I hope you see this as "art" and not "puppy porn." Mike wanted me to incorporate a fig leaf, just in case anyone might be offended, but I know you guys don't offend easily!)
Slut Puppy        

Three Bunnies & A Rat

In other craftiness, my sisters and I get together every once in a great while for what we like to call "Forced Crafting." You must participate, no matter how much you suck at the particular craft we are working on. In the past we have done Christmas wreaths, beaded bracelets, little stuffed Easter chickies and bunnies made of felt, etc. etc. This time we tried "felting wool," in which you basically just get this special wool (called "roving"), form it into a shape, and stab it repeatedly (and yourself occasionally) with a special needle until it magically retains said shape. We made bunnies. (Well, they all started out as bunnies, but one ended up becoming a rat... And a darn handsome rat he is!)

After we made the bunnies/rat, I had to go, but my sisters made a very fine replica of corgi Lou, remember him from this previous post?, and a neighbor's dog, Marley. Too cute, eh? We are going to try again this week. I'm going to start slow and attempt a quadpawd first. Actually, I can't decide if a tripawd will be harder (tough to get it to stand/sit without falling over...) or easier (one less leg to make!). You can be sure that if they come out cute I'll be posting pics all over the place - the blog, Facebook, Twitter, maybe even a YouTube video! (And if they come out ugly, I will only post the pics here.)
Applying the Tail to the Rat
Marley, next to his photo
Finally, I just want to say there have been some very sad posts on the BoneCancerDogs listserv and on the Tripawds' site the last few days about sweet pooches who lost their battle with this oh-so-shitty disease. We are thinking of you guys and hoping you are taking some comfort in the fact that your furry family members are now running pain free. Hang in there. 

April 6, 2011

Sleeps & Peeps

Decided to re-do the "Spring" pic from her "good side"
Sleeps: We have not been sleeping well at our house! There's a squirrel or some other critter that has made a nest under our fence and said critter creeps out at night to taunt watch-dog Abby into a barking frenzy. We tried making her sleep in her bed in our room (instead of the Big Comfy Chair in the sunroom, where she usually sleeps) so that she wouldn't be able to see the stupid critter in the wee hours, but somehow she still senses he's out there. She gets up and starts beating on the door to be let out, so we still don't sleep.

Looking unenthused about the process
Last night, though, the three of us all finally slept! I'm not sure if that was because she's succeeded in scaring off the critter (oh, I so hope that's what it is! The people who lived here before didn't have a dog, so obviously the critter population has gotten a little too used to doing whatever the hell they damn well please in our yard. Not anymore!) or if it's because she was also too exhausted to care. Guess we'll see what happens tonight... 

Peeps: Every year my family threatens to enter The Washington Post Peeps Diorama contest, but we poop out when it comes to actually constructing the Peeps diorama. (We do have a good idea and SOME DAY we WILL enter! We even have some stockpiled Peeps, which you can do because they have a shelf life of like 2000 years.) But, in the meantime - since we missed this year's deadline again - I instead entered Abby in the Peeps Fido Contest through Fido Friendly magazine. The contest is not nearly as labor-intensive as the Post one is, and you only have to submit a pic, as opposed to the actual diorama for the Post. As you can see, I made her some bunny ears out of Peeps bunnies. It's not the best pic ever, so I doubt we will win, but it was not easy to get her to wear the Peeps bunny ears (she wanted to eat them...), so this was the best I could do.

That's pretty much all the news. She's continuing to do really well - very much a crazy puppy. I posted some pics below from resent Fiesta Island visits - and I threw in a sunset shot just cuz it was so incredible the other night!

Laughing and having a grand time at Fiesta Island

Again, laughing (or maybe sneezing) amongst the daisies

I just like this one cuz it's sparkly...

If you did a painting like this people would think it was ridiculously gaudy!

Thanks for reading!

March 5, 2011

Rock Star!

Today's post is about a bunch of random things. (Well, not really random, since they are all related to Abby, but you know what I mean.) 

#1) This week Abby started up her M/W/F Palladia routine again. All went well until Friday afternoon, when she was not exactly a "solid citizen" (as her Uncle Jon says) on her walk. So, this was sorta like last week only better - better because this time it took 3 doses before her tummy got upset (compared to only 2 last time) and also because this time she was fine by this morning (last time we had 24+ hours of...issues). This time Dr. V. had given me some medicine to give to her, so a couple of doses of that and she was back to normal. She should be fine to start up the Palladia again on Monday.
#2) Despite the minor blip of tummy trouble, she's as full of energy as ever and has a great appetite. We went to Fiesta Island for 90 minutes this morning and she had a great time. We met another tripawd there - named Ted. He is a tripawd due to an accident though, or so his parents presume. (He was already a tripawd when they got him.) He's a handsome boy, as you can see. Like Abby, he darts around a lot and was tough to get a good pic of. As you can also see, he's a back leg amp, which is supposed to be easier on the dog, but Abby certainly does fine with her missing front leg. Ted's parents were impressed with how she was darting around.

#3) My sis, Jean, got a new iPad and has been playing with a "painting" app. She sent me the two paintings of Abby, below. (They are super cute and this makes me totally want an iPad, just so I can 'paint' too. So much easier than dragging out all the paper and paints and cleaning brushes!) The first is a recreation of the Stubs & Stilts photo, which you may remember. The second is from the photo I sent in of Abby for the Orvis Cover Dog Photo Contest. Speaking of the contest, Abby is doing really great - she is FOURTH out of over 11,700 dogs (!!) in the "Most Unique Voters" category. If you would like to VOTE FOR ABBY, maybe we can get her up into 3rd place. (Mike hopes she'll "make the podium"). All the money goes to the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) Canine Cancer Research org. (As a side note, there is a scientist studying canine osteosarcoma on the "bone cancer dogs" Yahoo! group that I'm on. She said that MAF is funding a research project in her lab, so the money you donate really does go to trying to find cures and better therapies.)

#4) This woman stopped her car in the middle of the street the other day while we were on our walk, rolled down her window and said, "I just have to tell you how much we love your dog. We see you out with her a lot in the neighborhood, and every time we say, 'There's our dog!'" Yes, she has a following. She's a rock star. An adonis. She has tiger blood running through her veins. (OK, enough with the Charlie Sheen references...)

That's it for now. Thanks for reading! (Some day when we FINALLY have our furniture, I'll post befores/afters of our construction project...)

February 9, 2011

It's Official . . .

. . . the cancer has spread to Abby's lungs. That wee damn spot that the oncologist noticed in her lung x-ray 6 weeks ago has grown -- it hasn't grown super fast (went from ~0.6cm to ~1.0cm), but it's grown and therefore confirmed itself as a "met." Dr. V. says this is not all bad news -- he said we should celebrate the fact that there were no other mets, so we are trying to hang on to that. 

But still . . . it's not great to know that it is officially in her lungs. Also, the fact that it's there brings up more treatment options. He sent us home with info on two different drugs we could try: palladia (a cancer drug developed very recently specifically for dogs) and cytoxan (a chemo drug that I believe is also used in humans and has been around a lot longer). We are trying to do some research and figure out what to do. The goal would be to stop that lone met from getting comfortable and growing and inviting friends over to stay. We do not want her lungs to be a nice place to live!

Anyway, in the case of palladia some dogs have seen the tumors shrink or disappear. The problem with the palladia is that it can have some harsh side effects, so she would need to be monitored closely on it. She's in such great health otherwise, and has such great energy, that I don't want to give her something that will mess that up. Not sure what we are going to do. Might try the palladia and see how it goes. Since she had so few side effects with the carboplatin, maybe she would be fine on the palladia as well. And if not, there is the cytoxan to fall back on. 

Still trying to decide. The other potentially scary thing is that some folks commented online that when their dogs had bad reactions to the palladia and had to go off it, the tumors came back like gang busters. Don't want to piss the tumor off and have it come back all Incredible-Hulkish on us . . .

In happier news, we are definitely going to enjoy every day with her. Today is a beautiful day here in SD, so I took Abby down to Fiesta Island. I didn't bring the camera along because going by myself and carrying her water and her leash and keeping an eye on her seemed like a bit much to also be trying to snap shots of her. But then, of course, I wished I had the camera because (a) there was another tripawd down there (not that she cared, because he was swimming and she was not interested) and (b) there was this 8-mo-old smaller version of a Greater Swiss Mt. Dog down there that she's played with before and they had a great time racing around. 

Abby is so energetic and rambunctious it's hard to believe she is "sick." Dr. V. said that her body really has no idea that little spot of cancer is in there. She's certainly in the envious position of being blissfully ignorant. Of course, even if she did know, I'm pretty sure she'd still be racing around enjoying every minute to the fullest - that's just how dogs are. Definitely need to take a cue from them!

February 1, 2011

Super-Model Dog

Not much is new with Abby this week, although I can happily report that she seems to have bounced back very quickly after not feeling so great post her last chemo. She's been full of energy (maybe a little too much energy) and very much her usual puppy self the past few days. We took her to Fiesta Island this weekend (aka: her favorite place in the world) and she had a great time. I also got a new camera this weekend -- primarily for taking better pictures of her (she moves so quickly and my old camera was so slow, I was always missing shots of her) and for trying to take better pictures of the sunsets we've been having (of course, ever since I got the camera, the sunsets haven't been super exciting). 

The Humane Society has a calendar that they put out every year with pictures from contest winners. I've sent in pictures of Bailey in the past, but most of the dogs that "win" are rescue dogs or have some sort of story. Well, we are thinking this might be our year: a rescue dog, with cancer, AND it helps that she's like the Gisele Bündchen of dogs (super slim, gorgeous, and with that poutty/serious expression the camera loves!). 

So, in place of much news on Abby, I give you a whole mess o' pictures - and even a wee video I made from some shots. (OK, I admit the video is not exactly Oscar-worthy, but I wanted to play with the camera/video software...) (P.s. If you want to see any picture larger, just click on it.)
She met an Anatolian Shepherd...

...he out-weighed her by 2.5 times
She mostly held her own...

Then tried to hide behind Daddy
Cricket anyone?
Downtown waaaaay in the background

Love this action shot with ears & paw up

She loves getting dried off... she is smiling to prove it. 

January 21, 2011

Not-So-New Toys

Abby got some new toys this week, which she made short work of. (Guess I should say "of which she made short work" - but does anybody really talk that way?)


This little blue noseless koala came from her Aunt Terry, who brought a bag full of toys over for me to donate the next time I'm at Helen Woodward. Terry opened the bag and offered Abby the chance to select one. Abby, being no dummy, crammed 3 toys into her mouth. In the end, Terry convinced her the koala was enough. Abby immediately de-squeakerized and defufferized him, through the nose. (Looks like he's trying to scream, but that's impossible since his larynx was torn out.)

Also screaming is this little red crazy-looking ball-monster-thing that my friend Gayle brought by for Abby yesterday. At one time, he had a little tuft of hair on the top of his head, but that was the first to go. As you can see in the last picture, she also chewed off one of his feet - think she was trying to make him a tripawd.

Speaking of tripawds, we went to Fiesta Island today and met another front-amp doggy with osteosarcoma. He was a big, white 14-year-old (!) shepherd of some sort and seemed very sweet. He was wearing a life jacket and swimming. His momma said he doesn't get around so well running anymore (poor guy; they were very impressed with how well Abby was hopping about) but she said he still loves to swim. Abby pretty much totally ignored him, so she obviously didn't get that they had something in common. I wish I'd had my camera along as they looked pretty cute. I'd taken my iPod Nano along to take some video, but the stupid battery died, so no video - which is a bummer because she and her friend Dakota were running like maniacs. And, happily, she did not get so worn out today like she did the last time. We went even further than usual and, although she did flop down once to rest, she seemed plenty spunky the whole way. She seems to be totally back to her old self!

I'll post again Tuesday after last round of chemo and her x-ray. Fingers, toes and paws crossed!

January 19, 2011

Worrying Some More - Maybe for Nothing...

Sorry about the delay in posting, but we've been extremely busy. And that business is sort of directly related to my worrying about Abby. 

Last Tuesday, as I mentioned earlier, we started doing some work on the new house. This crazy SOLID wall (made of concrete blocks, rebar, the works - maybe they wanted to build a bunker at one time??) ran diagonally across what will now be our "great room," so we had that bad boy torn down (involving much jackhammering, sledgehammering, etc.). Because it was so noisy here all week -- and very stressful for Abby, who started following me everywhere -- I really made an effort to keep her out of the house. Here are a few pics of our not-very-exciting adventures:

Wednesday we went to the dog park in the a.m., ran a TON of errands, and had a picnic lunch in the park. (Well, I had lunch anyway. Abby had a pine cone. Reminds me of that old Grape Nuts commercial: "Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible." Really? Many parts??)
Thursday we ran still more errands, went to visit our friend Mazli-pictured on the left, and met up with Dakota at Fiesta Island. Abby had a great time running after Dakota (who is super speedy) and playing with all the other pooches there. But then she crashed in the wet sand, as illustrated below. We couldn't even walk the whole way along the bay like we usually do; had to turn back early because there was no way I was going to be able to carry her almost-50lb.-completely-unwieldy body out of there!
By Friday morning when we went on our walk, we hadn't even made it half way along our usual route when she flopped down in the middle of the street (no sidewalks on that stretch, so we had been walking on the side of the road). Had to literally drag her out of the way as a car was coming!

We turned to go back home and she "teeped over," as we say, several more times--resting in spots on driveways, under trees, anywhere where she could find some shade. I should mention, it's been really hot here lately -- almost like summer. I was really worried about her, having so little stamina and just seeming not at like her usual high-energy self, but I think it was just the combination of: three almost full days of being constantly on the go, plus the noise when we would be at home, plus the heat, plus maybe some cumulative effect of five chemo treatments. 

After I dragged her home from the walk Friday, I took her to her Aunt Terry and Uncle Jon's so she could have some peace and quiet (with occasional diversions of pestering her cousin, Corgi Lou, and a visit with lots of kisses from the neighbor, Sue) while I went furniture shopping. Over the weekend we tried to keep her a little quieter than usual, although Saturday night we did take her for a nice hop through downtown La Jolla (where our tripawd was stared/smiled at by many and loved on by a few) and then Sunday we went to Fiesta Island where, again, she couldn't quite walk the whole way. I was still a little worried about her after that, but then Tuesday night she really seemed to be back to her old spunky ways. We went for a pretty good walk last night after Mike got home, and even after that she came home and was running wind sprints out in the backyard -- trying to get her stamina back up I guess. 

And I'm happy to report that on our walk this a.m. (which was foggy and kind of chilly) she hopped along like her old self.

Next up is the final chemo session on this coming Tuesday -- and the big re-check of the lung x-ray. Please keep a good thought that the little spot on her one lung will not be any bigger! Stay small, Stupid Spot!!!

November 19, 2010

Three Week Ampuversary!

It's Abby's three week "ampuversary" today, and as illustrated in the pics and video posted yesterday, she's doing really great. Just a few updates today:
  • We still have our mattress on the floor. She really likes sleeping on our bed during the day now, so if... I mean when...we put the mattress back up on the box spring, I'll probably have to start keeping our bedroom door closed. Don't mind her jumping up there to sleep, but the jumping down is no good, and there's not enough room for the ramp that we borrowed. Could try stairs, but I bet she'd jump over them!
  • Speaking of sleeping on our bed during the day, she is still sleeping a lot more than before all this. The oncologist said it could partly be the chemo, but I'm guessing it's also just the fact of still recovering from everything, and her stamina is not yet what it used to be. Maybe she just gets more tired out now when we walk, and this is how it's going to be from now on? Not sure... We'll see.
  • Thought you all might be interested to hear the weight differential from before and after the amp/first chemo. They weighed her at her follow up appointment this past Wed, and she'd only lost about 4.5 pounds. I was pretty surprised by that! I mean, she has very skinny front legs, but since they also took her shoulder and all the muscles around it, I thought she'd lose more. Plus, with all the variety in her diet since the chemo, I've had no idea if we're feeding her enough. 
This weekend is going to be busy, with a party tomorrow and going to Santa Barbara on Sunday, so I'll probably post again on Monday. Mike will be in charge of her all day Sunday. I'll tell him to take some pictures if she does anything super cute -- but what do you wanna bet he'll forget? I told him he can't take her to Fiesta Island while I'm gone, because I really want to be there to witness her first time back! Maybe we'll take her together on Thanksgiving morning - that would be pretty appropriate, I think.

November 16, 2010

No More Cone/Collar!

Just a few wee updates on some things today. First and foremost, yesterday was Abby's first full day/night without her e-collar. She still occasionally sits and licks her little nubby spot obsessively, but it seems to be all healed up, so no more stuffing her head into the life preserver and having her growl at me. (As captured here, if you haven't already seen the video.) Hoorah!

In bits of other news, she seems VERY much like her old self: chasing the ball up and down the hallway, chewing on people we meet on the street, munching on her bones, etc. etc. This morning she had every single one of her bones out. It looks a little frustrating to me, not having that other paw to hold the bone in place, but she seems to enjoy it.

We also ran a little bit yesterday  - just a tiny bit, but she's so fast! We live on a hill, and we used to sometimes race up it at the end of our walks. Well, yesterday morning she seemed to want to run, so I started jogging and she took off. I was amazed at how fast she could go.

Tomorrow we go for the follow-up blood check at the Vet Cancer Group. If her white count is OK, hopefully we'll be hitting the dog park or Fiesta Island soon. Would love to take her there this weekend, but don't think we'll have time - we have two parties to go to this weekend (which is not the norm cuz we usually have nada going on), and both are during the day so F.I. may not be possible. If her white count is fine, I might have to try to convince Mike to take a long lunch break Friday so we can take her!

Will post again tomorrow after her check up. 

November 11, 2010

First "Real" Tripawd Walk

Abby went for her first "real" walk yesterday as a tripawd. It was funny to see how few people in the neighborhood even noticed. I did see some ladies in a car slow way down for their drive-by, looking at her and making that "Awwww" face. They waved and smiled at me, but I have no idea who they were. 

Then we saw one of Abby's neighborhood boyfriends coming along--Donovan. He's a Shepard mix and the same age as Abby. I just stopped to wait for his "mom" to notice. It took her a while, but when she did, she put her hand up to her heart, and said, "Oh no! What happened!?" It was a similar scene as with my hairdresser the other day - she threatened to start crying. But Abby had a huge smile on her face and was waving her tail back and forth, so I just said, "Yeah, but look how happy she is." 

This morning we went for another short walk with Abby's Aunt Terry and her cousin, Corgi Lou. (And Terry gets photo credits for today. I forgot to bring my camera along!)

A nice lady in their neighborhood gave them treats on our walk (which I guess is her usual M.O). She gave Abby an extra one for her troubles. (And so it begins - the milking it!) Lou, on the other, didn't cut Abby any slack--he showed her some teeth when she tried to give him a few too many kisses. She LOVES him and he tolerates her.

We went to Terry's to borrow a ramp from her neighbor. Here's Abby test-driving it for the first time. I managed to get her to come down it when we got home as well, although it took a lot of coaxing with a jerkey treat. It will be great if she can get used to it--don't want her to hurt herself jumping down! We also need to try it in our bedroom or maybe add some stairs for the bed. (Or... we need to train her to not sleep in our bed... That sounds a lot like tough love though, and, as I've mentioned, we-ESPECIALLY Mike-are not so good at that.)   
As you can see, she's still wearing a T-shirt. Mostly to keep her from scaring folks (although she's healing up nicely) and to keep her from bugging the incision.Yesterday she almost chewed off the tank top I had on her, because she wants at those scabs so badly! So, for the most part, she is still wearing the dreaded e-collar. I took a video of her illustrating the whole "need for a cone" situation, but Mike said not to post it as it doesn't paint her in the nicest light. You should see her show me her teeth when I put the cone on her! Cujo-puppy! So suddenly Mr. We Need To Show People Every Part of This is all "no, let's not show the nitty-gritty and put the puppy in a bad light." (I think it's understandable though - I'd be a might testy too if someone: took my arm; wouldn't let me go out and have fun for weeks on end; and then kept stuffing my head through a life preserver! Oh, yeah, I'd be showing some teeth!) 

If there's demand for the video, I'll post it. I find it amusing. 

Oh, and btw, no side effects so far from yesterday's chemo - although I guess it can take a few days. Wish us luck with that!

November 5, 2010

A Short Update

Abby seems more like her old self today, just an amazing 7 days post-op. She wags her tail more and gives kisses. She even hopped over and begged a little yesterday when my friend Michelle came over and we were enjoying our Rubio's burritos. Was never so happy to see her beg. She was very happy to see Michelle. She loves visitors. 

We actually slept pretty well too. Only got up once in the night and she even curled up in bed with us for a bit. I think we are getting there.
Here she is loving on her daddy when he came home from work.

Tonight we are going out so my sister, Terry, is coming to babysit, at least until Abby is settled in for the night. We are going to a fund raising dinner for World Bicycle Relief at The Farm House restaurant. The money raised will go to buy bikes for kids in Africa who have to travel ridiculous distances on foot to get to school. And the menu sounds amazing! It's like 7 courses. Plus Chris Horner, who was 10th in this year's Tour de France, will be there. We are such cycling geek-fans. I hope we (referring only to myself, really) don't act totally goofy in front of him. 

Oh - and to follow up on yesterday's post, that strange fruit - the sapote - was indeed a little strange. It was very soft and smooth and had a very mild flavor. It was like eating vanilla pudding, but someone forgot to put the vanilla flavor in.
And, now, for your enjoyment, here is a beautiful flower - with three stems: