November 18, 2010

Oh, How I Missed My Friend!

Today Abby had her first real play session with another dog since her amp surgery. It's been ages - probably about a month and a half at least. And I don't think she's seen her pal Dakota since August! But they definitely remembered each other and had a great time. I took a ton of pictures, and as you can see Abby was right in there:

Dakota likes to leap off the wall - luckily Abby didn't try!
Good action shot of Abby running

"What's this thing? Hey, where'd your leg go?"
This last one is blurry, but I included it because it cracks me up. Dakota was sniffing Abby's little nub and licking it. Luckily this is not acceptable behavior in human circles.  

And, if that's not enough, there's also a video. As you can see by Abby's crazily wagging tail, she had a great time. (You can hear Leslie and I gabbing. You don't really need the sound on.)

November 17, 2010

Cleared for the Dog Park!

Abby's follow up visit to the Vet Cancer Group went well this morning. As before, she was very happy to go there. She was not quite as happy when they poked her to take the blood sample, but she had a lot of cookies and got a lot of loving and attention, so in the balance it was a good visit. Here are some pictures of her getting cookies from the vet, Dr. Vancil, and the tech. 
Dr. V. said her white cell count had dropped a bit from her count pre-chemo, and both numbers were at the low end of the range, but the number was still high enough that he gave her the OK to go to the dog park. 

I texted a friend we met at the dog park, Leslie, who has a boxer named Dakota that Abby used to love to run and wrestle with at the dog park and at Fiesta Island. I don't think Abby is quite up to the wide open wildness of Fiesta Island just yet (I think she needs to build up her stamina a bit more first), so I thought maybe we'd meet at the dog park at an off hour when it might be sort of quiet. But, instead, Leslie graciously invited us to a private doggie play date at her house. This sounds much better to me, as I worry that the dog park might be busy and a bit overwhelming for her at this point. We are going to visit them tomorrow in the afternoon, so either later Thursday or early Friday I'll post pics from their date. Although Abby played a wee bit with a neighbor's mini Schnauzer on our front lawn yesterday, this will be her first time really playing full out as a Tripawd. Should be interesting... She learned her boxing style of play from Dakota, so we'll see how she does boxing with only her left jab! 

This afternoon we are going to the little park by our house (which is not a dog park, so we'll just hop around and hang out) and then over to visit our friend, Mazli, where Abby is sure to get many treats. Busy day for her! A little walk this morning, the vet, the park this afternoon and a visit to Mazli's! She'll be exhausted after all that.

Hopefully I'll manage to get a video of her running at some point--I'd like to see that myself; I've only seen her run from behind, since I can't keep up with her! One of these days I'll get that done and posted.

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 15, 2010

Damn, She's Cute!

OK - maybe I'm biased, since she's our sweet baby, but how cute are these pictures?
Cuddling with Daddy

Ready for her close up

"Rub my belly!"

"Seriously, how can you resist my belly?!"
Yesterday, I met up with three of my freshman year (like, 1984ish!) college roommates in Temecula for lunch. It was really fun and hardly like any time had passed. (Although we did drink our adult beverages without turning it into a drinking game, so I guess time has passed...) [We went to Public House - thanks for the recommendation, Jim and Denise!] Anyway, while I was gone, Mike drove Abby up to the little park in our neighborhood. Apparently, they had a great time and he completely wore her out. They met a man with two Irish wolfhounds who fell in love with Abby and said he hopes to run into her again soon. 

Abby also took Mike to visit Mazli, who lives across the street from the park. Mazli is a friend that Abby and I visit a couple of times a week on our walks. We haven't been to see Mazli in ages because of, oh, the limping, the bone biopsy, the surgery, the recovery, etc. While they were there, Abby got three cookies plus a "chewie" rawhide treat, so she was in heaven. I know she missed Mazli - and the cookies and the chewies as well. After her outing, she was beat and crashed in her "deep dish deluxe" bed most of the evening!

Photo Gallery (& A Side Effect of the Side Effect)


You can see where the wall's all wet
We took a ton of pics of Abby this weekend, so let's get to it. First of all, Abby had to have a bath, due to a side effect of a chemo side effect. We've been really lucky and it seems the chemo has only affected her appetite. She still has one, but it's hard to know what she'll eat on any given day, so we've been feeding her different, odd things everyday - wet food, salmon, cottage cheese, pasta, whatever she'll take. Unfortunately, that meant that when she went to do "her business" yesterday, there was a bit of the "business" on her leg when she came back inside. So into the bath she went. (Which she hates. Truth be told, this was only her second bath since we got her almost a year ago - although we do hose her down post visits to the beach. She's funny - she loves the water, but hates a bath.)

When we were done, she ran up and down the hall, leaning into the wall. Not sure if she thought she was drying herself off or what (maybe just paying us back for the bath treatment), but we had nice little wet streaks along the walls. We took her for a walk to air-dry a bit, so below is a photo of her looking oh-so-happy on her walk. I was rubbing her to facilitate drying, and you can see that I came away with a mohair hand. (If you double-click the pics you can see them full size and see the hair really well.)

I'll do a separate post of some super cute pics of her.  

Action shot: in mid-hop

My hairy hand            

Taking the air to air dry

November 13, 2010

I Didn't Think This Was Possible

Just a wee post for today about the use of the doggy door. I really didn't think Abby would be able to use it anymore. It just seemed like it would not be possible on three legs - but as you can see in this very short two-second video, it's no big deal at all for her. The girl must have some serious ab muscles to be able to support her weight on just her back legs while shoving the front half of her body through the door. No biggie!

We went on a couple of short walks with her today, trying to build her stamina back up. Some people don't notice at all; with others it takes a while for them to notice. One family in our neighborhood who have never spoken to us before (we've lived her 10 years!), actually talked to us. "Hey, did that dog always have three legs?" Seriously - that's what he asked me. Even though I've walked past their house with her pretty much every day, twice a day for almost a year now. Like, maybe he just didn't notice before. Anyway, they were nice and sympathetic and Abby ate it up. 

November 12, 2010

So Far, So Good...

I hope I'm not jinxing us by saying this (and, yes, I'm spitting on myself...), but so far Abby has not had a bad reaction to the chemo. Yesterday, we did have to play a game of "What Will The Dog Eat?" but other than that, she's been doing great. 

Wednesday night after chemo, her appetite was fine. Mixed a little canned wild salmon in with her food, and she ate it all up. But then yesterday, she seemed to have little appetite. 

Opened some sardines. Nope. Turned her nose up. 
Opened a can of wild salmon, which she'd devoured before. Again, nope. 
Tried some of her dried food on a whim, but no way.
Got out the cottage cheese, which she usually loves. She had a few halfhearted bites, then gave up. 

So, other than a bit of cottage cheese, she didn't eat much all day. Same routine again for dinner - ran through all her favorites and she didn't want any of it, but then we were making ourselves some pasta, and Mike handed her a noodle. She devoured it. He offered some more, and she chowed it all down. We gave her a little pile of plain pasta and she was quite happy. I went back to check the paperwork the Vet Cancer Group gave me and it said, "If your dog refuses to eat after treatment, offer bland foods like white rice or pasta." Clearly, she had read the paperwork. I had read it too, but had forgotten. (It's the lack of sleep. Last night was the first time I slept through the night since the day she was diagnosed - Oct 25, with the exception of the night she spent in the ER.) 

Hopefully she'll continue to do well, although I understand it can take several days to react, so we're not fully out of the woods yet. 

Yesterday and today have been pretty good days. We are at our two week "ampuversary" today, and she seems a lot like her old self. Last night when Mike came home, she jumped on him... I mean, she sat like an angel and waited for him to be ready to pet her. Then she hopped up on the sofa and flung herself onto her back, so he could rub her belly, like she always used to. Then she was playing with her toys and chewing on her bone, just like her old puppy self. This morning she got in bed with us (yes, we still have our mattress on the floor) and I was able to grab her and pull her up for a cuddle with us. It was so nice!
Hopefully she'll have many more weekly and then annual ampuversaries ahead of her.