November 30, 2010

Post-Chemo Popcorn - Not As Good An Idea As You Might Think

Abby had her second round of chemo today. I think she enjoyed it as much as the last visit. She loves the fuss everyone makes over her there, and she loves giving them all kisses. 

Hopefully her reaction to the chemo will be as minimal as last time. She certainly seemed to have tons of energy afterward! She did throw up a very tiny bit this afternoon – but I think that was because the post-chemo popcorn I gave her didn’t go down well. I guess post-chemo popcorn is a bad idea, and will remember that in future. I need to get this posted and then go see how she feels about dinner tonight. Hopefully she’ll have an appetite. I’ve got everything in the house to tempt her with: turkey, salmon, cottage cheese, and good old plain pasta.

The oncologist said she’s doing great, so we are going to move her chemo appointments to every two weeks instead of every three. Take that, Cancer!

Not much else to report. Crazy busy around here. Think I forgot to post a follow up to my mention a few posts back that we'd put an offer on a house. Well, it was accepted, so now we are busy busy busy trying to get our own house ready to go on the market and getting things lined up for the new house. We have the inspection of the new place on Thursday, so if all goes well with that, it should be a done deal. Oh, and you may recall that I mentioned in that same earlier post that we'd written a letter to the owners and mentioned how much we wanted to get a one-story house since our pup got cancer and had to have her leg amputated. I was a little worried that maybe the people wouldn't be dog lovers - but not to worry, they are! In fact, they sent the nicest letter back. She wrote, "Whether it's a person or an animal who is afflicted, cancer has a way of changing your outlook and changing your life," and wished us all the best with Abby. Sweet, huh?

Sorry no pics today, but if you link here my bro posted a bunch of pics of Abby and Leo playing in their yard on Thanksgiving day. Many action shots!

November 29, 2010

Chemo Eve

Tomorrow we go for Abby's second round of chemo. The oncologist said it should go pretty much the same as the last time, although there's potential for her to be sick to her stomach just depending on if she eats something different that doesn't agree with her. 

Last time you'll recall we had to play "What will the dog eat?" so I assume we'll be doing the same again starting tomorrow, although hopefully this time we'll have a better idea of what might appeal. Definitely going to have some plain pasta on hand, since that was a hit on day-two-post chemo last time. 

Not too much new with Abby today. We walked up to visit our friend Mazli this afternoon, which I'm guessing is about 3/4 of a mile. Not bad for hopping. I really didn't think she'd be able to go that far already, but it was no problem. In fact, she had a little too much energy leftover when we got there and was bouncing around, chewing on her leash and attempting to chew on Mazli. We ran a little bit of the way home to really wear her out. (Of course, since I forgot my camera at Jim's on Thanksgiving, I still don't have a picture of Mazli to share. Soon!) 

Yesterday we took her to Fiesta Island for her second visit and she had a great time. I wish I'd taken my Nano to get some more video. She played with this little terrier, and they were both racing up and down the bluff. Abby was running so fast, I thought she'd come somersaulting down the hill, but she was amazingly agile. The terrier's owner couldn't believe how Abby darted and raced around. Even Mike and I were impressed! Next time, I'll try to remember the Nano! 
I've included a couple of pictures of her, crashed in the Big Comfy Chair after Fiesta Island. In the second one, she is sleeping with her Long Skinny Tiger toy that her Aunt Jean sent for her. Thanks Aunt Jean!

Doesn't she look sweet?? 

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2010


You may recall that in one of my earliest posts, I said I was "envisioning a future post that will be entitled: Fiesta Island!!" Well, today was the day! We finally made it back to Fiesta Island - Abby's favorite place. It was her first time back since all this began - the limping, the surgery, the recovery. And it's the one year anniversary of the day we adopted her, so it was a perfect day to go. 
The weather was gorgeous today. She had a great time running around and playing with the other dogs. Only a few people commented on her one-leggedness, but the ones who noticed were impressed with how well she was getting around. At one point, she was running down the beach toward us so fast it was amazing - but I was too slow to get the video going. I posted a couple of short little videos at the end. 
She also had a great time yesterday, spending some quality Thanksgiving holiday time with her cousin, Leo, the mastiff. But... stupid Mama (that's me) left the camera at Jim & Denise's, so no pics of that to post today. Hopefully I'll get my camera back this week. We had to use Mike's iPhone today at Fiesta Island. Good thing we had it for documenting her big day back!

I also took some cute pictures of her with her new long, skinny tiger toy from her Aunt Jean, but will have to wait to post those. And yesterday we got the letters from Jean's third grade class. They're really cute. I'll do a post about them later in the week.  

November 25, 2010

A Post From the Rock Star Herself

Hi Everyone! My mom is typing for me as my typing skills are limited - I mean, you try typing just left handed and see how long it takes you! 

I just wanted to say a little something about this time last year versus today. Last year I was in a concrete little room with a beagle-mix named Duke. It was nice to have Duke to cuddle with (although he chewed on me a lot; I mean, seriously - a lot), and the people there were nice, but they weren't always around, so it could be a little scary sometimes. Before I got there, I had to take a long ride in a van and I couldn't see and it was a bit unnerving. But then my mom and dad came and picked me out! I was worried maybe they liked Duke, but, no! They liked me! (I wonder who Duke is chewing on today?)

It's been a kind of crazy year. Mostly great with new friends and new fun places and I love to go everywhere and meet new people, whether they are the four-legged or two-legged or three-legged kind. I don't really care how many legs they have - I just want to play with them and kiss them all. There were a couple of weeks this year that weren't so great, and I really don't know what all that was about, but now things are back to normal and it's all good!

Yesterday a really nice thing happened while we were hopping around the neighborhood. There's this nice lady and nice man that I really like. They have always stopped to say hi to me and make a big fuss about me - right from when I first came to live here. But yesterday, they gave me a present!! A squeaky raccoon!!!! My mom took about 87 pictures of me playing with it. (She complained that they were mostly blurry, but I can't help it. Who wants to sit and pose with a new toy? I want to toss it around!) The nice lady said it was a get well toy. I don't know what that means, but I sure was happy to get it! There are so many nice people around here. Another nice lady that I love - Buddy's mom - gave me some cookies on my walk. I jumped on everyone and gave them all kisses. 
"It squeaks! Must. Eat. Squeaker."

"I love my new raccoon!"

"Mom, enough already."

I know we are going to eat turkey today and I know everyone is talking about what they are thankful for. I'm thankful for turkey and squeaky toys and nice people and nice dogs and sleeping in the bed and sleeping on the couch and my cozy deep-dish bed and tummy rubs and Fiesta Island. (My mom and dad said we are going there tomorrow, to celebrate my one year anniversary of the day they brought me home. Hoorah! I can't wait.)

Big KISSES to everyone! 

November 23, 2010

Tri-Limbed Treat for a Tripawd

So, I go to get the dog a biscuit last night, and this is what comes out of the box:

Yes, it's a one-legged man cookie. Nice. 

Now, if I'd just had a limb amputated and someone handed me a handicapped gingerbread man, I think I'd fail to see the humor. I'd probably burst into tears, in fact, since it's pretty darn mean. But not Abby. She took it stride, accepted the cookie gratefully, and bit his head off. 
In other news, we ordered a smoked turkey online. (Not really for Thanksgiving dinner, since we are going to my brother's house, but just to have for leftovers and smoked turkey chili and smoked turkey enchiladas and smoked turkey jambalaya and smoked turkey stew and, well, you get the idea.) Here's an action shot of Abby sampling the purchase. Unfortunately, she's quite adept at standing up to the kitchen counter, even with only one front leg to hang on with. Of course, she would NEVER do that if it weren't for Mike tempting her up there with a piece of turkey. Never. 

As long as the weather is nice on Thanksgiving (which "they" are saying it will be) we are planning to go to Fiesta Island on Thursday morning - Abby's favorite place in the world. Should be a fun time. Will probably do a post-Thanksgiving post. Going to be a big day for her - going to F.I. and seeing her cousin Leo, the mastiff, whom she loves. All of us here at our house have a lot to be thankful for. 

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

November 22, 2010

The Running Video!

Bit of a crazy weekend, but we managed to record a video of Abby running (posted at the end). I recommend listening to it with the sound off, so you don't have to hear my screechy voice. She's running up hill and has Mike as an anchor, so it's not exactly at lightening speed, but still, it's pretty impressive for a recently tripawded pup! We saw some neighbors right after and they called her the "miracle dog." She ate up all the attention.

Saturday we went to a little party to hang out and watch hockey. (Mike was excited because we got to watch Hockey Night in Canada - Habs vs. Leafs! And to top it off, his team, Montreal of course, won.) Anyway, while we were gone, Abby went to her aunt and uncle's to hang out. Here she is telling her troubles to the St. Francis in their yard. 

On Sunday morning, we put an offer down on a house. Early that afternoon our realtor called and said we should write a nice letter to the owners, so we included how it would be so nice for our recently amputated dog to have a single story home. Hopefully they are dog lovers and not the sort of folks who think people like us are nuts! We'll see. They have until 5 today to counter or accept so we'll see what happens. 

And here it is, the requested running video:

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.