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2 Months!

September 11, 2020

Devo is doing so well on three legs! Around 5 / 6 weeks she really came into her own and it is such a joy to see. She’s figured out her new geometry and started rolling in the grass, scampering, and generally getting back to herself. Pre-surgery her greatest joy was running like a maniac on the beach, and she’s been able to do that again (albeit with more rest breaks). Her hair has mostly grown back too.

Still she definitely reminds us that she’s in her final life transition. A few weeks ago she woke me up at 2 am to go outside. (I thought maybe she had to puke.) We went out into the night, and she hopped just beyond the reach of the porch light and laid in the grass. I don’t know what she needed to do out there, but I’m glad she shared it with me.

She sleeps in bed with me sometimes now too, which she’s never enjoyed until now. I like feeling her doggy body curled in my knees and knowing she’s there through the night <3

 

Our Honeymoon

August 8, 2020

Devo is doing so well. Her energy and playfulness are back. She figured out how to shake off, how to stretch a la downward dog, and how to sit while begging for food from the table!

Second dose of chemo (cytoxan) was this week and it seems fine so far. We found a great holistic vet who’s supporting her through it all. Supplements and raw food are going fine. Feeling grateful.

Tomorrow will be a month post surgery… Now when I catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye it’s not strange any more that she’s on three legs. I’m just glad she’s there <3

Devo is seeming so much more herself this past week. Today is 18 days post op. Stitches are out, chemo is started, off all pain meds. We went to the beach for the first time as a tripawd family. It was bittersweet for me — she’s still healing and gets tired so easily. I don’t know what it was like for her, but I hope she liked smelling the ocean air and eating a dead fish she found on the sand!

 

TLDR – Devo seems to have been on too many pain meds. After cutting her doses in half she’s seeming more herself. Still clearly a dog in recovery, but definitely improved!

Two days ago Devo had her first “bad” day – didn’t want to get out of bed, hiding in closets, had to be coaxed to eat, didn’t even come to the door to bark at people (one of her main pleasures in life). The next day, same. I was worried.

She was on 3x/day tramadol and 2x/day gabapentin. Before surgery she was on Novox and a few days of gabapentin. Her vets were not stellar at helping me decipher this. I was confused if her behavior was pain, over medication, or disease progression. One vet suggested taking her off all meds cold turkey, one suggested tapering just the tramadol. My blessed dad who is a human oncologist talked me off the ledge, and I decided to cut both tramadol and gabapentin in half and see if pain signals came back. They didn’t!

Today she’s still resting a lot, but she’s curled up in the room with us — not hiding. Tail wags when we pet her, she’s hungry, happy to bark at people coming to the house. It’s such a relief to see her more herself. I was worrying that she wouldn’t get a “honeymoon” phase to this chapter of her life, and would just be all downhill.

We’ll try these doses for a few days and then see if she’s up for reducing tramadol again.

If she seems well enough, chemo starts next Wednesday. I feel sad seeing her laid up like this, but I am grateful that it seems we will have some “encore” days with her <3

Happy Friday!

Introducing, Devo

July 15, 2020

Our sweet girl, Devo, is 8 years old and living with histiocytic sarcoma. We’re one week post amputation, and I’m hoping to use this blog to share her journey. Before I do that, a little about the first 8 years of her life:

  • Devo was born in Guatemala, dropped off in a box at a pet refuge. A fostering group flew her to California where we found her and adopted her. She had some itchy elbows and was pretty standoffish at first, but soon she fell in love with the beach and her life in California.
  • Seeing Devo on the beach is like a glimpse of heaven. She runs in circles like a total maniac, splashes in the water (doesn’t like to swim), and generally has the best time of anyone there. Our goal is for her to have some more beach visits in this final season of her life.
  • Devo’s back yard was a state park for 7 years. She chased coyotes, even caught up to one once! She hiked miles and miles with me, found new trails and canyons. At first it was just us then with me carrying my babies in carriers. It was magic, and I think both our spirits are headed back there someday.
  • Devo has been in the background of all our family’s life moments – camping trips, she even went back country skiing, and she was there for both my kids births.
  • She’s a sweet soul and we’re glad for the time we have with her <3