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Happily living life on 3 legs


The Baby Gund is back

February 26th, 2010 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

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Holly had her first haircut since her operation – the baby gund is back!  She’s so soft… and so CLEAN!  We had to wait on her haircut since she wasn’t feeling too good after her last round of chemo – she got pretty nauseous, which isn’t as bad as other reactions except it lasted so long.  But this week is a good week – she’s enjoying life, including her food!  We took a very long walk this morning with her friend Zeus and his mom.  She loves taking walks with Zeus – it’s one of her favorite things to do.  Her hair is growing back from her surgery – and it’s less noticeable now that the rest of her hair has been trimmed, too.

We’ve gotten more snow here in Chicago, but with her hair shorter she’s not coming in looking like an abominable snow-tripawd anymore.  🙁 I guess that’s one of the drawbacks that we hadn’t figured on.  She doesn’t spray snow and water over everything around her nearly as much when she comes in and shakes herself off either. 🙂

Her next round of chemo is next Tuesday.  We’ll hope for the best, and will ask for a prescription for anti-nausea drugs to bring home with us just in case.  And we’ll also have fresh ginger and canned pumpkin on hand, too!

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Holly – the Abominable Snow-tripawd!

February 11th, 2010 · 23 Comments · Uncategorized

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Today was another good day.  Holly didn’t eat her breakfast this morning, but came back at lunchtime for it.  Sometimes she reminds me of a teenager!  She played in the snow alot (grabbing my mitten and shaking it like she just had to kill it), and then played with her rabbit squeak toy inside – also shaking it to within an inch of life!  It’s so good to see her so happy and playful!  She’s living up to her nickname – Jolly Holly!

Holly has been loving all the snow we have in Chicago.  She loves to run through the back yard with her head down – and with her velcro-like fur she ends up collecting tons of snow on her head.  I’m still not sure why that feels so good to her – maybe she just wishes I would wash her face? 🙂  Here’s a picture of our Abominable snow-tripawd (thanks to Peyton for the name – Abominable snow-tripawd fits her so well!)

Holly's Jolly!


Two down…

February 10th, 2010 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

Holly had her 2nd round of chemo yesterday.  When I went to pick her up the vet tech said that Holly was giving her and the other tech kisses the entire time she was getting her chemo.  She’s always very sweet, but it did make me stop and pause – could she somehow understand that the awful needle in her leg is there to hopefully help her?  She was very excited when I came to pick her up, and had a good night and a very good day today.  We took a short walk in the snow.  Holly wanted to go further, but the vet had said it’s best for her to take it easy the first few days after chemo just in case.  Hopefully she’ll tolerate this round ok…

Holly’s been enjoying all this snow we have – everytime she goes outside she comes back looking like a mini-abominable snowman!  Her fur is like velcro – so her head gets completely covered from all the sniffing and smelling she does.  I’ll have to remember to take a picture tomorrow and post it!  It amazes me how easily she’s hopping through all this snow!


Enjoying life today – Holly’s one month ampuversary!

January 29th, 2010 · 11 Comments · Uncategorized

Our vet called with the results of Holly’s bloodwork yesterday, and all levels were good!  She has (thus far) tolerated her chemo very well.  She’ll go for her 2nd treatment on Feb 9th.  Her energy levels have been really good – and she is really much more interested in everything going on in our house and neighborhood than she had been the past few months.  She’s eating well, too.  We’re so happy to have her feeling good again!  We met with her oncologist yesterday, who said it was ok to start her on K9 Immunity (thanks to Maximutt for sharing his!), and glucosamine, and ground flax seed.  We’re trying ground flax seed for now since I also eat ground flax seed so it’s one less thing for me to buy and keep track of, and the oncologist said it should have similar benefits to flax seed oil.  And Holly seems to like it sprinkled on her food.

Today we celebrated by taking a long walk with her friend Zeus.  I should have taken pictures, but forgot my camera.  It was the longest walk she’s had since her amputation – which was exactly one month ago!  It’s hard to believe how far she’s come in the last month.  So we’re thankful for nice walks with friends, and lots of doggie kisses in our house!


Sleeping through another day while mom works

January 23rd, 2010 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

I was able to work from home again on Thursday – I wanted to stay home to monitor Holly in case she had any reaction to the chemo.  So far so good – she’s not eating as heartily as she sometimes does, but she also doesn’t appear to be feeling sick, so overall she’s had good days since the chemo on Tuesday.  She keeps me company when I work from home… usually sleeping away the day.  My home office has several places she likes to sleep (who’s office is it, anyway?) – her favorite place to start is on the chair next to my desk where she can look out the window and watch the kids going to school…

She then eventually wanders off to sleep either in her crate or under the other desk, where she has a comfy blanket to cuddle up on.  So it’s not like she needed another bed, but last week when I was at Costco they had these nice dog beds for a bargain price.  They looked a little big for Holly, but I just couldn’t resist getting her another comfy place to sleep!  Have you ever noticed how things at Costco never look quite as big when you’re in the store?  When I got the bed home, it became clear how big it is – Holly looks like the Queen of Sheba on it!  Here she is enjoying her new pillow in my (her?) office…

Anyway, she seems to be tolerating the chemo well so far.  The cerenia seems to have helped keep nausea at bay, at least for now.  And her energy levels have been good – those squirrels in the yard are not getting any rest now that she’s recovered from her surgery!  She’s keeping a strong interest in all the things she considers her “job” around here – monitoring the squirrels, alerting us when the mailman or any deliveries or pickups are made, and especially monitoring anyone opening the cheese drawer in the refrigerator!  She’ll have her next bloodwork on Tuesday to check the white cell counts.

… we’ll keep our fingers and paws crossed that she continues to do ok with her chemo treatments.


Chemo – round 1

January 19th, 2010 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

Holly had her first round of chemo today.  So far it appears she tolerated it well.  She received an injection of an anti-nausea drug (cerenia?  Not sure of the spelling) prior to the chemo which may have helped.  She stayed at the vet’s for a few hours so they could monitor her and administer fluids.  She was happy when I came to pick her up!  She slept the rest of the afternoon while I worked – she seemed very mellow.  But at dinner time she wolfed down her food, which hasn’t happened in days.  We took a short walk tonight and now it’s just about her bedtime.  Our vet recommended keeping her pretty quiet for the next few days until we see how she’s doing – so no long walks until we’re sure she’s tolerating this treatment.  Car rides will have to satisfy my girl for now – they’re her other favorite thing to do.

On another front, she had her first bath post-surgery yesterday!  She did really well with that (of course treats helped!), and now smells great and is as soft as a little puppy.  I always call her my baby gund after a bath. 🙂  Time to go snuggle with the baby!


Holly’s visit to the oncologist

January 15th, 2010 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

Wednesday I talked to Holly’s vet, and still had some questions so I decided to make an appointment with the consulting oncologist (who happens to be Timber’s oncologist, too).  So yesterday, armed with a notebook and a page of questions, Holly and I went to meet with the oncologist.  She was wonderful – she sat on the floor to meet / greet Holly, and carefully explained everything from what the pathology report and x-rays mean to why she recommends chemo in Holly’s case, to the role of nutrition and supplements, to what to expect after chemo.  She said Holly is an unusual case because of Holly’s size (she’s 29 pounds, and this is most usually a large dog disease) to where the disease presented (in the head of the femur, near the hip joint – she said it’s more usual to see it near the knee joint when the femur is involved).  I asked her about what I’ve read on the tripawds blogs and forums about low grain diets and various supplements and she agreed that a low grain diet is the best way to go – and that something like brown rice is much better than white rice because it doesn’t convert as quickly to sugars.  After talking with our vet on Wednesday, and the oncologist on Thursday we have decided that Holly will go through chemo – her first treatment is on Tuesday.  If she tolerates it well, she’ll get 6 treatments.  If she doesn’t tolerate it then she’ll try scaling back the dosage before exploring other options like metronomic therapy.  She would like to consider metronomic therapy after chemo… we’ll talk more about that once we get through chemo and see how Holly’s doing.  We’ll do the chemo treatments at our local vet, since Holly knows all the people and is comfortable there.

From Holly’s point of view, the visit yesterday was exciting because all these nice people came and talked to her and petter her, and there were so many cool smells!  Plus there were a few barking dogs to listen to, and a car ride on either end of the visit.  When the doctor first sat on the floor, Holly wasn’t sure what to make of it.  But eventually she came around and let the doctor listen to her heart.  And shortly after that came the kisses for the doctor.  Wheaten Terriers love to bestow kisses on those that they like, so this was a good sign!  All that excitement meant a really long nap all afternoon… 🙂  And when we took our walk, Holly asked to turn back after just a few blocks because she was just plain tired. But her tail was up, which is always a good barometer for how this little girl is doing.

We’ll continue to take this one day at a time… for now we’re thankful that we now have a plan.  And a wagging tail and wheaten kisses in our house!


No more conehead!

January 12th, 2010 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

Holly had her sutures removed yesterday!  Today is her 2 week ampuversary.  She hasn’t been eating well for the last week, but yesterday she ate both breakfast and dinner, and she gobbled down breakfast today!  And she gladly ate a few treats at the vet’s when her stitches were removed!  (I knew she wasn’t feeling well when she wouldn’t even eat treats over the weekend).  (can you tell how excited I am that she’s eating by all of the exclamation points I’m using?)  She’s off of all of her meds except tramadol at this point – today I will ask the vet how much longer she needs that one.

We celebrated by taking a long walk yesterday… her favorite thing to do.  We walked for about 25 minutes, and she was so excited to be on her old walking route.  She got to trade sniffs with a chocolate lab, which was very exciting indeed.  And I can tell she’s feeling better because she was sleeping upside down in her crate again for the first time since surgery, and she was making little woofing noises.  All good signs!  I wasn’t fast enough to get a picture of her sleeping, though.  I’ll need to have the camera ready for next time!

I’m hoping to talk to the vet today to get some more information so we can make a decision about chemo.  I feel like the more I read, the more questions I have.  I’m hoping that after talking to him I’ll have a better sense of which way we should go.  But today – I’ll listen to all the good advice here and celebrate that she’s happy and eating and for today life is good!


Taking a Walk in the Snow

January 8th, 2010 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

Holly’s pathology came back yesterday and it was clean!  We are pawsitively excited by this news!  We are still not sure about chemo – our vet sounds somewhat on the fence about it, too.  We’ll talk to him about it when she gets her stitches removed next week.  I think he’s hesitating because he looked back at old x-rays and thinks she’s had the cancer for almost 2 years, so if it was going to spread it probably would have already spread and moved past microscopic disease.  Between the x-rays and bloodwork looking good, and now the pathology report coming back looking great it’s hard to know what to do.  I don’t know if they checked her lymph nodes – my husband forgot to ask about that when they called yesterday.  Anyway, any thoughts anyone would care to share on chemo vs. no chemo will be appreciated, as always.

So to celebrate, Holly and I took a nice walk in the new snow we have here in Chicago.  We walked about 4 blocks – the furthest we’ve been since her surgery.  And she did great!  I had read in many posts on others’ blogs that it’s easier for them to go faster, so I totally let her set the pace.  And she gave me a pretty good workout – she was moving quickly!  Her new pink coat helped keep her warm, especially where she was shaved for the surgery.  And her tail was up at full mast for the entire walk, which is always a good sign.  Now she’s taking a nap.  Well, she was – the mailman just came.  She never fails to run to the door and bark when he shows up!

She’s still not eating very well, and has been off the antibiotic almost 2 days.  Our vet said it can sometimes take a few days for the antibiotic to work it’s way through the system so hopefully she’ll get her appetite back soon.  In the meantime she’s been eating small amounts of rice and ground beef with broth, or canned dog food.  She absolutely turns her head away at her kibble.  If she doesn’t start eating again soon the vet said he’d switch her pain medications to see if that helps.  She’s been on deramaxx and tramadol almost non-stop for the last 2 months without any trouble, but they may have finally gotten to her tummy.  Anyway, in all other regards she is doing well – just an upset tummy.  I’m hoping the fresh air and walk may help stimulate her appetite.


A new winter coat!

January 5th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Holly is continuing to do well.  She wasn’t very hungry today… but it might be that she decided her old dog food wasn’t as tempting as some of the treats she’s been getting.  Or that the meds are getting to her?  In all other ways, she’s been her regular, happy self today.  So I’m hoping tomorrow she’ll have her appetite back.  She did eat some canned food today, and a little chicken with rice and broth, so she has had some food.

Her breeder (her first human mom!) Ronnie, sent me a pattern for a fleece coat that was very, very easy to make!  So Holly has a new pink coat that should allow her to take the walks she’s been longing to take in this cold Chicago weather.  I’ll post pics tomorrow when she wears it.  Today we walked around the block and she did great!  She wanted to go further, but I was a  firm mom and told her that will come with time.  She was so excited by all the smells!

Her quivering has subsided a bit.  The episodes don’t seem to last as long and don’t unnerve her the way they did over the weekend.  She seems to be resting comfortably now. 🙂

1/6 – I’m also including a link to the pattern in case anyone else needs to get handy with a pair of scissors and a piece of fleece!