Goodbye Bruiser

Last night we said goodbye to our sweet Bruiser. We were able to say goodbye to him in our home, with him comfortable on his favorite spot; the couch. It was devastating to say goodbye, but I was also relieved that his fight is now over. I hope he finds peace and comfort in doggy heaven.

I like the part from the Rainbow Bridge poem that says “The old and frail are young again. Those who are maimed are made whole again”. I like to think Bruiser’s body is now healthy and he has four legs to carry him around as he runs and chases the ball.

I already miss him like crazy.

Please keep Bruiser in your thoughts and prayers.

More Mets, Fluids, and a New Tumor

I am so sad to say that after a visit to the vet yesterday, we learned that Bruiser has more lung mets, fluid in his lungs and now a tumor growing where his front leg used to be. He is also not acting like his usual silly self.

We have him at home and are keeping him comfortable. Our vet thinks we have “a few days to a few weeks” with him. We are so sad because, like any tripawd parent, we want him to live with us forever. We don’t want to say good-bye.

In the meantime, I am trying to enjoy the time we do have together. As I write this, he is by my side in the bed. He is so special to me and I want to remember our good times – and there are plenty of them! I hope to create some more good times over the next few days.

The Dreaded Post

Here goes, the one post I never wanted to write….

Bruiser’s most recent lung x-rays show a “suspected nodule”. It is really small; so small that 2 oncologists missed it when reviewing the film. It was not until a radiologist reviewed the film that he saw the little bastard. While the radiologist called it “suspect”, our oncologist is calling it a met.

Obviously, I am devastated by this news. I am trying to remain optimistic and educate myself, but it is hard.

We will go back to the vet’s office in 3-4 weeks for another round of x-rays to see if the nodule is growing, and if so, how much larger has it gotten. And, to find out if there are more mets.

I have been researching Palladia, but for a dog Bruiser’s size, it would cost us over $900 for the first month and $514 for each following month. I don’t want this to become a financial decision, but that is really expensive and we can’t be certain it would be effective for Bruiser.

I have also been reading forums and other tripawd’s blogs for support and encouragement. It has been helpful to learn of other dogs (and owners) who have gone through the same thing and have been able to report good things.

In the mean time, I continue to enjoy my time with Bruiser. There has been a lot of love, walks, treats, naps, etc together these past few days. I love him so much!

Bruiser’s Big Day!

Today is a big day in our house; today is Bruiser’s one-year ampuversary!!!! I am happy to say that Bruiser is healthy and happy! For that, we are going to celebrate in a big way.

Ways in which we will celebrate include lots of new toys (I have been stockpiling for this very occasion), lots of yummy treats, tons of love (although that happens every day), and even a steak dinner!

There are lots of other exciting things happening in Bruiser’s life, but I will save those for a later update. Today, we focus on what’s important: Bruiser’s continued health and most of all, his happiness. Happy Ampuversary Bruiser!

BIG weekend!

Boy oh boy, does Bruiser have a big weekend ahead of him! For starters, tomorrow (8/20) marks Bruiser’s 11 month ampuversary! 11 months and still going strong. We are so thankful for his continued health and strength.

Sunday is a huge day for our big guy. It is Bruiser’s 7th birthday! As if that is not enough, it is also Bruiser’s television debut! As I wrote about in a past post, Bruiser is part of the YAPS (Youth and Pet Survivors) programs. As part of this program, Bruiser is matched with a human who has had, or currently has cancer, and they write letters back and forth. Bruiser has a wonderful 16 year old pen pal named Delaney and they have been writing each other since February of this year. On Sunday, before participating in a walk to benefit canine cancer, they will meet for the first time. 9News will be on hand to film their meeting and interview them afterwards. We are so excited for both Bruiser and Delaney. I will be certain to post a link to the interview after it takes place.

Not only does Bruiser get to celebrate his ampuversary, his birthday, and his special pen pal relationship, he will also get to indulge in some delicious doggy treats. Life is definitely good.

10 Months and Still Kicking Butt!

Bruiser recently celebrated his 10 month ampuversary, which happened to coincide with his recommended lung x-rays and CBC. We are happy to report that Bruiser’s lungs are clear and his blood work is normal!

Bruiser is enjoying life on 3 legs. He has been busy fetching balls, playing in the water, and taking naps. He will celebrate his 7th birthday next month.

We are so proud of him and so incredibly happy that he is doing so well.


Diagnosis (x-rays, exams, meds, etc) = $1682

Total cost of amputation surgery = $3664

Approximate cost of chemotherapy (6 doses of Carboplatin) = $3644

Prescription Medicine to date = $237

Follow up office visits/chest x-rays = $729

Seeing Bruiser’s beautiful face every day = PRICELESS


The above numbers are the actual totals that we have spent on Bruiser thus far! As of today, we have spent approximately $9,956 on Bruiser’s Osteosarcoma diagnosis and subsequent care.

This number does not include the premium dog food we feed him, the supplements we include in his diet, the adaptations we have made to our house (mainly rugs), the cost of his harness and booties, treats, etc. The numbers do include treatment at a state-of-the-art facility, 6 doses of chemo (as opposed to 4 doses), and the cost of the metronomic therapy.

I do not share this information as a way complain, rather to offer a snapshot of cost for the person with a newly diagnosed dog. There is no denying that treatment is expensive. My husband and I work very low paying jobs (social worker and teacher), but we feel Bruiser is worth every penny. If we could go back in time, we would make the same decisions. After all, what is money if you cannot spend it on those who are important in your life?

Six Months!

Today is Bruiser’s six month ampuversary! We are proud to say he is doing very well. He is on a low dose, at home chemo regimen and is tolerating it beautifully. He continues to amaze us with how well he has adapted to life on three legs!

Here’s to another six months!