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Lost a leg, gained my life!


One Month Since Diagnosis

October 16th, 2010 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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How quickly Bruiser’s life has changed. It was on September 15th when we brought Bruiser to the vet to have his “slight limp” examined. Fast forward one month – Bruiser is now a tripawd and has started chemotherapy. How quickly things change!

Bruiser’s first chemotherapy session was last Thursday and he respondly wonderfully. He showed no side effects! His diet has been so good that he has gained 4 lbs in the past 7 days. His energy level is super high (for a Mastiff anyway) and he seems very happy. We go back for more chemo in two weeks. In the meantime, we are hoping to enjoy some down time. The past month has been such a roller coaster ride with the amputation, recovery, and chemo that we are looking forward to enjoying some quiet QT with Bruiser (and his brother, Baxter).

Oh, and tomorrow we are having a pet photography session with a local photographer who has been kind enough to shoot pics of Bruiser free of charge! I will definitely post some pics when I get them. In the mean time, here is a pic of Bruiser sporting his tripawds bandana.

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What’s Wrong With This Photo?

October 11th, 2010 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

Bruiser has been treated like a king his entire life, but we have brought it to the next level since his amputation. Here, you see me sleeping on the floor while Bruiser snoozes away on the comfy couch. Doesn’t his majesty look comfortable?


Bruiser’s Staples Removed and Chemo Begins

October 8th, 2010 · 8 Comments · Uncategorized

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We are proud to announce Bruiser is recovering beautifully. His staples (all 52 of them) were removed today and he was declared healed in terms of his amputation. Because of his good recovery, he was also given the green light for chemotherapy. While we think Bruiser was happy to hear he is healed, we believe he was most excited that the doctor also gave him the green light to get back up on the couch and bed!

In addition to the staples being removed, Bruiser began chemotherapy this morning. The administration of chemo went well. In fact the oncology specialist informed us that he is the ideal candidate as he is prone to being lackadaisical and, well, lets just admit it, lazy! He will undergo another 3 chemo sessions in the next 12 weeks.

Chris and I have made strides to adapt Bruiser’s home environment with Bruiser’s special needs in mind. Due to the preponderance of hardwood and tile floors, we have made a significant investment in rugs which allow Bruiser to ambulate much more comfortably and safely. We believe we are on the road to becoming ADA compliant!

Lastly, while we are technically Bruiser’s “masters”, it should be said that Bruiser has taught us far more than we could ever hope to teach him. He has schooled us in the valuable lesson of perseverance and living in the present. His ability to adapt to three legs in such a short period of time is astonishing and reminds us that life’s obstacles can be overcome.


Bruiser’s Debut!

October 3rd, 2010 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

Last night I celebrated my 30th birthday at home with some friends. Before we found out Bruiser had Osteosarcoma, my husband had planned a birthday dinner for me with friends at a restaurant followed by drinks at a bar. After the diagnosis and amputation, I knew all I wanted to do for my birthday was spend time with Bruiser. Here is a photo of Bruiser (his first  pic since his amputation) and his loyal servants (myself and my husband). I am so happy I have this day with Bruiser.


When to go back to work?

September 28th, 2010 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

I have a fairly flexible job and have been able to take the past week off to care for Bruiser during his recovery. I can (and will) take more time off, but as I look into the future I am curious what other tripawd parents have done. When did you begin to leave your tripawd at home alone? Did you crate your tripawd? Bruiser was crate trained when he was younger, but as he grew out of crates, we let him have full roam of our main floor.  Now, I am not sure what to do with him once he is all healed. I will discuss this with my vet, but it would also be helpful to hear how others have dealt with this issue. Thanks!!


Our “Potty Garden”

September 26th, 2010 · 11 Comments · Uncategorized

Unfortunately for our new tripawd, Bruiser, our house is a bungalow style house which means you must navigate a minimum of five steps in order to gain entry to the house. We had heard about the “Potty Patch” on tv, which is essentially a small square of astroturf you can place inside your home if your dog is unable to go outside to urinate. This sounded like a viable option for Bruiser’s post surgery days until we discovered how small and how expensive this fake grass would be. Rather than shell out the $70 for a large “Potty Patch”, my husband and I built our very own “Potty Garden”. Essentially, we raided our garage for bits and pieces of wood and created a 3×5 frame which we then filled with dirt and fresh sod and placed on our porch (with only 1 small step to navigate). Before surgery, Bruiser wanted nothing to do with it. However, since his amp, he has been using it with great frequency! He seems to be grateful for the ease of his garden. The only downside to this is that I am certain our mailman and neighbors think we are crazy!


Hello Tripawd world!

September 23rd, 2010 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Bruiser’s right front leg was amputated this past Monday, September 20th. He was able to come home on Wednesday and I have been with him ever since. I have gone through so many emotions since bringing him home! I have been overjoyed, nervous, scared, happy, etc. Sometimes, I feel like we are doing really well and other times I wonder if I made the wrong decision. Will Bruiser adjust to his new 3 leg life? I am certain he will, but when I see him struggle, my heart breaks. I was told the first few days would be hard, but I was not prepared for just how hard it would be. Every time he whines or cries, it hurts me. Every time he tires out and needs to rest, it hurts me. Every time I take him out to pee and I have to support him, I just feel awful. Is this common? Have others gone through these emotions the first few days/weeks? I also think I am overly emotional due to lack of sleep and due to the fact that I have not left the house in days. I realize I have to take care of myself if I am to take care of Bruiser, but it is very hard for me to leave him, even when I know he is with my husband and is safe. Basically, I am a wreck!