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Nothing in particular, just happy! Some pictures…

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The little bud had a good day today – woke up with a waggy tail and is returning to his fantastic self.  We’re starting to taper the Tramadol and I’m sure that’s a factor.  He’s still sore when he moves around on the soft bed, so he’s sleeping on the floor beside us for a few more days.

He did get a new orthopedic bed today, which he seems to like. He also reminded me today that pathology reports aren’t everything, and sometimes you just need to work on your foot.

This is Zato’s buddy Tinkerbell.  Tink is fighting her own cancer battle at the moment (mast cell tumors).  I’m talking to Dr. Loops in the morning about her, too.  She’s such a sweetheart.

And this is our other hound girl, Boodie.  She’s a total ding dong and I love her to pieces.

And you’ve seen this girl before, Cadpig!  There are two things that mean the world to the Pig:  Zato and her tennis ball.

Thank you all again for your support, as you’ve helped us so much, and by keeping us halfway sane through all of this, it really helps everyone in the house!

I hope all creatures – 2, 3, and 4 legged, have a peaceful night.

THERE he is…

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Zato, like all dogs, is special.  There are so many traits that make him unique.  There are so many little things that make him Zato.  When this journey started, we decided that we would carry on within reason as long as Zato could be Zato.  If there came a time when our sweet boy was no longer himself, or was heading down a path to not being his happy self, then we would call it.  Makes me shudder to even type that.   To even think it.

Anyway, after his initial homecoming, he started to almost slip away from us.  We knew it was the pain, or the drugs, or both.  We knew that he was not going to mourn the loss of his leg like we would.  But when we looked at him for those few bad days, we wondered if Zato could pull out of this and still be Zato.

The first time we went to the shelter to meet him, we found ourselves in the main kennels, a long corridor with the entrance in the middle.  We looked to the left – nope, didn’t see him.  We looked to the right…no…hmmm…we started walking and as we neared the very last spot, a little black and white face appeared at the front.  I said, “THERE he is!” And that saying has stuck throughout the years.  It seems to make him happy.  It has certainly made me happy.  When I would come home after being gone awhile and his face would be the first thing I’d see when I got the door halfway open, I would say it.  When I’d be silly and walk around with a treat calling his name and pretending I didn’t see him so he’d follow me around and then suddenly look down at his waggy tail, I’d say it.  When he’d snuggle up for his morning cuddles, I’d say it.  He’s not a licky boy, but he’d always give me a kiss then.

Last week was pretty rough.  When we looked into his eyes, we were desperately searching for Zato.   We thought he’d still be in there, but we just couldn’t see through the glazed look and the still tail.  He looked defeated.   We know these are our emotions being projected onto him.  But, as you all understand I’m sure, it’s easy to fall into that trap.  We found him one day on the sofa all cockeyed, leaning against the pillow, looking totally lost.  We spoke to him and he didn’t even blink.   It broke our hearts.

Once the vet said he was doing pretty well, we began to feel a little better about the situation, but still wanted that big moment, that sign that our boy was in there.  We’d been taking him his food.  Then the other day, out of the blue, he got up when I was fixing his food to take to him.  I turned on the camera and tried not to cry.  He hopped over, just fine, and wagged his tail and lifted his ears and looked at me with those eyes.   That was it.  That was all I needed.  There he is.  I’m so glad to have you back.



Vet visit and hopefully turning the corner

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Our sweet boy has had a few rough days, and we’ve been beside ourselves with all kinds of emotions.  I’ve been sleeping on the floor with him because the mattress is too soft and he cries when he tries to move around.  He’s on a firmer dog bed, and I’m on the couch cushions.

The increased pain meds may be starting to help.  While he has spent a good part of the last several nights crying, as well as crying when he gets up and down, that has stopped this evening (so far).  He had just been lying there looking out of it but has gotten up a few times tonight and followed me into the kitchen.  He also got up and went to the door when he needed to go out, which he hasn’t been doing (just lying there until we took him out).  When we went outside, he hopped over some rocks to go to his normal spot,  not the spot of the last few days, so this is really good.  And his tail is wagging more.

I’m still on the cushions tonight, and we leave early for Richmond to get his sutures out and see if we can identify the problem.  We will see if he has what I think could be nerve/phantom pains in the night, but overall he looks brighter and I am praying for an even better tomorrow!

He also started his homeopathic remedies today.

Zato & Penny


Tweaking the meds…

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Poor little boy was up most of the night crying, and by 5 a.m. I was crying, too and apologizing for everything.  I kept massaging his little body and eventually we both fell asleep.  I called the vet first thing this morning and although Zato’s surgeon is off this week, I got to speak with one of his colleagues.  She was super nice and told me we can increase his Tramadol and Gabapentin in both frequency and dosage, and that should help.   She said if that didn’t help by Friday, to put him in the car and drive him up and they would go ahead and take his stitches out and try and figure out the problem.  So he’s had his first increased dose and we’re about to do a second.  Hang in there, little buddy!

I had spoken with Dr. Loops on Monday, and Zato’s remedies arrived today.  I’ll start those tomorrow.  Between pain meds and remedies and supplements, I need to make a chart to keep track of everything and time it all right!  But he’s worth every bit of effort.  I’ve been so inspired by all the stories here, but sometime in the wee hours last night I was thinking about Jerry in particular and his adventures, and started telling Zato all the things we are going to do when he feels better.  Just feel better.  Get better.  Please stay with me as long as you can.  As long as you’re happy.

I always have to kiss his head:

The Crash

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Well, the crash hit about day 5, and our little bud has been pretty uncomfortable for a few days now, but we’re just going to ride it out the best we can.  I upped his Gabapentin and added Tramadol to the mix after talking to our vet.  I was at the vet with another dog (not the surgeon), and they had gotten word about his surgery and were all asking about him.  So I said he was hurting and could I get some Tramadol for him, and she kindly agreed.

One of the folks at the vet told me I was brave to do the amputation.  Nah, not brave.  He’s the brave one.  She said she had been praying for him and I told her how much we appreciate that!

Richard’s gone to pick up a heating pad…I figure a little heat on some of the other areas certainly can’t hurt and might bring him some comfort.   We’ve blocked the couch since he seemed to be having pain when he would try and turn himself on the soft cushions. We’ve been lifting him up and down.  In the meantime, we’ll try and keep him as still and comfy as possible.  He seemed hot even with the AC so we put in a window unit to try and help keep cool air moving around him.

Our dog Holley quietly sneaked up next to him and after a few minutes they both fell alseep.  Hang in there, bud.

We love you.

Holley says, “I’m here for you.”

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