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Old dog, new tricks

Dakota gets his 3rd chance at age 9

It’s my 2-week ampuversary!


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I don’t have a freakin’ clue what an ampuversary is, but my Woman told me that if I was going to write this blog (another word that sounds like something I hawked up), I should say it’s my 2-week ampuversary. I think she means it’s been 2 weeks since these nice ladies talked to me while I went to sleep and then forgot to guard me and let someone come in and chop off my leg. What’s so special about that? I think it’s a lot like D-Day, another day that will live in infamy. And I don’t trust my Woman now because that’s twice that she took me someplace and let people cut off important bits.

Anyway, I did something that amazed my Woman. You see, my Man and my Woman and my Boy got up early and then left the house really fast. Last night they were putting a bunch of stuff into bags and boxes and I know what that means. It means someone is going away and leaving me with this monkeydog Evelyn. But I never know who’s leaving, and sometimes that stresses me out a bit. I stress easily. I’m rather delicate that way. So I got nervous that I was being left. I decided to see if anyone else was here. I went upstairs to the big bedroom. I haven’t tried going upstairs since they whacked off my leg, but it wasn’t too hard, I guess. Honestly, I don’t remember how hard it was. I have a bad memory, too.

I lay down in the big bedroom and waited to see what would happen and if anyone was going to come home. And I knew that the closed door had someone behind it, someone still asleep. My Man and Woman’s other Boy is living here with his Woman. They are staying for a little while. Something about moving here and finding a house. Anyhoo, I knew that Woman was in there and she would see me when she woke up. And she did! And she was so surprised and she made funny noises and gave me lots of love. And then she had to figure out how the hell to get me down the stairs because I didn’t think that far ahead. But we worked it out.

So that’s my ampuversary story. My Woman came home without my Man. I guess he is gone for awhile. That’s ok, because my Woman is the one who knows the food trick so she’s the important one. I heard her say I should be sweet to him because he paid for the amputation, whatever that means. They’re such funny guys.

Love, D.

Me, my bed and my Boy

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by posted under recovery | 6 Comments »    
6 Comments to

“It’s my 2-week ampuversary!”

  1. February 25th, 2011 at 4:46 pm      Reply daisy2010 Says:

    Hey Dakota! Happy Ampuversary!! At least your human remembered….my 6 month ampuversary was 6 days ago and my dopey old mom forgot. She remembered yesterday so she and dad took me and monkeybutt Samson to my favorite store- Tractor Supply. Woo Hoo! They had real bunnies for sale but mom wouldnt get me one, geesh, I just want to chase it around a little. Afterwards we went to Applebees and got stuff to go. I got a mozzarella stick, mmmm.

  2. February 25th, 2011 at 5:01 pm      Reply CatiesMom Says:

    Wow. A lot of things happen around your house! People leaving, people coming. No wonder you get stressed, sheesh!!

    That aside – happy 2-week ampuversary! Well done on getting up the stairs. Attaboy, big D!!

  3. February 25th, 2011 at 5:37 pm      Reply admin Says:

    Hooray for Ted! 🙂

  4. February 25th, 2011 at 5:45 pm      Reply Dakota Dawg Says:

    Yeah, I’d “hooray for Ted” too if he went up 13 stairs, but I don’t know if he’s done that yet. I am not Ted, but he is my pal. I’ll tell him he needs to climb some stairs, though.

    Dakota (who is not Ted)

  5. February 25th, 2011 at 11:09 pm      Reply maximutt Says:

    Dakota (who is not Ted), congratulations on your ampuversary! You may not know exactly what it means, but it’s pretty important. Any time your humans want to celebrate one, just go with it, because you’ll probably get some pretty good treats out of it. Congrats again!

  6. February 26th, 2011 at 9:53 pm      Reply luckypup Says:

    Congratulations! I got a a”trial fitting” on my harness today – my stitches won’t be coming out until next week so I think I’ll start using it then – let us know how you like it as you get more experience with it!

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February 2011
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What came before

Dakota is our Golden Retriever mix, and he was likely born in February 2002. His full name is South Dakota Watson, and we found him on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in August 2002. The area we discovered him had no homes, no structures, no bodies of water, no shelter. He had his permanent teeth but was still a puppy, so we assumed 6 months was a reasonable age guesstimate. He weighed 12 pounds, which was grossly underweight. Two weeks later, he weighed 23 pounds. He was too weak to eat much so we fed him 6 times a day. Sometimes he would just collapse at his food dish and fall down, and I would have to feed him by hand.

I wish Dakota could write this page because he is the only one who knows the beginning. From his birth until the day we found him, we have no idea what he endured. Well, that’s not entirely true. We know some of it, and other bits we can infer from his behavior. For instance, we know for a fact that Dakota was suffering from malnutrition, sarcoptic mange, assorted internal parasites, flea anemia, dehydration and dental enamel hypoplasia (pitting and staining of the teeth commonly resulting from distemper as a puppy before the teeth emerge). We can infer that Dakota had distemper from the hypoplasia. We can infer that he was deliberately dumped. And we can infer that a man in a baseball cap wearing sunglasses hit him with some kind of stick and chased him off with a hose. Dakota has problems with all of those things.

Dakota has every reason in the world to hate people, but he doesn’t. He’s very mistrustful of strangers, but he is beyond loyal to his family. Once he meets someone and gets the ok from us, he opens his heart to them, too. He is very attached to me, probably because he was isolated (due to the mange) for the first 11 weeks we had him. He had nice digs set up for him in our house, but he could only look at our other 2 dogs and not touch them. I was the one providing all his care during that time, as we found out the hard way that mange can be transfered to humans. To protect our young son, no one but me played with Dakota during those 11 weeks.

Because we feel pretty sure that Dakota survived distemper, and he survived being abandoned, surviving cancer should be no biggie for him.

We know Dakota’s cancer is not an osteosarcoma, and his chest films were clear, one month apart. We are very optimistic about his long-term prognosis in light of those facts. Hopefully we have several more years with him and he will grow old with us, just as he should.

Right after we got home with Dakota, all 12 pounds of him.

Eyes swollen shut, ragged ears, and just as calm as could be.