Day 1–Success!

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This afternoon, my dog Dakota joined the club. He gave his left front leg to science–literally. Dakota was enrolled in a clinical trial at Colorado State University and they get the cancerous limb. My 12-year-old was so bummed. He envisioned it as the grossest show-and-tell of all time, designed to send his teachers into spasms of upchucking. It was not to be.

Dakota is turning 9 this month, probably on Valentine’s Day, and an amputation seems a pretty crappy birthday present to give to him. On the other hand, we can say he received his 3rd chance, as his 2nd was when we found him dumped and dying and chose to stop the car.

I sit here tonight writing this in a Fort Collins hotel room, hoping I can figure out how to get this dog home tomorrow. And once I get him home, hoping I can get him out of the car, into the house and reintegrated into our family with as little pain and distress as possible. I’ve had an update this evening so I know Dakota appears to be without pain, sitting up and watching the humans around him. I wonder what he’ll dream about tonight. Maybe 3-legged rabbits?

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Author: Dakota Dawg

Dakota lived high in Colorado and was a member of the February Furballs. He lost a front leg to soft tissue sarcoma on 2-11-11. Dakota impulsively decided to see what the whole "rainbow bridge" business was about on 12-15-12 and before we could stop him, he was gone. But never forgotten. Never.

6 thoughts on “Day 1–Success!”

  1. Removing that limb, and the pain, is the best birthday present you could ever give Dakota! Thanks for sharing his story, and best wishes for a complete speedy recovery.

  2. Oh Shari, how I remember it well when my pawrents waited for me to get released from the UC Davis hospital. I surprised the heck out of them by being able to hop out of the hospital! Dakota will too, you’ll see.

    We are here for you OK? Good luck tomorrow, keep us posted.

  3. Shari,
    You can get him in and out of the car, believe me, I went through it with my boy.
    Get a grociery sack and cut it down the sides, it is a great fix until you can get a better set up!
    I am very happy to hear Dakota is doing well 🙂
    Elizabeth and Sammy

  4. Hi Shari,

    We were right in your shoes 12 days ago and I can’t tell you how much this site has helped us. Picking Bailey up after surgery and putting him in the car was the first of many challenges that we were worried about but got through just fine. I would also HIGHLY recommend getting a RuffWear Harness if you haven’t already. It allows me to carry 62 lb bailey like a duffel bag up and down the stairs and in and out of the car. Bailey is a rear leg tripawd however and you may want to wait until the incision heals to use it on a front leg tripawd – I’m sure other’s will chime in. I made the mistake of purchasing it from RuffWear directly rather than through the Gear Store on this site (sorry again!) It is actually cheaper through this site and it supports as well. Here is a link:

    Best of luck this week and feel free to post as many questions as you need – everyone here is willing to help!

  5. We’re only a few days ahead of you in this journey. It all seems weird and surreal but with the help, support and advice from others helps a lot.

    Just remember YOU CAN DO IT!!!

    Keep up the good work!

  6. Thanks for all the good wishes! We are home and trying to get situated, an experience in itself.

    I just happen to have a Ruff Wear harness, which is so wonderful! Even though this is a front leg amputation, I put the harness on Dakota with the front straps loose. I can stick a finger in between the harness and his skin to make sure it isn’t touching the surgical site. I tried a sling first and that just wasn’t enough support. This is a work in progress, isn’t it?

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