Day 3–Gets Worse Before it Gets Better

This morning was not good. It got better, but the morning was awful. I think we missed our medication window and Dakota was hurting this morning until his dose kicked in. I have to figure out a way to keep that from happening.

At 11 this morning, Dakota finally urinated and we had a party. It had been over 30 hours and I was determined not to take him in for a catheter. He went outside several times, kept falling down, insisted on just laying down in the snow. He was exhausted just getting out there, and we were helping him. But when he finally peed, it seemed to change him. He must have been almost bursting and felt such relief. No more holding out, waiting for that leg to come back so he could lift a leg to go. Squatting may not be what he wanted to do, but he did it anyway.

Since then, Dakota has made efforts to move around in the house a bit  more. He even chose to expend his energy getting back to his favorite spot, blocking the kitchen doorway. He has stationed himself there for years and it drives us nuts as we trip over him. He paws the air at our feet and we hate it. So he hauled his butt over there again and parked. I think that is a good sign.

Day 2–This Must Be the Place

Home is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me round  (Talking Heads)

This was what was going through my mind after I got Dakota home today. Yes he wanted to be home, and yes there was a significant amount of picking him up and turning him around. He had a pretty difficult time getting oriented.

When I arrived at CSU to collect D, the clinician assigned to him spent a good 30 minutes giving me discharge instructions and information. Turns out that the urination Dakota did last night really wasn’t. His bladder got full, so they expressed it. He wouldn’t drink (no biggie with the IV) or pee for them. I figured if I got him home, he would feel better about marking his own territory. And since he uses a dog door at home, he was probably really wondering why these people were hanging out expecting him to perform publicly.

The ride home was uneventful, though D did a hard face plant into his crate while he was being loaded. After we got him inside the house, he was determined to try to hop around. We watched painfully as he face planted, fell over and refused to lay down and rest. Eventually, I paid him to lay down by giving him a bully stick. He did take a long nap, but it seemed to take forever for him to get calm. I blocked him off with the portable fencing I have, and he barrelled on through it.

We’ve been home now for about 4 hours and he’s been out twice. No pee yet, but lots of water. As I write this, he is doing that funny doggie rumble that isn’t quite a whine. He just had his pain meds and I think maybe he’s hurting a little. I know we’ll all live through it, but I never thought in a million years…

Trying to get comfortable

Day 1–Success!

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?