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Buddy Love

Another Amazing Tripawds Three Legged Dog Blog

Buddy Love

Farewell

October 30th, 2014 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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At 2pm August 23, 2014, 6 years and 1 week after Buddy came into our lives, we made that last trip.

Buddy had always loved to ride in the back of our ute, so it was fitting that his last journey was from the back of our vehicle. The vet came out to the car and helped make Buddy comfortable from one of his favourite spots.

It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t meant to be.

We we’re all there to see him over the bridge, my wife and I, Honey, our now 3 year old son and our 10 month old daughter too. All of us better for having known Buddy.

IMG_2954

They say that for every soul laid to rest, a new star lights up the night sky. We had the pleasure of knowing the brightest one while he lived his life, on “three legs and a spare”.

Run free my friend.

 

 


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Time

October 18th, 2014 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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Time was proving to be such a valuable thing and we were beginning to realise just how limited it was.

After a few more months passed, a third E.coli infection set in. This was a stronger strain than those that Buddy had previously suffered from and this time we needed a month long dose of antibiotics.

One week into his course of tablets and 8 months after being diagnosed with renal failure, it happened. Buddy gave us “the look”.

With a simple tilt of his head and the most expressive eyes, Buddy said the very words I feared would one day come from our vet. He was tired of fighting and was ready to rest peacefully.

Friday August 22nd, we made the call to the vet to book one last appointment for the following Monday allowing us to have one final weekend together.

The next morning and Buddy couldn’t stand. He had no strength and this made us realise how selfish it was to delay the inevitable as it was for us, not him and with the discomfort he was showing it was unfair to put him through too much more. He had been such a wonderful friend and he deserved to be treated with the respect he had earned over the years. As such, we rang the vet again and changed our appointment to that afternoon.

We decided to throw Buddy a farewell party to make sure he knew how much he meant to us.

No more tablets. No diets. We were having a BBQ.

Chicken wings. Bacon. Sausages. All of life’s little luxuries that were on the ‘in moderation’ list.

If today was to be the day, he was going to say goodbye with a smile.

 

 

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Another infection

October 15th, 2014 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

 

Ultimately, increasing Buddy’s diet was futile. He just didn’t want to eat. Even smearing peanut butter on things didn’t work and the night time routine of a carrot at bed time, which both Honey and Buddy loved, was also ignored.

After another E.coli infection, we reaffirmed our stance with the vet of doing what we could until they told us otherwise.

His weight loss was obvious and exercise was near impossible. His appetite was gone and keeping some definition about him was becoming difficult but after 2 weeks’ worth of antibiotics, he returned to somewhere near his old self.

It was all starting to take its toll on Buddy though and with his weight loss came a distinct lack of energy and routine tasks were becoming arduous. Going outside to the toilet was too great and accidents were now happening inside regularly.

This itself was no problem for us though as I was prepared to carry him, but we realised that while we had always said Buddy was a happy dog, smiling at will, suddenly we couldn’t remember when we last saw that happy face.

 

 

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A new journey

October 12th, 2014 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

We set out by advising the vet that we’d do everything we could to have as much time as possible with Buddy, but sometimes things don’t go your way.

We got off to a terrible start by commencing the diagnosis with an E.coli infection too.

Thankfully a week long course of antibiotics took care of that and that left us with the battle ahead to keep Buddy well.

Prescription food plus medication became the norm and out went a few of his favourite treats, but it was all for good reason.

After about a month, weight seemed to be falling off of him so we took him to the vet for a weigh in and check-up.

All seemed to be normal so we increased his food a little and continued on.

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December 2013

October 10th, 2014 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

After all that Buddy had been through, we thought things had finally managed to take a turn for the better.

Then along came December 2013.

You’re always able to tell something is wrong with someone you care about. Your mother. Your brother. Your loved one. In this case, our best friend.

We went interstate for Christmas and when we returned Buddy didn’t seem to be acting like himself. There was no goofy smile and the appetite seemed unnaturally quenched. He was lethargic and uninterested in walking.

We gave it a couple of days to be sure that it wasn’t just bit of separation anxiety subsiding, but when he didn’t return to his usual ways, another trip to the vet was in order.

This wasn’t like the previous visits. This time there would be no suggestion of surgery. Vets can’t cure kidney failure.

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Post op

October 2nd, 2014 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Buddy

12 months post op

The 12 months after Buddy had his surgery was a continual lesson for us all.

He was always quite protective of Honey and suddenly she was looking out for Buddy whenever other dogs got a little too energetic with him. Nothing aggressive, just a little reminder that he was special and needed some extra care at times.

We learned the fine line between exercising and over exertion but we still had a few trips to the park and walks around the block end in a slow meander home.

Buddy learned the art of squat peeing but not before he tried to cock a leg and lost his balance.

I learned that it was a bigger adjustment for other people and when they’d say “poor dog” I’d say “You should have seen him before.”

One outing to our local park resulted in the question being asked, “How much does he owe you?”

The answer was simple, “He owes us nothing, but we owe him for the smile he puts on our faces.”

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A new man

September 19th, 2014 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Having prepared ourselves for the results of the operation, we was overwhelmed with joy when we picked Buddy up from the vet. Only one day on from his operation and he walked himself down the stairs and back to the car for the ride home.

We were advised beforehand the visual impact is often worse than the physical and with his full limb removed it was a little emotional but seeing him smile again made everything worthwhile.

The cone around his neck made eating slightly difficult and our wooden floorboards required a bit of concentration, but within a matter of weeks, the old Buddy was back, just one foot shorter.

Our son needed no encouraging, he wanted to get down and play with Buddy and the feeling was mutual.

The excitement was present again

The day after surgery

The day after surgery

, but the stamina was noticeably less which the only obvious change in Buddy. We would usually go to the park for hours whereas now half an hour would pull us up. So be it. We just had to cut back on his food to prevent weight gain.

Life was good once more.

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Surgery?

September 16th, 2014 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

The location of the buckshot was deemed non-threatening, so the recommended course of action was based solely on the Spindle cell sarcoma.

The tumour was contained to the leg and the vet was confident that removal of the limb would be a long term solution.

Panic set in and I reached out online to find out more about three legged dogs and kept finding results for tripawds.com.

A wealth of knowledge all from people sharing experiences of their own with people like me; Scared about what to do and not knowing whether it was the right thing or not.

The resource material available proved to be invaluable, in particular Three Legs and a Spare. After downloading a copy, I printed it and had it bound.

I kept it handy which allowed me to read at all hours of the day to make sure that if we opted for the surgery, it would be an easy transition for our faithful furry friend.

There seemed to be endless series of questions, but with Three Legs and a Spare in my possession, the answers were never far.

Buddy's tumour on the day of surgery

Buddy’s tumour on the day of surgery

When the dust settled and sense prevailed, there was only one option, so a theatre was booked.

 

 

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Buddy’s sad past

September 10th, 2014 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

We were now on a first name basis with all the staff and trips to the local supermarket were always met with, “How’s Buddy?”, “Is he due in again this week?”.

He spent another day in the clinic being assessed to check the full extent of his condition.

I received a call at work and was brought to tears.

“Mr. Chapman, do you go hunting with Buddy?” “I don’t hunt. Why?” “We’ve taken some x-rays and he’s got pellets through his chest from where he’s been shot.”

Suddenly we understood why he was unclaimed at the animal shelter. He wasn’t wanted.

8 weeks Buddy had remained unclaimed. No one bothered to look for him.

This of course is what led to my wife and I adopting him so in every sense of the phrase, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

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The change

September 7th, 2014 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

We had no basis to go on and no reason to second guess our vet, so we continued to base our actions on Buddy and he still showed no signs out of the ordinary but gradually, running took on a slightly altered technique. So, another trip to the vet was required.

Still nothing unusual returned from the tests so we continued on the same check as necessary nature.

After returning from interstate in August, the lump had grown noticeably larger during my absence so another vet consult beckoned.

This time things went differently.

Some “not too good” cells were present in the sample taken and after some further tests; the outcome had me going straight to Google.

Spindle cell sarcoma.

What were the options? How far had the cells spread? Questions that could only be answered after more time at the vet.

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