Barn Day

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Another day, another trial for Mosby. Through all of the ups and downs, the one good thing Mosby has had these 5+ weeks is his appetite. Well, he lost that yesterday. It’s been a battle getting him to eat the last couple of days. He eats a few things but turns his nose up at most food, including most people food, and his favorite treats. It’s really heartbreaking. He also started refusing peanut butter and easy cheese, which we were putting his pills in. So now that has become a heart wrenching battle to get his pills down him, because he really fights it. He was so good about taking pills, without any tricks, before all this started.

We took him to the barn today hoping that it would cheer him up and possibly give him an appetite. While he did enjoy his time there, it wore him out, and didn’t improve his appetite (and now he’s eating fewer things). I’ve been in close contact with his oncologist, and we will probably end up taking him in tomorrow for an injection of an anti-nausea drug, some subcutaneous fluids, and possibly an appetite stimulant. I’m hoping for a miracle, that he’ll be back to normal and hungry tomorrow, but if not, we have a backup plan.

I did take a lot of pictures of our outing, though, even though it was cold and windy.

Enjoying the view.
Big brother Arlo, looking a little mangy since I’ve been out so rarely this winter.
I can never get a good picture of the two of them together. Arlo is sticking his tongue out.

We heard the unfortunate news that Cindy Lou Hoo has moved to Florida with her mom for the winter!! Unfortunate for us, fortunate for Cindy and her mom, both of whom we love – hopefully they enjoy the sunshine but come back before too long! Luckily, Mosby’s friend Anna was there, and they enjoyed visiting.

Happy pups.

 

Visiting. That’s an Arlo butt on the left.
Probably the best photo of the two of them together! Mosby in the background.
Corky is curious to see what Mosby is up to.

Last, but not least, yesterday we received the beautiful Tripawds collar tag that Rene made. It has a sheriff star on the front with the Tripawds logo, and on the back it says “Colonel J.S. Mosby.” It’s a gorgeous tag, and very, very well-made. I knew Mosby needed the sheriff star, because back when I worked for a wonderful Judge, the Judge let me bring Mosby to work at the courthouse. He was everyone’s favorite, and one day Mosby was deputized by the Judge and Sheriff. Full on paw-in-the-air sworn in, with the Judge in his robes and everything.

Beautiful! Thank you, Rene!!


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2nd Round Down

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Right now I’m watching Mosby run in his sleep as he is snoozing on his bed. Today he went to see the oncologist, and his CBC and kidney function were both normal, so he got his 2nd treatment of carboplatin. They say it went well, and he ate all of his dinner when I brought him home. He seems like he is in good spirits (but tired).

The vet aspirated the lump we found in his armpit, and she could only find fatty cells, so it seems it’s another of his lipomas, which is a relief. Meanwhile, the surgeon evaluated the sarcoma lump on his remaining hind leg, and thinks the surgery will be doable, although the deep margin will be tough (it’s on his thigh muscle), which we knew. It still needs to be removed, though, so the tentative plan remains to do his 3rd chemo treatment, wait two weeks, do the surgery, then resume chemo. Full steam ahead.

We like to have one of us stay with him the day after chemo rather than leave him in his crate, so my husband is taking off work tomorrow to stay with Mosby. I told them not to get into too much trouble! I have a feeling they’ll snooze most of the day away, though. Then it will be the weekend! Even though the weather looks like it will be bad this weekend, we’ll try to get Mosby out to the barn to see his big brother, Arlo. He loves the barn and I know he misses it. He has lots of doggy friends out there (including his BFF Cindy Lou Hoo, who we would adopt in a New York minute if we had the opportunity), plus lots to see and smell. After nearly 9 years, Mosby has finally reached the point where he is “ok” with his big brother, but when I first got him he’d whine and fuss while I was riding. He was very concerned that the large red beast would hurt his mom. But once he realized he could roam around the farm and check stuff out while I was riding, he started enjoying it.

It was actually at the barn that we first realized he likes carrots. One day I was just doing my thing with Arlo, and one of the other horse owners came up to me and said “Mosby sure likes carrots, doesn’t he?” Turns out Mosby had been successfully convincing all the other owners to give him carrots for weeks. Not that I mind – that’s a healthy snack! Mosby must have seen the horses eating them and decided it looked tasty enough.

As I wrote earlier, we installed nice gates in our house that we may never use because Mosby may be too much of a rascal to even have a small space to be in while we are gone. But not to worry, Mosby has found a good use for the gates. A footrest!

Please, sir, may I have some more?

Acupuncture Day

One nice thing about the last few weeks is that I’ve been able to spend a lot more time with Mosby. While Mosby loves his daycare (and misses it!), with both my husband and I working a full time job and Mosby going to daycare every weekday, we really only spent time together on the weekends and weeknights. Now I work from home once a week or so to take him to appointments or just generally watch over him if he is having an issue. While it isn’t the same as our days when I was in law school and we could go on long runs every day, it’s been nice. I’m working at the kitchen table right now, and Mosby is snoozing on the bed right behind my chair.

Mosby still isn’t doing long sets of stairs, so this is what I looked downstairs to find after I went upstairs to get dressed this morning. Parked out waiting for me.

The harness is in my bed, so I guess I’ll just lie here. Sigh.

Those would be our guest bathroom rugs, which were among the first to be requisitioned for use on our hardwoods when Mosby started limping. Our house is basically a patchwork quilt of rugs and runners now.

Mosby’s first acupuncture appointment went well. The vet said that his back is basically a mess. He had some discomfort when the needles went in, because his muscles are basically knots, but then started to relax. The vet said that sometimes you don’t see the full effect until the second or third session if they are really sore. He seems pretty relaxed right now.

Porcupine dog. Not pictured: the two at the base of his neck that made him look like frankenpooch!

Mosby seems to be in good spirits in general. He is enjoying his meals and enjoying the peanut butter, Easy Cheese and liverwurst that we alternate his meds in. Here he is saying hello with a blurry wagging tail.

I’ll say hello but I’m too comfy to get up.

Wishing Things were Easier

We had hoped that Mosby could go to daycare Monday though Wednesday this week (2nd chemo is scheduled for Thursday), but with his back issues we decided that he should rest at home these three days. Then he’ll be rested up for chemo on Thursday. Friday my husband will take off and stay home with him while he recovers.

Tomorrow morning I’ve scheduled an appointment with¬† a vet to do acupuncture on his back, and during this visit I will also catch up with his PT vet to discuss managing Mosby’s back pain and the best plan for moving forward. I hope she has some additional insight and ideas. I know that we need to strengthen his abs and back to reduce this strain, but at the same time we can’t do things that hurt his back and make him less likely to use it. We need to be able to do the water treadmill, but I don’t know at what point they’ll declare his infection “clear.” It’s looking less bad, but hasn’t healed up, and I’m afraid it could grow over some hair and create a bigger problem.

Thursday is Mosby’s 2nd chemo if all goes according to plan. Hopefully, his blood work will be good to move forward and the infection won’t create a reason to delay. Delaying the chemo means delaying the 3rd chemo, which means delaying the surgery to remove the sarcoma that we’re supposed to do 2 weeks after the 3rd chemo. Hopefully on Thursday the surgeon will also evaluate his leg and determine the scope of the surgery that will need to be done when the time comes.

It is in no way a burden to manage all this for Mosby. I do it because I love him and want the best for him. I would do it a million times over, without hesitation.

But I had a pretty big reminder of just how much stress and anxiety balancing Mosby’s care and a full time job and a household can cause on a person physically and mentally. Mosby may have ended up in the ER Thursday night, but I ended up in the ER Friday night with a severe sudden unilateral headache, followed by dizziness and low blood pressure, and me passing out. We were pretty scared¬†– I’m extremely reluctant to go to the doctor, so the fact that I voluntarily went to the ER says something. A CT scan and EKG ruled out bad things, but they aren’t really sure what it was. I was out of it, maybe just from shock, for about 2 hours. The rest of the weekend was uneventful. I’m assuming that whatever it was, was caused in large part by stress. I’ll follow up with my primary this week, but I doubt it will be anything but a physical reaction to the last month or so. In the mean time, I’m going to try to focus on positive things. The problem is that it is hard, when there are so many things that are not positive. But I’m going to try.

Anyway, not trying to be a downer. But I did want to be honest in terms of what these last 5 weeks have been like. I wish Mosby were one of those dogs who had really sprung back to normal life 2 weeks after surgery. I don’t want that for me, I want that for him. And until he’s at a point where I do think he is happy again, it is going to be hard to live with this dark cloud above my head.

 

Out and About

Two days ago we had to make a trip to the ER, because Mosby was panting, whining and clearly in a lot of stress. One trip later (which they didn’t charge us for — they said we’d pay enough!), they decided he has extreme pain in his lower back due to the strain of learning to walk with three legs, and upped his pain killers. That seems to be helping, as well as putting a warm pack on his back several times a day. When he is happy, I’m happy. Fingers crossed this continues.

As a treat, we took him to Tractor Supply to help pick out his grain free food, and also took him with us to Lowes. His tail wagged the whole time. He loves people and didn’t understand why every person didn’t come over to pet him. We definitely got some sympathy / pity looks, but some people really cooed over how handsome he was and asked if they could pet him (of course! He will be sad if you don’t!).

Dad, is that my food? Dad?

Mosby is snoozing near me, and it’s time for his next warm pack, so I’ll do that in a moment.