This is Pete, my most loving and gentle greyhound. And no, you aren’t seeing things, he really is hauling bootie with three legs.
Just before Thanksgiving he started to limp. Having been down that rabbit hole too many times, my heart sank and we hoped beyond hope that it was just the cold weather.
When paranoia of the worst kind sets in, it’s pretty easy to see things. No, the limp is better, it’s gone, it’s back, it’s worse, it changed legs. And then, you go to the vet clinic waiting for the vet to say, “it’s nothing.”
But instead we heard “let’s do x-rays.”
Our biggest and worse fear was osteosarcoma. It is the most evil, brutal, painful and aggressive form of cancer we have experienced to date. Having seen way too many x-rays, it certainly has a way of presenting itself. And, in that first x-ray it didn’t.
Breathing a small sigh of relief, we went home with minor pain relief and leash walks with instructions to come back for another round of x-rays.
Two weeks later we repeated the x-rays and the radiologists confirmed our worst fears, Pete had osteosarcoma.
I had mentioned we had been down that rabbit hole before and it wasn’t pretty. Bentley was 7 years old, he made it seven weeks beyond diagnosis. Gracie was 11 years old, she only made it three weeks beyond diagnosis. Duncan was 10 years old and he got three weeks. Talley was 11 years old and she made it five weeks. And Crystal, our beautiful and sweet Crystal broke her leg. We only got 10 days past diagnosis.
Osteosarcoma is just too painful to allow any quality of life.
Thrust into tears, we made our pros and cons list, do we amputate or don’t we.
- Pete isn’t even 7 years old yet
- He’s a happy-go-lucky kind of guy
- He’s always had a fabulous appetite
- He’s solid, true to greyhound form he’s well built
- We were fairly certain we caught the disease in an early stage
- It’s been said and I believe it now, dogs were made with three legs and a spare
And for the cons
- He’s my Peter Peter Pan and we wouldn’t have much time left with him if we didn’t amputate
And so, we took a deep breath and scheduled a date just a few days later for an amputation.
He walked out of the clinic the same day. He was ready for some dinner and although we had him spend the night at the emergency clinic, he was happy to come home the next day and just hang out on his favorite cushions.
We had three weeks of healing to determine whether or not we should go ahead with chemotherapy.
I’ll talk a little bit more about our decision in another post, but I want to thank our dear friend Terri, owner of Nature’s Pet Salem for helping us fund this adventure with Pete. She just started a Go Fund Me page for him. We are so appreciative for everything she has done.
For the love of Pete https://www.gofundme.com/theloveofpete