Sunday, May 26, 2013

Frolicking on the Beach

Amanda and I went out to the beach yesterday with Vito, Boone and Coulee.

Coulee was happy to be out running and swimming.  I'm not so sure she that happy to have the company though.  :)

Vito was his usual cute self.  When he wasn't harrasing Coulee, he was off playing with toys by himself.

Boone had a tonne of fun frolicking in the water.  He is quite smitten with waves.

I wonder if Vito realizes that the toy is saving his life at the moment.  ha!

They all got pretty dirty.  But no one more so than V.

After we got back to the car we played around with Boone just a little more so that I could try and make a composite.  I'd been dying to try this but I wasn't sure if I could make it work without a tripod.  I'm thrilled that I can.  I can't wait to play more.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Say Cheese

Lacey had a pretty good morning yesterday.  We went for a walk before her bandage change and it was  the first time she showed any real interest in playing.  She'd been getting sassier at home but never really wants to play.

We stay pretty close to the car so she doesn't walk very far, but I can throw the toy for Coulee down the cliff so she gets a decent workout with out much effort or time.  Lacey watches her run down but doesn't follow.

It was great to see her smile again.  That went away last night when she had a puking marathon.  We took her to the vet this morning and they think it is probably just a reaction to her meds.  She got an anti nausea shot, we are taking her off her meds for a few days and just putting her on a mild diet with a side of Zantac for the next little bit.  Hopefully that will do the trick.

Oh and I don't think I've mentioned here yet that we heard from the oncologist.  We got clean margins so Lacey is officially cancer free.  :)  We still don't know if there were any cancer cells in the toe we removed but they are running more tests so we should know some time this week.

Friday, May 17, 2013

An Evening Walk

Marlin and I went out for a walk in the evening the other day.  I normally walk the dogs mid day, but with Lacey not able to come, I'd rather spend that time hanging out with her and making sure she gets some decent outside and cone-free time.

We had lots of company from the birds that night.  At the entrance to the park was a hawk who agreed to pose nicely as long as we didn't hang out too long.

We saw a female blackbird doing the splits between two cattails.  ;)

The blackbirds are still not out in full force but they are definitely increasing in number.  The redwinged blackbirds are still spending more time in the forest rather than the wetland.  I always find this a bit odd, but they do it every year.

Coulee got to swim as much as she wanted as she didn't need to worry about her sister getting bored while waiting to keep walking.

To finish off the night we always have to do a few throws on dry land to attempt to dry Coulee off.

It never really works, but she doesn't mind.

I'm really starting to enjoy the warm evenings.  Summer truly is just around the corner!  I can't wait.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hobbling Along

Lacey is doing OK.  It is a weird combination of her foot hurting too much to put down, yet she feels sassy enough to run around.  She is also being a brat with the cats for some reason.  They don't need to do anything but wander by and she is going after them.  It is very weird for her but is usually only about 3 steps before she stops. She's been trying to play with toys and chew on rawhides which she didn't really do after the first operation for the first 5 days.  We have a different antibiotic this time so maybe that is making the difference (the last one made her nauseous)?

When it's time to relax though, she is back to her weird corners and bathrooms. We can't trust her to not chew on her bandage this time so she is spending much more time in a cone even when we are around as she is very quiet about it.  She destroyed her first bandage on the way home from the vet.  We couldn't see her in the crate and she didn't make a peep so we assumed she was just sleeping. Turns out she was eating vet wrap and gauze.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Off With Her Toe

We decided to have her toe amputated.  She had it taken off yesterday, and we brought her home today.

At first it seemed easier this time around (on us, I'm talking about - probably not on her) but then around 6:30 p.m. hit and I had a complete breakdown.  A crying in public and I can't stop, kind of breakdown.  It was awesome.  ;)  We cured it by driving right over to check on her.  We had decided in advance we weren't going to visit this time as we thought it was selfish and while it made us feel better, it probably didn't make her feel all that much better. (When parents visit anxious dogs at the daycare, it always takes a little time for those dogs to settle back down once they leave again.) But I was such a basket case that when they asked if we wanted to visit, I had to say yes.

We got to sit in a room with her as long as we wanted. It was great.  She was totally high and pretty anxious but she settled down after a bit and fell asleep between us and I felt soooo much better.

They are sending the sample off for analysis, so we'll know if they got clean margins (this surprised me, I thought we were pretty much guaranteed clean margins) and if there were actually cancer cells in the toe.  So we'll know if we made the "right" decision.  Ugh.  I'm not sure I want to know - unless they find cancer in the toe of course.  Then I'll feel better.  :)

Regardless, it is all over for now.  Now we are just going to concentrate on getting her happy and healthy again.  But first we need to do a quick stop at the vet to get her bandage redone after she ate half of it on the way home.  ;)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Around and Around We Go

I wish this was about another sheep herding video, but it isn't.  We heard from the oncologist... we didn't get clean margins.  :( The "dirty" margin was on the bottom of her foot - so she has cancer cells are still in the pad of her second toe.  Ironically we had never even discussed removing that toe completely.

So we have a few options:

  1. Go back and re-operate right away.  We would remove her entire second toe.  The cancer would be all gone for sure, but this will probably cause lameness.  I'm OK if she doesn't run properly, but it might cause pain when she runs.  We didn't talk about what would happen with the outside toe but if we remove the second toe, we don't have any skin to cover up the opening on the outside toe (which is why they were fused) so it is possible that toe will be removed as well.
  2. Wait and see if the tumour grows back and operate if it does.  The research indicates that tumours only grow back in 30% of the cases where they have dirty margins. So it won't necessarily come back, but it might, and if it does, there is no guarantee we are going to see it before it spreads to more important areas - like her liver and spleen.
If we choose to operate, we WILL be causing lameness.  If we choose not to operate, we MIGHT be causing more problems down the road.

We also have to consider what a second surgery right now might do to her mentally, vs. a potential second surgery in let's say 5 months.  Would it be better to get it all done and over with and never come back or would it be better to spend a month healing, have 4 months of fun and good mental health and then start over again?  (assuming the tumour re-grows)

For MY mental health I think it would be better to take out the toe right now.  But I'm not the one who has to go through the surgery, or deal with the potential pain afterwards.  Every time I think I've made a decision, I don't feel comfortable with it. I go back and debate the options again and inevitably choose the other option.  But then I'm still not comfortable with it... and around and around we go.  Marlin is having the same problem.  At this point, if one of us felt strongly one way or the other, the other one would just agree, but that isn't happening.

We have until Monday to decide.

Healing-wise, Lacey is doing OK.  She is totally looped on the pain meds, but they are keeping her calm at least.  She is seeking out weird nooks and crannies to curl up in but she isn't whimpering or anything like that.  I love coming home at lunch to see her as it is the only part of the day she is animated and I can see a hint of her usual self.

We changed the bandages yesterday and I asked to stay so I could see her foot.  It looked good and not weird at all.  It was still very painful to the touch though.

The antibiotic isn't agreeing with her stomach so we are doing smaller doses more frequently through out the day.  So far, so good.

Sheep Herding Video

Here are the "exciting bits"... My personal favourites are the ankle bite :), and the end where they are going round and round and round and were making me dizzy.

Lacey Sheep Herding

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sunday Swim

If this isn't a big enough selection you can see more on Facebook (with a bit of commentary on the photos too).  :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sunday Sheepies

We are home and all is well. These last few days were very trying on all of us but I don't want to think about them at the moment.  I will be writing the clinic in a few weeks once I'm totally calmed down about their utter lack of communication from the price, to the operation performed, to just general updates throughout the day, but frankly I don't want to think about that at the moment.  I'd rather think about the fun we had on the weekend instead.

After a quick nap after our morning walk with Jetta, Cricket and Deirdre we headed out to a farm that Amanda is checking in on every few days for a few months.  It isn't just any farm, it's a sheep farm!  Lacey got to have some fun in the round pen with a couple of the woolie ones.

Amanda took the pictures - thanks Amanda!  I also have video but I haven't downloaded it yet so that will have to wait until later.

Every good working dog worth their salt, warms up by stretching and making sure they are one with the sheep poop.

Brit was sorting the sheep so we could get some good ones. These lucky ones got to go back to the field.

The experts Brit and Leo.

Here we go.

Sassy from the start.

Hey Amanda!  Are you getting this?  Look at them running over there.  :)

When they weren't moving there was a lot of this...

Which became this if they refused to move.  :)

Going in for a nibble.  :)

Her nemesis.  You can see him staring at her in most of the photos.  He wasn't impressed with the little pipsqueak.

The "Wheeeeee" moments.

The final stand off.

She had lots of fun and had much more confidence than I thought she would.  Thanks again Amanda for letting us come out and pretend to herd and for taking all the great photos.  :)

After herding, we went to the beach!  Ummm.... Lacey was exhausted and kind of overwhelmed with the craziness so she just stood around after cooling off in the water, so there won't be many photos of her, but there will be lots of her friends.  Stay tuned.  :)