Thursday, July 28, 2011

"I knew I wasn't sick" claims Bugsy

So after 10 days of a wild emotional ride, the lump that was removed was a pseudo-tumor.
The belief is that he had a focal trauma to the tuber ischii and an inflammatory response set off the process that created this 'very good at pretending to be cancer' tumor.
The vets were stunned as they felt that from what they saw during surgery and the characteristics of the tumor that this was going to be exceptionally bad news.

I cried. I sobbed. I screamed. And I laughed as Beastie just kept zooming.
Despite three layers of sutures including a dozen or so staples in his butt he really didn't seem to care, he just wanted life as normal.

Why aren't we going for a walk? How come no swimming? I miss my buddies!

My husband and I talked about what we would do if the worst case scenario played out.
For 8 of the 10 days I felt captive.
I was waiting to find out if my boy was in danger and if so how much.
I focused on the wound site and giving meds.
I photographed him and video'd him. If he was leaving me soon I needed documentation of my gorgeous, playful, nutty beast.
And then nearly a week after the surgery I had had enough waiting. I picked up the phone and called to find out what was happening.
Unfortunately my bravery went unrewarded as they didn't know anything yet.
But something important happened as instead of being a passive spectator I took charge of my and his destiny. Emotionally I was ready for whatever we were to find out.
But then the call came and it was this psuedo- tumor.
Pure craziness!
I admit that part of me wonders if it can really be true.
We are still trying to get the wound to close for good and the anti-biotics hit his GI system hard, so we are still working our way to pre-surgical health.
I sure hope that once we do achieve the above, it is the last of it. I realize that it is a bizarre diagnosis and we truly dodged a bullet. I am tremendously thankful.
Even if part of me still wonders.
Bugsy is a special dog, not just because he is mine. The outpouring of affection was incredible and I am sure that God was listening.
Thank you God, I love the silly Beast.....and so do many others!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

pfft what do humans know

if he could talk I am sure that is what Bugsy has been trying to tell me

Its been a tough week around here - Steve & I have been shocked and saddened to accept the events of the last week. The outpouring from our friends, family and neighbors (to whom I am know as the lady with the big black dog or as Bugsy's mom) has been incredible.
Everyone is doing their best to remain positive but sadness has prevailed along with concerns that his health is poor.

Well except with Busgy.
He's the happy, loving, excitable, hunting goofball that he always is.
Last night a favorite human stopped by, good Lord you would think he was Bugsy's long lost twin. The excitement was off the Richter scale.

This morning he woke me up by shoving the carcass of a stuffed goose in my face at 5:30. He was ready to start the day and start it now!!
We went downstairs and he grabbed a couple of rubber bones and a kong to go with the goose carcass and was wiggling and waggling and then launched into his morning routine of stretching, somersaults and rolling.

"It's a new day! it's a new day, it's a new day!!! woohoo!!!!!!!!"

And then it happened...........I should have known it was coming.........

LOL he went outside to take care of business and came flying onto the deck and through the doggie door into the porch at warp speed. Clearly he had been running like a nut for a while because he was smiling and his chest was heaving.

"I am soooooooooooo happy mom!!!!"

I decided that a short walk was appropriate so we just did a half mile and then he helped me in the yard for a few minutes. Then I said, "come on big guy, let's go in"
and it happened again


As I tried to wipe the smile off my face I looked at him in all his exuberance and joyfulness and thought, "you know, may be he knows more than we do"

With all our brain power, dot-connecting, reading, and surmising we make conclusions based on 'facts'. We worry and hope, we get sad.

Bugsy however just carries on - the sutures and staples and intestinal upset aren't even noticed - "I feel good! Ain't life grand? Wanna play?"

OK Bugsy at least for today, I will not look at you and think OMG he might be sick. Today you are my Bugsy, as nutty and healthy as ever.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm not ready to hear yet

Good golly just back from the vet (to check on the wound) and the vet asked if I'd heard anything, um no, so he went off to check the computer.
I nearly fainted...................Really

I looked at Beastie staring back up to me, waiting for me to declare what our next adventure would be and thought all over again. No way no how he is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too alive.
They didn't have the report yet. Thank God.
I mean I know its coming but I wasn't ready.

All day yesterday Bugsy was well Bugsy. Over here, over there, chased a crow, sniffed around, realized that he just had to ask out to pee and he'd get an opportunity to see what was happening, played with toys, ran up and down the stairs, begged for steak, stole a Q tip from somewhere clearly thinking it was valuable, etc.

The anti-biotics are causing much intestinal upset so when he woke me at 5 I took him out, apparently that is a good time to hunt possum, sigh.

This is Bugsy, he is ALIVE!
The twinkle in his eye is certifiable trouble of the belly laugh kind.

I am sorry but he is just way too alive to be sick.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

he's a healing machine!

No one has told Bugsy that he's sick and healing, after resting some yesterday and finally remembering that drinking water is good he started to revive in the afternoon.
By yesterday evening he was stealing kitchen towels and taunting us with them, ringing his bell to go out in an attempt to join me as I watered various plants in the garden (He is usually my "helper" for these tasks)and playing with a toy goose.

This morning he went out with me for the paper and saw one of his smallest buddies, gave the owner a kiss, wandered the cul de sac, then searched our yard for critter activity, drank from the water fountain and finally brought the paper in.
25 minutes of wandering with not even a hitch in his step.
After eating only half his breakfast he wanted out again and had his first post-op poop, complete with full kick-backs, presumably declaring "I'm back"

No weeping from the wound even after all this activity which is wonderful.

As I sat down to check emails he came over to me laid down and then rolled on his back begging for belly rubs.
Yes sir I will rub that belly! Silly boy fell asleep like that but then heard something popped up and off he went.

A healing machine I tell you with the toughest constitution imaginable!
Go Bugsy!!
But let's rest again today bud

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

how to process all this

So he's home, sans a lump, but with three layers of sutures. The tumor was deeply embedded and difficult to remove. If the margins aren't clear he'll have to have surgery at NC State vet school (thank goodness we are so close to a wonderful resource).
But I have to confess now that he's home and I look into his groggy eyes I can't swallow it all.
Bugsy has cancer.
Bugsy who is ever happy, every active and more full of life than any living creature I have ever been witness to, has cancer.
I think I keep typing that to try to convince myself
Bugsy with the chiseled muscle body
Bugsy whose coat shines like no other
Bugsy whose power is just ridiculous
Bugsy whose energy never seems to wain

How could it not be visible in pictures I took on 7/10 and the size of a ping pong ball on 7/15?

How could it not be mast cell?

How could it be so deep and tangled in his body?

How can my world change so swiftly?

We picked him up and he dragged the vet tech to me even though his legs weren't ready yet so they splayed in 4 directions.

Then he ran past everyone in the lobby and straight to the car and up the ramp as if nothing was wrong

Once home he wanted some dinner and some comfort.

He wandered outside, swiftly going into hunt mode and deciphering who had visited in his absence.

My Bugsy has cancer???

The ruler of the neighborhood? The dog who has more buddies than any dog I know?

He's not yet 6 and there isn't a gray hair on him. He's lost a step to a TPLO but not much more. He is not exhausted by swimming well over a thousand yards or 5 mile hikes and days of play at the beach.
He wiggles his butt and wags his tail like a pup and has never lost the tremendous drive for mischief usually associated with pups.

But they age him at mid-50's in human years. Still too young to reach the end.

If you are reading this and made it this far - kiss your dog, smooth your hands over their body, and vow to allow them to sniff to their hearts content on tomorrow's walk. Their lives are short.

I fear way too short for Mr Bugs.

Monday, July 18, 2011

everyone has a breaking point

and I'm experiencing it right now.
Last Friday I noticed a pronounced lump on Bugsy's hind quarter. I thought it was a bite or sting but he didn't seem to even know it was there. Off to the vet.
We left with no answers but a suspected mast cell tumor
We gave benadryl all weekend and saw no change so off to the vet this morning.
After a blood draw and fine needle aspirate it appears to be a soft tissue sarcoma
He'll have it removed tomorrow and off to the lab to determine what we are dealing with

I did a little reading on STS (soft tissue sarcoma) and we need all your best vibes, prayers and thoughts. It can be a straight forward thing or a very messy thing.

My life has had a ton of stress over the last few years and the Beast with all the insanity and rotator cuff-tearing hunting has been my savior.
He's been a guaranteed smile.
Oh heck he is a guaranteed LOL
He is the GRAND diversion from all that ails you

when his amber eyes lock on to yours you know some serious fun lay ahead

when the tail wags a certain way he's plotting some mischief and is clearly a step ahead of you

and then there are the moments when he looks at you with such unadulterated joy and his special brand of adoration that no matter what real life holds, in that moment, life is good.

Bugsy transports you to that place where life is only good

Everyone needs that from time to time and I have been lucky enough to have him do that for me daily. He's spoiled me and I have come to expect those moments and need those moments.

Bugsy this has to be something that can be fixed, simply and finally.
Your mama needs you.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dear foxy,

Please for the love of God will you never again run towards the beast!
I know you panicked and wanted to head to your den but really getting to within 12ft or so of a beast that is 3+ times larger than you and who very much wants to kill you is just flat out stupid.
And in making this dare devil move you made my life very difficult and extended my walk more than I really had time for.
So, from here on out, use your nose, if you smell the beast move AWAY from him, if you see the beast, he sees you too, and it is recommended you hightail it in the opposite direction and into thick woods.