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Time…..

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I remember when I was growing up, I couldn’t wait to be older.  Turning the big 18, then 21, seemed so far away.  For some reason time went so slowly back then.  I soon realized that when you get older, time just slips away, and goes so fast.   Now, I wish like anything, time would slow down.  Not because I’m getting older, its because the days and weeks are ticking away for my sweet Cadence.  I wish I had some magic power to stop time, but I don’t.   So, we are enjoying the time we have left.  When she is ready to make her final journey, she will know that she was loved and how thankful we were that she was in our life.

Cadence loves being around people.  That is when she is the most happy.  This weekend she was surrounded by lots of people and a lot of love.  Her grandparents are in from Ohio, so they stayed with us for a few days.  She was in heaven.   My sister and Mom came over on Friday night for dinner, so she had even more people to love on her.  Saturday night, we had a big dinner and our house was full of people.  Cadence was full of excitement and I could also see in her eyes how happy she was.  But, I could also see how tired this all made her.   The thing that makes her the most happy is now the thing that wears her out.

I can start to see  the changes in Cadence.  The coughing is becoming more frequent, and she is wanting to sleep more.  I also notice that even now when she is walking around, she will start to cough.  Before, it was only when she was lying down.  Im really torn as to what to do.  I don’t want to keep her as a prisoner in the house.  I want to take her to her favorite park and let her feel the sun in her face and the grass between her paws.  Then again, I don’t want to over exert her and that causes her to suffer later on in the day.  I guess I will just do what I know makes her the most happy.  That would be being outdoors and at the park.   I will just have to monitor her and make sure she doesn’t try to do to much when we are there.

As Im sitting her writing this, Cadence is on our bed, sleeping.  When I hear her coughing, I go into the room and comfort her and tell her is going to be ok.  I pet her so she can feel my hand soothing her.   She looks at me with those loving and trusting eyes, and I tell her how much I love her.  She slowly closes her eyes and goes back to sleep, and I just watch her.  This ugly cancer disease will take her in the end, but it will NOT take these special moments away that we share together.

 

 

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Our family……..

 

 


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The journey has begun…..

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I am trying so hard to be strong as I write this, but our final journey has begun.  Cadence had another coughing episode on Sunday night and it continued into yesterday.  We had already been through this once before and xrays were taken because they thought it might be an pneumonia.  The lungs were clear.  A little bit of cloudiness, but it was determined that it was not an pneumonia.  The great news was, that there were no mets.  So when she began coughing this weekend I thought maybe she just had a bit of a cold.  I think I was just trying to convince myself that it couldn’t be mets since 3 weeks ago everything was all clear.  This cancer thing is a very sneaky creature.

Our oncologist was not there yesterday so we had to see someone else.  He was a very nice doctor.  They took Cadence in the back and took blood and her vitals.  He came back in and said we should take an xray.  I told him to do whatever he needed to do.  I just wanted to know what was wrong with my baby girl.  Thirty minutes passed and when I saw another vet coming in to the room with the other vet, I knew it was not good news.  There were two mets on her lungs.  He showed me on the xray, and I couldn’t believe that it was Cadence’s lungs.  How could it be that three weeks ago there was nothing and now this?  Im not sure of the measurements but one was a lot bigger than the other.  I had prepared myself that Osteo was an aggressive form of cancer, but really, this fast?  The mets were more than likely there 3 weeks ago but they were still so small they did not show on the xray.  In my head Im thinking, if they grew that fast in 3 weeks, what will they be like in another 3 weeks.  The words then came out of my mouth.  Words that I was hoping not to utter for a few more years.  ” How long do we have?”  Why do we do that?  Ask a question that we dont really want to know the answer to?  I know the vet is not God.  No one can really have the answer to that.  He told me two weeks, to possibly 2 months.   I was shattered.  The tears started streaming down my face.  I looked at Cadence and she looked at me and was just wagging her tail.  Bless her heart.   My vets assistant, Melanie, came in the room and gave me a big hug.  I needed that hug.  I needed to feel comforted.  We left the office and went to the parking lot.  When I was in the parking lot, Veronica, the girl at the front desk, came running outside to us.  She hugged me and told me how sorry she was.  Veronica told me she had become attached to Cadence and that everyone in the office loves her.  We are so lucky that we found a vet hospital that has such compassionate people working there.  I’m so glad Cadence is being treated there.  In case anyone needs a vet, Encina Vet Hospital in Walnut Creek CA, is the place to go.

I now had to make a phone call to Steve, Cadence’s Daddy.  He knew the minute he heard my voice.  My heart breaks for him.  I could hear the pain in his voice as I told him.  I wish I could take the pain away for him.  Cadence is his best friend.  He loves that little girl so much.  This is going to be hard for me but unbearable for him.  At least we have each other to lean on.

Steve and I both agree that when Cadence shows signs of being in pain, or she gives us that look, that she no longer has the strength to go on, we will both be by her side.  We want her to leave with dignity and surrounded by love.

So this part of the journey begins.  Whether we have 2 weeks or 2 months, we will be sure to enjoy every last minute we have with Cadence.  She deserves to have her remaining days without us being all sad and down.  We will keep a smile on our faces, which is easy to do being around her, and let her know how much she is loved.

 

 

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cadence enjoying a sunny day in California…working on her tan

 

 

 

 

Done with Chemo !!!!

 

Ok…..so Mommy has been really bad about updating this blog thingy.  I know she works a lot and all, but come on, what can be better than writing about me.  So, Ive snuck into the room and thought I would update everyone myself.   I had my very last chemo session on Thursday.  This made me very happy but also sad.  I really like the girls at the vet office, and I love my doctor.  They have taken such good care of me.  Even though they hacked off my leg, I still love them, because I am no longer in pain.  Who needed that extra leg anyways?  I’m doing great without it.

Mommy and Daddy don’t seem sad anymore.  I think they understand that if it doesn’t bother me, then then it shouldn’t bother them.  I am still the same doggie I was before.  I have to admit it though…..I love the way they spoil me.   I still have to mind my manners and stuff, but they are taking extra good care of me.  I’m getting this orange stuff in my food that is very yummy.  Sometimes I get this white stuff ( cottage cheese) that sticks all over my nose, which really grosses daddy out.  It all just tastes so good.  On Mommy’s days off she is spending more time at home which I love.  I love spending time with my parents.  I understand they have to go to work, but I love it when they are home spending time with me.

My grandparents are coming next week to California all the way from Ohio.  I haven’t seen them since I was a youngster.  I cant wait to see them so they can see how well I’m doing on my three legs.  I’m going to give them lots of kisses.

So life on three legs isn’t as bad as one may think.   I do miss my long walks that we used to take, but I’m happy to be alive and enjoying each day with my Mommy and Daddy.  Im going to keep hopping along and enjoying life.

Well that’s enough for me.  I’m not as long winded as my Mommy can be.  Boy, she can sure talk a lot.  Bye everyone, and thanks for all the advice you have given my parents.

 

 

 

 

 

Damn Pneumonia…UPDATE….ITS NOT PNEUMONIA

 

So far 2013 has not been our year, and we are only a 7 days in.  My boyfriend and I have both been sick with a really bad cold.  Cadence was so sweet lying in bed with me all day making sure I was ok.  She would cuddle up extra close to me to keep me warm.  She is such a love.  Now its our turn and we are having to take care of her even more.  Last night we had to rush her to the Vet ER because she started coughing up blood.  During the evening she had a couple of bouts of coughing but then it went away.  I figured she had something stuck in her throat.  But when we saw blood on the sheets we knew this was not going to be good.  Our first thought was she had a lung met.  Having a pneumonia never even crossed my mind.  The vet took blood which he said was normal and then the next step was the xray.  When he came back in the room he pulled the xray up on the computer.  I kept waiting for LUNG METS to come out of his mouth.  Instead, he said the cancer had not spread into her lungs.  We let out a sigh of relief.  Then he showed us some cloudiness in the lungs which he believed to be an pneumonia.   I was so relieved that it wasn’t the cancer coming back but it still felt like someone punched me in the stomach.  We have gotten somewhat  good at dealing with the cancer diagnosis, the amputation and even the chemo, and now this.  I feel so bad that my baby is having to go through all this.  The vet gave her medication and told us our vet would be in contact with us.

This morning she ate all her food but has so far has not drank any water.  I notice that when she is walks  the coughing is the worse.  I am trying to keep her in bed so she just rests and stays calm.  I am also monitoring her breathing which at times seems a bit labored.  I’m watching her gums to make sure they don’t turn blue.  They are pale but not blue.  Cadence is still coughing up blood when she coughs, so that prompted me to make a call to the vet.  I am taking her in later this afternoon.  I just feel more comfortable seeing her regular oncologist who knows her and me.  Last night I wasn’t able to ask the questions that now I know I need to ask.  Everything happened to fast.   We are lucky that we love our vet and so does Cadence.   I thought the vet last night was great but I will feel much better talking to our vet and having him check out Cadence.   Maybe I’m being neurotic but we have come this far and Im not going to let the pneumonia be what takes her from us.  We will fight hard to get her through this.

 

UPDATE:   Cadence and I just got back from the vet and according to him it is NOT an pneumonia.   I wanted to jump up and hug him.  He said he looked at the xray as did another vet in the practice and they did not see what looked like an pneumonia.  He listened to her lungs and he said they sound great.  He also confirmed that there are no mets in her lungs. He did another blood test and found the numbers to be all fine.  They were even up a little bit from earlier this morning.  He thinks that maybe she just got something stuck in her throat and she is trying to get it out and her throat is also irritated.  He thinks it has nothing to do with cancer.  The vet said  since she is not continuously coughing then maybe it dislodged itself and now its just irritated.  He suggested we just wait and see if it clears up on its own.  He did not feel it was necessary at this time to put her under sedation and stick a tube down her throat.  And of course, wouldn’t you know it, while we were there, she never coughed one time.  Go figure.  We are lucky to have such a great vet.  He did not treat me like I was some crazy lady (which sometimes I am) and he is so sympathetic and understanding.  I just want what is best for Cadence and I know that sometimes I can be a bit paranoid about stuff, I just didn’t think that her spitting up blood was something that should be ignored.  At least tonight we can all get a good nights sleep.

So I guess 2103 isn’t looking so bad after all.

 

 

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Frozen pumpkin…its not even summer yet!!!!

 

Cadence went to her favorite place today…..the vet.  I know, its hard to believe with everything she has been through, she still loves going there.  When we pull into the parking lot her tail is going a mile a minute.  We are lucky that we have found a vet hospital that is not only great with dogs needing amputation and chemo, but everyone that works there really loves animals and really cares.  From the girls at the front desk, to the vets assistant to the wonderful vet himself, they have made this journey we are on a little bit more tolerable.  I have never felt like Cadence was just another patient.  For that, I am very thankful.  I decided to stay in the waiting area this time, since I wasn’t sure if her blood count was going to be back to normal.   As I was sitting there, this couple came in with the man holding his dog in his arms wrapped up in a blanket.   The woman walked up to the counter as the man sat down.  The man gently placed his dog on the cushion bench and the dog started making a squealing noise.  You could just hear how much pain the dog was in.  The woman immediately started crying and I knew instantly what they were there for.  I couldn’t control my tears.  The tears just started flowing .  Its was painful for me to see the pain the two of them were in.  When they were called in, the man gently placed the dog on the ground and the sweet thing walked through that door on his own.  It was like he was saying if we are going to do this, I’m making that walk on my own, without any help.  My heart ached for them and that sweet pooch.   I made sure to give Cadence extra hugs when she was done with her treatment.

After treatment we came home and I let Cadence rest for a bit.  She got in a good nap and then we went on a walk.  We were lucky and there was no rain today so we got to go out.  She had the biggest smile on her face as we walked to our favorite park.   She got lots of love too from the people we met along the way.  Cadence loves attention from people.  I know that sometimes people can be intimidated by her size but once they stop to pet her and see that she is very loving, they go away thinking she is the sweetest thing.   We got a good walk in and she only had to take one break this time around.  We sat in the grass for about 5 minutes and then she was up and ready to go.  When we got home she didn’t immediately lay on the ground like she usually does since the amputation.  I guess she is building up her endurance which is a good thing and it helps that the weather is cooler.  In the summer time after some of our walks,  I would  give Cadence a frozen pumpkin treat to help cool her down.  Today I figured what the heck, it may be winter, but I’m sure she would love the treat.  So here is the pic of her eating her favorite summer treat in the winter.  She tried eating the whole treat including the plastic, that’s why I’m holding it.  She is so cute, she just makes me smile.

 

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I dont look a day over 6 years old…….

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CADENCE!

Our sweet baby girl turns 8 years old tomorrow.  It’s hard for me to believe she is 8 when she sometimes has as much energy as a puppy.  Granted, there area few more white hairs around her face this year than last year , but she doesn’t have the luxury of a good box of Clairol like I do.  Cadence…….. Here’s to another 8 more years of our fun filled and crazy life together.

I couldn’t be more proud of the progress Cadence has made since her amputation.   Her confidence level is back to where it was before the surgery, she still runs around the house with various items of clothing in her mouth that  I drop from the dryer on laundry day and she still has a full zest for life.  My poor baby has been through so much yet she just carries on.  I’m telling you, if all that crap had happened to me I don’t know if I would be quite as happy and resilient as she has been.  I guess that’s why so many people say we should be” more dog”, when we are dealing with obstacles in our life.

We attempt our 3rd round of chemo on Wednesday.  Hopefully her blood cell count is back to normal so we can resume the treatment.  I hate the fact we had to get off track but with the blood cell count being off  it was the only choice we had.  I think I’m just anxious because I know when we go in for the last treatment (4th one) we will be getting an xray done to see if the cancer has showed up any where else.  For me its very hard to deal with since I’m such a control freak.  I wish we could just get it this time around so I can know what we are dealing with and then I would be able to figure out what our next course of action is.  What I have come to realize about Cancer is,  that it plays by its own rules.  Its the one thing in life that I cant control.  I just have to make sure that it doesn’t end up controlling me.  When I start to get sad, I think about all the wonderful advice Ive gotten from the great  people at tripawds.  They have taught me  to enjoy the here and now and not worry about what might be down the road.

My family wishes each and everyone out there in the tripawd family a very blessed and joyful Christmas.

 

 

 

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Cadence…. a little history about my life

 

American Bulldogs are extremely loyal, brave and determined.  Those words exactly describe our Cadence.  Cadence has been though a lot in her almost 8 years of life.  Cadence came into Steve’s life when he got back from a tour in Iraq in 2004.  When he came back he needed a companion, and since he hadn’t met me yet, he got a dog.  He did his research (he researches everything) and decided on an American Bulldog.  When he went to the breeders he was determined to get a male dog.  When he went to see the puppies, Cadence leaped over all the other dogs to get to Steve.  Needless to say, the little girl won over his heart.  Since she was to young to take home, he went to visit her on his days off from work, until he was able to take her home.  Cadence was there for him when he needed some calm in his life.  I have never seen a bond so strong between a dog and its owner before.  It truly is heartwarming when I see the two of them together.  Cadence’s eyes light up when Steve walks in the room.

   A few years back we noticed a few growths on Cadence.  At first we thought they were just fatty tissues, but they seemed to be getting bigger so we took her to the vet.  They aspirated the site and it came back as being a mass cell tumor.  She needed surgery to remove them.  We were heartbroken.  She had the surgery and all went well,  the margins were clear.  A short time later we found another one.  Instead of boring you with all the details, Cadence has undergone 5 surgeries for mass cell tumors.  The poor doggie has been through so much.  But she never, ever let it get her down.  She bounced back quickly after each surgery and life went on.

In October she was diagnosed with Osteo and within a few weeks she was having her left rear leg amputated.  Throughout the whole ordeal she continues to amaze me.  Cadence is as loving as ever and continues to have a gusto for life.  She doesnt know anything is wrong and in a way I think that is a great thing.  She is going on with life as usual.  She still makes us smile and laugh everyday.  Cadence is still the fun loving, goofy girl I fell in love with 6 years ago. 

 

 

 

 

Cadence to the rescue

Cadence came into my life by way of my boyfriend Steve.  About 1 month after I met Steve I had to say goodbye to my 14 year old Shepard mix, Austin.  At the same time I was also dealing with a very serious medical issue.  I had to have open heart surgery for an aortic aneurysm and a valve replacement.  Talk about when it rains it pours.

My heart was breaking after I lost Austin.  He was my protector.  He was the  first dog that I had raised on my own from a puppy.  Austin taught me responsibility and about unconditional love.  I never thought I would love another dog again.  Then came Cadence.   When I first met Cadence she was totally indifferent towards me.  She ran up to me, I pet her and then she turned away from me.  She was done.  The more time we started spending together the more she paid attention to me.  She was definitely a daddy’s girl so I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me.  One night. we were at my house and I started to have a weird feeling in my chest.  Knowing my condition, I panicked and got very scared.  I went upstairs to lie down and to calm down.  Steve stayed downstairs with Cadence.  A few minutes after getting into bed, Cadence came running up the stairs, jumped on the bed, and sat right by my side, with her big chest puffed out.  She did not move.  She was standing guard over me.  She knew I needed comfort and when I started to pet her, my heart stopped racing and I felt calm.  The bond was formed between us.  I now had a new protector and from that day forward our bond grew stronger and stronger.

 

 

6 weeks and kicking butt……

 

Ive been really bad about keeping this blog updated.  With Christmas around the corner and work, life can sometimes get crazy.  I am going to make an effort to write something every couple of days.

Thankfully Cadence’s recovery is going smoothly.  We had a couple of small incidents where she hit her stump and let out a cry that tore right through me.   She got super excited and down her stump went to the ground.   This was several weeks ago and it hasn’t happened since.  I think the stump is also better  healed and its not as sensitive as it was in the beginning.

We had to stop her raw diet due to the fact she is getting chemo and the vet suggested we wait until after all the chemo treatments.  We are still  giving her Pinnacle which she has been on for the last 4 years or so.  Ive been adding sweet potato’s to her kibble and tonight I am going to try pumpkin.  She just about attacks the food when I give it to her.  It makes me happy to see she still has her appetite.

Cadence still loves going out for her walks.  With this great California weather we are able to take her out almost everyday.  She is a priss when it comes to the rain and she hates umbrellas.  So when its raining we really don’t get to go out.   Funny how she hates the rain, yet loves going to the snow.  Go figure……

 

 

 

Hello Tripawds!

My name is Cadence and Im an American Bulldog.  I was born on Christmas Day in 2004.  My daddy came to the breeder wanting a male bulldog but when he saw me it was love at first sight.  Daddy had just gotten back from Iraq and needed someone to pal around with.  For two wonderful years it was just me and him.  Then he met someone.  At first I wasnt to keen on her.  After all, she was cutting in on me and daddy time.  I figured she wouldnt be around very long so I put up with her.  Well, she stuck around and I love her almost as much as I love my daddy.

Mommy and Daddy take such excellent care of me.  Ive already had 5 surgeries to remove mass cell tumors that were cancerous.  Thankfully they caught them in time and all is well with the world….so I thought.  Mommy and Daddy were getting ready to take a tropical vacation last Friday.  Over the weekend Mommy noticed that I was limping.  Not wanting to go away worrying about the limp, they decided to take me to the vet.  Even after all my other surgeries, I still love going to the vet.  They give me lots of kisses and treats.  The vet made me take some x-rays, which was not fun by the way, and then the doctor talked to Mommy.  All I know is that when I saw Mommy she was crying.  I hate it when she cries.  The vet told her I had bone cancer.  I tried kissing mommy to make her feel better but it didnt work.  This must be really serious I thought to myself.  Kisses usually work.  The vet talked to daddy over the phone and then we went home.   Mommy immediately got on the computer and was there for hours.  She found this great website tripawds.com and downloaded three legs and a spare and read it.  Mommy said the book had great information and was very happy she found it.

Well Friday came and went and mommy and daddy did not get on a plane to go away.  I felt really bad about it since I knew their not going had something to do with me being sick.  They took me to some new vet (oncologist) and they went over their options.  I heard the word amputation alot, though I dont know what that exactly means.    I also heard the word chemo, who the heck knows what that is.  All these big words, I guess I need to get a dog dictionary.  Mommy and daddy explained everything to me as best they could.  All I know is that on Friday Im going to the vets office and coming home Saturday missing a hind leg.  Mommy said that from everything she has read, I will get along just fine.  Im and American Bulldog, of course I will be just fine.  I just want to get back to taking my walks with my family and having fun.  Though I do love the fact that Im getting to eat alot of cheese now.  They think I dont know they are hiding the pain pills inside, but Im a very smart dog.  I will keep you update on my progress.  Send out positive thoughts on Friday to me.