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Josie The Greatest Dane

Josie's Journey with Osteosarcoma

Josie The Greatest Dane

“Purple for the Princess”

March 23rd, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

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Friday March 19th 2010 I wake to one of my favorite songs….turned into an alarm ring tone on my cellphone….it is going to be a great day! I shower and pack up the jeep….getting Josie’s comfy spot all set for the long ride home. The weather man is predicting rain this afternoon, so hopefully the doc will let us leave early.

I arrive at the hospital and for the last time, I have Lisa paged. Lisa and another doc meet me by the counter and take me into an exam room where Josie will have a dressing change. The door opens and in comes Josie with Dr. Danielson in tow! She looks GREAT!!! She is happy to see me, of course and we great each other as usual. Dr. Danielson then begins to cut away at the large bandage encapsulating her barrel chest. There it is, her incision. It is a large upside down “T” shaped mark on her side. There is a lot of bruising and a ton of staples…but it looks clean. Josie stands by me as Dr. Danielson re-wraps her incision and explains about the pocket of fluid that has gathered at the base of her chest. He includes it in this wrap, hoping that will help it go away. He tells me to check it often and if it gets warm or hard to call immediately. Her new wrap is purple, like her first one…and Dr. Danielson says “Purple for the Princess”. I half jokingly say “I guess that makes me the Queen!” Well, he did laugh, but I am sure he had another 5 letter word to describe me and it wasn’t queen….

Once the bandage is on, I assume that she will go back in the “ward” until they decide to release her….so I ask if I can sit with her until she can leave….Much to my surprise, Dr. Danielson tells me that she is good to go! I just have to go over discharge instructions with Lisa and we are on the road! I ask the two Dr. if they would help me load her into my truck. She weighs 125lbs and I don’t know that I can lift her by myself without hurting her. They quickly agree and all four of us escort the princess to her waiting chariot.

When I arrived at the hospital, I had conveniently backed my jeep up to the curb right in front of the door so she wouldn’t have as far to get up into the truck. Dr. Danielson had hold of the chest sling and lifted Josie’s front end up while Dr. Foy scooped up her rear end and boosted her into the jeep. I took the dish of food that Josie refused to eat for them and placed it on the bed I had set up for her in the back. She immediately scarfed down the gravy food. I opened two windows for her and followed Lisa back inside for the discharge instructions. I was told about medications, patches, staples, pain, and a return visit….I was then handed a brown paper bag of meds and was out the door in a few minutes….I hugged Lisa and cried, I was so thankful that she was there with Josie through every step of her procedure. She was kind, gentle, meek and mild, just the thing Josie needed at a time like this. I wished her the very best in her career as a Vet upon her graduation in May. We departed and I headed over to pay the bill.

I left the hospital….with a big sigh, opened the drivers door to my truck, with my Josie waiting in the rear. She was standing….first thought as a pet owner….what if she has to pee? We wont be home for over 2 hours….so….I open the lift gate and stand there perplexed…how am I going to get her out of here??? I decide to scoop Josie up around her body, chest and rear….and lift her down. She winces a tiny bit but starts hoping right to the grassy area. At that point I think I am right, she does have to pee…..until we get there and she hops and hops and hops…and then starts hopping all over the parking lot. She is just taking me for a walk. So, back to the truck we go. I get to the lift gate and look at it…how am I going to lift her in? Down, was easy…but up??? I may need help. Just then Josie decides she is getting in the truck. She puts her only remaining front leg on the bumper…as I bend down to scoop up her rear end, she changes her mind and gets back down. Okay, I am going to have to go get help….and just as I think that, she does it….SHE JUMPS RIGHT IN THE TRUCK!!!! Just like that…she is in…I quickly head to the drivers door, jump in, praise her over and over… and then instruct her to lay down….she wont be able to stand while I drive, well, at least not for a while.

Josie sleeps all the way home, she looks very comfy in the back and I cant help but continuously look back at her. I even tip my rear view mirror to I can constantly ┬ámonitor her. We arrive back to Manitowoc and I treat her to a cheeseburger from McDonalds. Being a vegetarian, I don’t normally buy hamburgers, but this time….it is a special day for my little carnivore. I get fries and a coke and we eat them on the way home.

We pull up at our house and I decide to use the curb just like I did when we were at the hospital…so I back my truck in a 90 degree angle to the curb, the hood of the jeep is clearly out in the lane of traffic, but….we live on a street with little traffic and in the event someone comes, they can still drive around me. I wrap Josie’s sling under her chest and she hops out. We walk to the garage and head into the “pool room”. I get her some water and let her out back. The whole time using the sling….I chase her around waiting for her to go potty. She apparently thinks that both me and that sling are nuts, as she hops right out of it and almost runs to the far edge of the lot and squats and pees, just like a pro.

My boyfriend Marsh comes out to see her. We put up a baby gate in the door way so that Gully can come see her too without being overly excited. They greet each other with sniffs and licks and finally after a few minutes we let Gully in. We just have to be careful that she doesn’t lick off the fentanyl patches, they could be deadly if ingested….Josie lays on the mattress and relaxes. My sister Lisa comes over to see the patient….Josie is soooo happy to see her…which is evident by her ever present groan. The rest of the night is uneventful….I am just happy to have her home and I think she is just as happy to be home.

Until 3:45am…….

Josie wakes me, she is breathing hard….almost like a pant….I give her another pain pill. Tramadol. I let the girls outside and she drinks a bunch of water and her and Gully wake up the neighborhood with their loud barks. They come back in, she repositions on the mattress and Gully takes over the love seat and then they both sleep….but I, am awake….the nurse sits and watches her patient sleep…..


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