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Josie The Greatest Dane

Josie's Journey with Osteosarcoma

Josie The Greatest Dane

Tomorrow we are going home!

March 21st, 2010 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

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Thursday March 18th 2010 I wake up early….pre-dawn….I have a hard time falling asleep due to worry, worry that the phone will ring in the middle of the night, but so far, it hasn’t. I finally fall back to sleep and shower first thing. Lisa asked me yesterday if I could wait to come visit until about 10am due to their early morning rounds. I honor her wishes. As soon as I shut off the water to the shower I hear it….ring ring ring….my phone! I am dripping wet and want to run to get the phone without even drying off but I am not at my own house…so I half towel off and run to get to it, but, of course voice mail has beat me to it. So there I stand with an “unavailable” on the caller ID making it impossible to call back…so I wait. Finally I get the tone that alerts me that they left me a voice mail. It is Lisa. I hear her soft voice and my heart sinks in my chest…is something wrong? That is my first thought, but as I listen to her message, calmness replaces the panic. Josie is doing good. She was actually standing in her kennel when Lisa arrived that morning. How great is that!!!!

I drive to the hospital and have Lisa paged. Lisa comes out smiling and walks me to the room where we will be reunited for the first time away from a kennel. The room is clearly used for multi tasking. There is a computer desk with a computer, a small table to possibly do paperwork at or eat a lunch, a garbage can overflowing with a pizza box and various food related items, a couch, an end table holding a table lamp, a telephone and a patients file, a love-seat and a large coffee table that is pushed up against the wall. The floor is the typical office style linoleum tiles. This is where I sit to wait as she goes to get Josie. I go from the couch to the love-seat and finally sit on the floor. I figure that when Josie comes in she will only have to walk a straight line to get to me…I set the camcorder on my cell phone so I can record her first walk to me. The door opens and in comes Lisa holding her food dish and her orange blanket and behind her is JOSIE!!! She is literally dragging the other student into the room once she sees me. She is so happy to see me and literally falls into my lap. She is panting from the laborious walk to the room and probably a bit from the excitement. She buries her face into my lap and doesn’t move. Lisa spreads her blanket on the floor and asks if I can get her to eat because she wont eat for them. I take the food dish from Lisa and put it in front of Josie’s nose and she gobbles it up. Lisa tells me that she will give us some time together and leaves the room. I get up and go to the couch. It has to be more comfortable than sitting on the floor. Josie gets up next to me and we both lay down. She lays her head on my chest and we snuggle for about 2 minutes….then the door opens. It is Lisa and she tells me that she may have to move us, someone needs to use the room to say good bye to their dog that they will be euthanizing today. I have no problem with that at all and recall seeing the file on table….I feel for the family and agree to move when ever they need it. Lisa leaves again and I think she may have met someone right outside the door because she turns around and comes right back in and asks me to leave now. We pick up our belongings and she moves us to the room next door.

This room is a meeting room. It has the same type of floor but all it has is a large meeting table and about 20 hard chairs in it…..I see a small rubber type rug near the door and decide this is the only soft thing in the room and spread Josie’s blanket over the top of it. Josie lays down and Lisa leaves yet again. I lay next to Josie and hold her….but something doesn’t feel quite right….it feels like we are laying in a tanning bed with all the lights in there, so I tell Josie to stay and I get up and go towards the closed door and turn off the lights. And then we lay together in the dark, the only light comes through the glass window that is next to the door. It is a full length window approximately 12 inches wide and has a mini-blind covering it but they are open. Through the window we can see into the rooms across the hall. We lay there and watch all the foot traffic, human and canine. Before I know it, Lisa is back at the door. An hour has passed and it is time to take Josie back to the ICU. I ask her if I can use the sling and be the one to assist Josie back. I also think it would be nice to take her out potty first. Lisa agrees.

I wrap the strap under Josie’s chest and grab the two handles and Josie begins to hop toward the door. We turn left into the hallway and Josie is just about jumping out of the sling! She is on a mission and then I see it…the entrance to the hospital…and the waiting room….it is where we came in….and Josie knows it. She wants to turn right and leave this place but we need to go left! She will not turn….so with a little pushing of her rear end, we are back on track. We head outside to the enclosed kennel area for the patients to use. Josie heads right to the end of the fence…she may think that there is an exit to get to the parking lot. Once she realizes that there isn’t she is ready to go back in. She is panting hard from all the hopping she is doing and probably needs to rest. I get her back into her kennel in the ICU and Lisa attaches her IV again. She lays down and looks up at me, defeated…that walk kicked her butt. I think she will sleep good this afternoon. I kiss her snout and tell her I will be right back with Brittany……Lisa tells me that I can come back about 5pm with Brittany. She is going to be so happy to see her…both of them….I leave now and have such a great feeling….Josie is going to be fine!

I pick up Brittany after I leave the hospital. We head downtown and grab some lunch. We are both so happy that Josie is doing so good. After lunch we head over to Nathan’s house. He is busy working in the garage on an old bicycle. We each grab a bike and head to a nice trail not too far from his house. It is another beautiful day and to get outside and enjoy it feels good, but 5 o’clock can’t come fast enough for either one of us. We leave Nate’s at 4:30 and arrive at the hospital just before 5. We have Lisa paged and once again she shows up with a big smile.

Lisa explains that Josie is out of intensive care and is now housed in the “ward” again. Her IV has been removed and she is doing great. She puts us in the room with the couch again and apologizes for having to move us last time. I tell her not to worry, I didn’t mind at all, and immediately am thankful that Josie is still alive….Lisa leaves to get Josie and returns with her in her blue sling. Today her body wrap is green instead of the royal purple they had on her yesterday….she looks striking in any color with her steel blue coat. Lisa is once again carrying her food dish and asks if we can get her to eat again. I take the bowl from her and Josie once again devours the canned food mixture they have prepared. This time though she only eats the good stuff and leaves her dry food on the bottom….

We get up on the couch again and assume our position, laying side by side. Brittany sits on the floor in front of Josie’s face that she has draped across my belly and kisses Brittany. First kiss goes to Brittany. Josie doesnt saturate your face when she gives you a kiss, she is a soft little dry kisser. We lay that way for a bit and suddenly Josie jerks her whole body in an attempt to get up! She scares me and I jump up off the couch and step right in her food dish that is laying on the floor. Dry kibble scatters about the room and Josie is up in no time at all. She hops right to the closed door….Brittany and I look at each other…now what??? Does she have to go potty? What should we do?

I convince her to go back to the couch. She sits her butt on the couch like big dogs do, but the floor is slippery and she only has one leg in front…and that leg slides out in front of her and she lays flat out on the floor…on the wound side. We both feel so bad and Brittany questions whether or not she should be laying on the incision. Apparently it doesn’t bother her. The floor is cool and she immediately falls asleep. Brittany and I get drowsy from watching Josie sleep and then I realize that if she sleeps now, she will be awake when we leave. So now we talk to her, pet her, try to keep her awake.

Lisa returns to the room in about an hour and Brittany and I go with her to walk Josie potty. She does great once again hopping down the hall. She pees for an eternity! So, that may have been why she bolted to the door. I again hold Josie’s sling and we make our way back to the “ward”. The door is open and her orange blanket is spread on the mat. Josie enters the kennel and once she is completely inside I remove the sling….just as I do, Josie decides to turn around and with out the support of the sling, she falls right into the corner of the kennel…ugh!!! I feel so bad!!!!!! She regroups, gets up and lays down with her head facing the front of the kennel and looks up at me like she just did something wrong. This, literally breaks my heart! I tell her over and over how sorry I am and kiss her head repeatedly hoping she understands.

We gather up our belongings and Lisa tells us that Josie is doing way better than expected and will probably be able to leave tomorrow. Another Vet is helping her explain how tomorrow will work. If all goes according to plan, she may be able to leave late morning or early afternoon. I tell them that I prefer to leave early morning, knowing that she would like to get out of there ASAP. They explain that they will do a dressing change in the morning and then all gather to discuss the case and then meet with me for discharge instructions. I request to be there for dressing change so that I can see the incision before I remove the dressing at home. I would like to know what it looks like so that I have something to compare it to. They both agree that would be fine.

As we walk out of the “ward” we run into Dr. Danielson, the surgeon. He expresses his joy in the fact that Josie is doing really well and tells me that if all goes well we can leave tomorrow…..afternoon…..??? No, I tell him…..morning….we do this a few times and laugh over it and he ends telling me we will see how things go….I, on the other hand, hope that my point was made and he will grant me my wish. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want her to miss out on any medical care, but knowing Josie as I do, I think she will do far better when she gets out of there….and I think they may be seeing that for themselves.

So once again I leave the hospital with out my furry baby. She will hopefully get better sleep back in the “ward”. There are not any “round the clock” techs so it will be quieter for her. I drop Brittany off at home and head back to Nathan’s house. We relax in front of the TV and drink a couple glasses of wine. Tomorrow we are going home!

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • admin

    Glad to hear Josie is doing so well… We really enjoy reading the details of your eloquent posts. Keep ’em coming! 🙂

    PS: Couldn’t help but notice you figured out how to add your Tripawds Friends widget, now visit the Friends tab in your dashboard to search and add friends.

  • majorbubbatank

    Yay, Josie! Sounds like you’re doing great and you’re Momma loves you LOTS! Remind her that you may have a few little hiccups in your first two weeks, but that’s totally normal. I think we all do the occasional face plant (espaecilly the front-leggers). I sure did, and still do when I don’t watch my footing. You didn’t do ANYTHING wrong. Keep up the good healing!


  • Mackenzie's Mom

    So happy for you and so happy to hear that Josie is doing so well. That’s awesome that you get to bring her home tomorrow! Sounds like she’s going to do just great as a tripawd :).
    Kami (Mackenzie’s Mom)

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