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Josie The Greatest Dane

Josie's Journey with Osteosarcoma

Josie The Greatest Dane

I Question My Decision, Really Question Whether or Not I Did The Right Thing!

March 23rd, 2010 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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Sunday March 21st 2010 Today my sister Lisa stopped by with her 3 sons and daughter-in-law. Josie is ever so happy to see them! She is such a people dog! Everyone is amazed with how good she is doing. She really does get along well.

Today Marsh took Gully for a walk to help relieve her energy. Much to our surprise he arrives back at home within a half hour. I hear the front door open and Miss Gull enters the kitchen….Marsh yells up the stairs “Gully needs a bandage!” I look and sure enough she has a big gash on her leg and it looks like it needs stitches. Well, that is so Gully, she always needs to be the center of attention. Josie can’t go get an amputation….Gully will need a bandage….So typical. I decide to just put some triple anti-biotic ointment on it and wrap it up with that self cling bandaging like Josie is wearing, only Gully gets pink. She bleeds through 3 of them by the end of the night, so by the time I get to the last one, it is almost a tourniquet.

This afternoon we all took a 3 hour nap, Gully on the dog bed and Josie and I on the mattress. Ahhhh…..sleep… sure does a body good.

We take short walks a few times a day. After one walk Josie decides to go potty on the front lawn. She loses her balance and does a face plant. UGH!!! I feel so bad for her. I am sure she doesn’t feel embarrassment, but I still feel for her.

I notice that a few times throughout the day when Josie goes to lay down she accidentally tips to her amputation side. When this happens she just lays down completely, head and all….she lays there for a while, completely still…..I wonder what she is thinking….When she does decide to get up, she is like a turtle on its shell. She cant do it and cries with pain. I try to help her but can only push on her amputation side to do so, which I am sure causes more pain, but I have to help her.

Today she seems to be really restless…she doesn’t know where to lay….outside…inside… bed….mattress…..blanket….. She seems different, panting…..and different.

Tonight she is REALLY restless and she whines when moving. I think she is in pain. So I give her the two pills of Tramadol. This doesn’t seem to do anything at all. I wonder, or over-think, and decide to cut off her bandage…maybe it is pinching her. That doesn’t help either. I call UW Hospital and speak with the doc in the ER. She tells me that according to Josie’s weight, I can give her up to 4 1/2 pills. She suggests that I give her two more…which I do.

I am just an emotional wreck! I cry and cry….Josie is my baby and she is apparently suffering. Something I never intended!!! I question my decision, really question whether or not I did the right thing!

12:30am JOSIE WAKES UP WITH A SHRILL CRY!!! She jumps off the mattress. She is scared to death! She is scared of me, she is scared of the room. For 5 minutes she pants and salivates like crazy! She hops in place…small hops…and does an anxious yawn, then she does something strange, she lays on the carpeting in front of the door. Her eyes look strange, almost fixed. Her pupils are large. I pet her, talk to her softly, kiss her snout. She wont even look at me.

1:20am I call the UW Hospital again and tell the ER doc my suspicion…that Josie is having a psychotic episode from the Tramadol. She tells me that it can make some dogs anxious….WHAT?  She isn’t anxious, she is paranoid….she is totally out of it. Tramadol does not make her drowsy…it freaks her out! I ask her how long before this drug wears off and she tells me about 8 hours. It is going to be a long night….

1:30am I think maybe food will help her body get rid of the drug faster, so I make her gravy food. She eats it, pants and continues to hop in place. Her nose is running constantly and she is salivating like crazy. She lays by the door again…on the carpet. I fall asleep with the lights on hoping that the lights will help her recognize her surroundings.

3:49am I wake up to another shrill cry. Now, she is laying in the corner behind the pool table by some chairs. I call her name. She looks over to the area where I am sitting but never looks right at me, but she is responding to my voice. She tries to figure out how to get over to me. She finally meanders through the maze of furniture she was hiding behind and gets closer to me. Her tail barely wags, but it does wag….She is very restless still and doesn’t know where to lay….

How much sleep did we get? not very much…..tomorrow has to be better….because it can’t get any worse than this….

Monday March 22nd 2010 It is 7am and we are up already…Josie is panting….hard….I think she is hot….or is it that damn drug….She goes outside. The Wisconsin air is cool, I hope it helps. She comes back inside and lays on the mattress with me. She leans up against me, pushing me into the bookshelf behind me, but I don’t mind, I am just happy that she knows who I am and she isn’t afraid of me. We fall asleep for a few minutes and my phone rings. It is Dr. Danielson and he tells me to stop the Tramadol….that is a no-brainer. He tells me that she should not be having much pain anymore and should get by with just the Deramaxx.

Josie seems to be a bit better but she is still a little restless. She lays outside on her blanket again. I dont want to leave her out too long due to the fact that she was recently shaved… I dont want her to have to deal with a sunburn on top of everything else. I decide we should try to get into the house. Our raised ranch poses a problem….when you walk in the door it is either stairs to go up, or stairs to go down….a decision must be made…I decide it is better to go down….carpeting vs. hardwood floors.

Josie stands at the top of the stairs…Marsh is standing next to her holding the handles of the infamous blue sling….I am at the bottom of the stairs coaxing her to come down….She attempts…but chickens out more than a few times, but finally….she goes for it….I celebrate at the bottom…praising her over and over. Once she is down I close her and Gully behind the french doors and I head to Lowes. I pick up 10ft of rug runner and some double stick tape. I arrive home, rip open the drawer in the metal tool bench and pull out the staple gun. Next is the vacuum cleaner and off I go….clean the stairs, tape, carpet, staple….tape, carpet, staple…I follow the contour of each stair all the way to the bottom and only have to make one cut…about 3 inches from the end. I clean up my mess. The carpet looks nice running down the middle of the stairs…a little crooked, but Josie wont care.

Josie and I lay on the couch together….and nap…and with Gully on the love seat, we all sleep for 3 long hours…..

4:00pm My friend Amy and her daughter CC stop by and bring the girls a treat. As we sit and visit….Gully’s leg starts to bleed again…drip blood…all over the concrete…I guess she will need to go to the vet….so after the girls leave, I load Gully in the Jeep/ambulance and we are off. Marsh stays with Josie while I am gone…this is the second time I get away….and Gully…she gets 5 stitches…she IS SO a drama queen…

9:30pm Josie actually sleeps on the love seat out in the garage for a bit. She wakes and drinks some water. She comes back inside and lays down on the mattress, with my direction. She seems to be pretty normal tonight. She is a bit restless, and after a few minutes lays by my feet as I sit in the chair. I spread out some blankets for her and she lies down. She sleeps for a while after I get her to lay to her side. It seems she always wants to balance herself to stay laying upright….in the middle….something she never did when she had all four legs…it was either lay to one side or the other. Hmmm….I am puzzled…….I do this a lot….

2:00am Josie wakes me up various times but this time I am awake. She is doing her soft anxious whine through her nose. She is standing near the side of the mattress. I put her outside…does she have to poop, pee, drink? She drinks some water and comes in. Hop…hop….hop….she just cant sit still…..

3:20am We are still up…she is restless and panting. She doesn’t know where to lay.

3:30am She goes outside again………drinks water, comes in. I tell her to lay down on the love seat, which she does. I think “Is this it?”

3:43am She is off the love seat…hop…hop…hop

4:00am Maybe we should try to go in the house again??? We get in and she wants to go upstairs…so….we go up. She goes right into my bedroom. I haven’t slept in there for over a week and a half…Marsh is sound asleep and we come barging in. I turn on the light and Josie goes around the bed and hops right up! I think YES!!!! She is amazing….I break the news to Marsh….sorry….would he please go sleep in the pool room with Gully who is fast asleep out there? He does…and I crawl into the flannel sheets…ahhhh…..I try to get some blankets to cover up seeing as Josie is laying across them all, and I am happy just to get a corner….lights out….sleep…finally….

4:10am Josie gets up and JUMPS off the bed…she cries from the impact off our high bed….I now am at wits end…I can’t keep chasing her around this house! So, I let her go…she goes into the living room…hop, hop, hop…. back into the bedroom…hop, hop, hop….back to the living room…hop, hop, hop…back to the bedroom….hop, hop, hop…come to bed sweetie….come by Momma….back to the living room….hop, hop, hop….hop, hop, quiet…. clamber, clang, bang…hop, hop, hop…she went down the stairs!!!! I FLY out of the bed and there she is…looking up at me…innocent and almost smiling….I grab her sling and we take the next flight together…to the basement…where I can close the doors….She lays right down on the love seat….sleep??? is this it????

4:33 She gets off the love seat….will this ever end? She climbs up on the couch and curls up in my nest….the small area that my bent knees make….She lays there with her head lying on my hip area. Her breathing is jerky, every respiration is almost a grunt without the noise. I can feel her face twitching on the back of my thigh…..but we fall asleep…

5:52am She gets off the couch….I tell her to come back and lay down…she does. I am impressed….we fall asleep again….

Tuesday March 23rd 2010 7:54 I wake up to her panting hard she is wide awake but just laying in my nest looking around. Her nose is running again….I wonder all kinds of things about that….We go upstairs and I set up the deck with her blanket and put a gate across the stairs so she doesn’t get any smart ideas. She seems relaxed…at ease…

10:15 I decide to hop in the shower and leave the outside door open so both dogs and both cats can get in and out and enjoy the beautiful day. I block all stairways so Josie doesn’t go on a momma-hunt while I am in the shower. I get out of the shower and find her laying in the hallway waiting for me. She gets up and whines with pain. I give her the Deramaxx pill and call my local vet for advice. I have many questions about this whole thing, meds, etc..but one of the biggest ones is if she does home euthanasia if the need arises….She is so kind and encouraging and tells me that she will help me through this all but if I ever decide for the home visit, she needs advance notice….I cry so hard numerous times while on the phone with her. Sometimes I cant even talk….

I post an entry on the discussion forum….there are such wonderful people out there…I am fortunate I have this site…no one else knows unless you have been through it. I am thankful for my stranger friends!!!!

I prepare Josie gravy food, again….if we keep this up, she is going to get fat!

It is 11:30am and she is sleeping on the floor…out cold! For about an hour now…I get her up and take her for a walk….

I get another script for Gabapentin and more Deramaxx. My third time away from the house. I decide to go all out and stop at the grocery store for some bananas and oranges…man, I live life on the wild side….

It is 9:30 right now and we have been in the house all day. Josie seems almost 100% normal, minus a leg. She is happy, wagging her tail, eating good, and today….yes, she slept all day…….I am sure she needs to catch up…, if she keeps me up tonight??? I will take a Gabapentin myself….don’t worry, I am just kidding!!!!

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • majorbubbatank

    Welcome to the rollercoaster known as the first two weeks. Hang in there. It gets better. Try not to let Mrs. Josie overdo it. Cold packs really seemed to help when Major got a case of the whines. We’re here for you.

    Rachel (Major’s mom)

  • Carmen (Catie's Mom)

    Poor Josie’s having a really rough time! Tramadol did make Catie a little loopy, a little dopey but overall her recovery from the surgery went amazingly pretty smoothly, despite my occasionally wild apprehension. Catie seemed more her old self when we were done with all the pills, for sure.

    Hang in there!

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