Tearful farewells and new beginnings

Great Dane portrait taken along the Gros Ventre
Portrait taken along the Gros Ventre

Turns out I was terrible at documenting ours and K’Ehleyr’s life as a tripawd.  Truthfully she handled it pretty well.  She learned to negotiate the stairs, down was never her favorite but going up she had to be reminded to slow down.  She learned to dig again and to out maneuver and almost out run me.  Whatever is the opposite of stubbornness must have resided in the leg that was removed because that she had in abundance.  Walks became a long drawn out negotiation of which direction to go, how long are we going to wait for the gopher to come out of the hole and when will you be ready to go back up the stairs and into the house.  Actually getting out of bed was a dramatic affair with lots of complaining and requests for belly rubs instead.  The trick to get her off the bed was to bring in the camera and attempt to document the process, then she would get right up.

Taking in the view of Teton Valley
Taking in the view of Teton Valley

There were scary incidents that were indirect consequences of the chemo treatments.  She had cut her tongue on something she should not have chewed on and with her suppressed immune system it became infected and her tongue swelled to the point she couldn’t drink or eat.  Antibiotics, an anti-inflammatory and giving her water from a bottle, a skill she learned hiking, got us through that.   A few tumbles and face-plants caused momentary gasps at least on my part.

Portrait at Targhee
Portrait at Targhee

For her last week she got to do what she loved which was road-tripping.  We took a trip to our favorite place, Driggs, Idaho.  There was still some snow which you wouldn’t expect a SoCal dog to love so much but she did.  If she was feeling the effects of the cancer in her lungs she didn’t show it till we were home.  While it is always the hardest decision a pet owner will face at least having all her doctors concur that there were no more options takes some of the guilt and uncertainty away but still leaves the hole in our hearts and an all too quiet house.

Catching snowballs
Catching snowballs

The quiet house was harder to deal with than we had imagined so an application to the local Dane rescue, Indian Dane, was submitted and a couple of weeks later the quiet was broken with Martok, an eleven month old boy with a wiggly butt and poor table manners.

Mantle Great Dane

The adventure begins again.

FYI: if you have any experiences or questions about dealing with a pet with osteosarcoma or a tripawd for some other reason please comment below.

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