Suzie has officially retired from chasing doves, ducks, quail and the occasional coot with me. A tumor showed up on her leg a while back, but did not bother her or grow for months. Since dove season, it has grown to the size of an orange and is causing her to lose mobility. Fearing the worst, I took her to the vet again this week. They suggested amputating her leg instead of what I feared the most. We are taking her in tomorrow for surgery. I have struggled with this a lot. I don't want to be selfish and put her through any undue pain to keep her around. The doc assured me that this was a good option since she is so healthy otherwise. We are praying that he is right and that she recovers quickly.
Loc: Country Past The City Limit Si...
My inlaws 9 year old chocolate lab got hit by a car and had to have a leg amputated. Before the surgery he was having a really hard time getting around and had lots of hip problems. Afterwards, he was like a new dog and would retrieve a tennis ball all day long. He's done fine since.
Loc: North Texas
As the owner of a blind dog let me say, please don't write Suzie off as a working dog. Dogs are very resilient. Let me tell you about another dog I followed online. An incredible dog named Bart. Bart lost his leg to Osteosarcoma, but the cancer then stayed in remission for several years. Only four months after his amputation Bart earned his Pointing Senior Hunter Title and stayed active his entire life.
In the words of Bart's owner Darcy, "There is no need to waste time worrying about what you can’t do when there is so much that you can!"
Suzie is home. The surgery went well and she is resting with the help of some strong drugs. The will to survive and the desire to please is incredible in a dog that has been your buddy for 10 plus years. With everything going on, the first thing she did when I picked her up to carry her to the truck was lick my face. She is way more than a dog.
Thanks again for all of the support and kind words. She has a tough road ahead, but I believe Judd is right. She will probably do better than me!
Loc: Big Eddy Road, Noonday
Judd is right. Half the battle of dealing with an amputation is psychological. Unlike people who sit around wringing their hands and worrying about what people will think and how will I get from Point A to B......dogs just take off.
Your dog probably still has a season or more of moderate retrieving still left in her, and you'll marvel at her ability to cope (as you wipe a tear from your eye). I once knew a Golden that had amputations on both a front and rear leg, thus a two-legged dog. Like you would ride a 2-wheeled bicycle, this dog quickly taught itself to walk and run; and what was amazing was to observe how the Golden used its tail as a counterweight that swung this way and that to maintain balance. Nobody taught her; she just did it.
Just stand aside and watch Suzie cope....and excel!
"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple.....and wrong." H. L. Mencken
Loc: North Texas
Glad it went well. Suzie will cope just fine. She does not know how many legs she is supposed to have just as my dog Blaze does not know she is not supposed to be blind. Dogs can't comprehend self pity. She will amaze you at what she will be capable of. Your a good man to give her that chance to do so.
"Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. Oh! The places you'll go!" ~ Dr. Seuss