Dear Friends, I started out writing to you all through tears the night we first brought Buddy home from his surgery. And I now write you again through tears. Monday night, unexpectedly, Buddy our giant Golden died.
We put him to bed Monday night and the next morning he was dead. He had been his happy bouncy energetic self bouncing around (as you know our front leg amputees do so adorably!), wagging his tail, insisting on head rubs, gobbling his dinner (and extra) and jumped onto his pillow for the night when Dennis put all the dogs to bed. In the morning we found him dead. We think it was possibly a seizure. He has had a few seizures in the past few years. Or else it was his heart.
This is the last photo of Buddy just last Sunday before he died. All the pups and I were zoning out in the sun at the dog park the Sunday before Buddy died. Buddy was lying on my feet and kept his head on my knee to get head rubs.
This is Buddy a week or so before he died. He is waiting eagerly for me to let him in the car. He has his old softball – the toy from his puppy-hood he always carries around. He was actually bouncing up and down on his one front leg.
Here is Buddy and the two little kids in the car ready to go to the park. I’d not yet put Stubby the chow chow or Bella the hound in the car yet. Buddy has his wonderful Golden smile he’s so happy.
We thought we could have him another two or three years. But we are so happy that we had him for even just the extra six months we were able to enjoy his wonderful self.
The Ruff Wear harness that was so kindly given to us for Buddy is now available another put who might need it. I’ll post it with the items available.
Here is the promised video of Buddy romping in the lake at the dog park again. The first time in the lake he couldn’t quite get the hang of swimming with one front leg and kind of listed over to the side. But by the next week he was doing fine with swimming.
He doesn’t swim all over the lake like he used to. But as he’s gotten older he didn’t really do that so much any more anyway. He just wades out to where he’s not touching bottom and swims around a little bit.
This video is a bit longer than the last two – I think it runs about 7 minutes. You need to expand it to view full screen to see Buddy in the lake in most of the clips.
We always go to the park each weekend. But I don’t always have time to update you all each weekend. I’ve been taking short video clips with my camera and have been working on putting together a couple of short 2 minute videos to share with you.
Here is the one for this week – it’s about 2.5 minutes:
Dear Friends, I’ve been taking photos and videos of Buddy and the kids at the park but I’ve not had time to put them up here for you all. My work hours are really eating up my time. So it’s been some time since I’ve let you know how Buddy is doing.
Two weekends ago Buddy got back in the lake at the dog park again for the first time after becoming a Tripawd. It was a very hot day and when I asked Buddy if he wanted to go in the lake he jumped up and ran to the gate going to the lake! He was so happy to be back in the water. He even tried to swim a little bit.
Buddy has been running to meet Dennis each day when he comes home. And this past week when Dennis threw a ball for him Buddy went running off after it, hunted around and found it and whirled around and came running back without loosing his footing. So Dennis threw the ball again and Buddy ran after it and brought it back again.
Then this past weekend when I was getting the dogs ready to get in the car to go to the park I let Buddy run to the car. Without waiting for me to help him get in, he just jumped in on his own. And when we got to the park he had a wonderful time swimming in the lake. I will try to put together another video of Buddy and the other pups at the dog park. So you can all see how well he is doing and how happy he is.
I just posted a new topic on the tips and resources forum. Esther and her angel Snoop sent us harnesses for large dogs to help me and Buddy get around. I found the one that works and it has been a wonderful help to us both. I can use it to help him get into and out of the car easily even though he is a very big dog.
In my post on the forum I am offering the harnesses we did not use to someone who needs them. I have referred anyone interested to look here for photos of the harnesses. I’m not sure how each of them works. I just tried them on Buddy and tried to lift him into the car with them until I found the one that worked!
here are what they look like. One I’m not sure if it is a harness or an extension strap for another of the harnesses?
let me know if you could use one of these.
this first one is the strap with clips and a handle that I’m not sure about
Buddy went back to the dog park for the first time a week ago… or the weekend before this past weekend. I took some video with my phone to share with you all. I’ve finally put it up on youtube to show you Buddy happily hopping around the dog park.
We went again this past weekend – with all the other pups in our doggy family. Buddy again enjoyed himself. But he really tires very easily and lies down. I’ve tried to encourage him to walk / hop around. But I don’t want to push him too much. It’s really hard to tell how much he can take.
I let him lie down then call him to come with me to walk a little. Then let him rest and again walk around. But he seemed really exhausted this past weekend on Sunday. I’ve always taken the dogs to the park for an hour a day when I’m home (usually 3 days a week – now just 2 days a week). When we were all younger we’d do laps around the lake at a fast clip. In recent years the little dogs can’t keep up that pace and I’ve started sitting more myself.
Buddy has to work so hard to move around now. It seems that it takes more effort for him to just go 100 yards as it used to take for him to run around the lake. How much should I be asking him to do?
OK so below you see “the stairs.” This is prime doggy territory. They line up on the top steps, each one lying along a stair looking out. They can see into the front and back of the neighbor’s yard; they can see out around our house to the front street and even across the street; they can look the other way and not only see the back alley but down the back alley for several houses distance. And they are eye-level with the birds and squirrels filling the oak, hickory and crepe myrtle trees – just a few feet away.
But we don’t think it is safe for Buddy any more. Going up he could probably manage – but coming down seems like a really bad idea now. He could so easily fall and on those stairs he would break a leg. Because of his size he used to walk up and down with his front feet going up and down several steps ahead of his back feet. But he can’t do that now. And not only that but all the dogs are crowding, pushing, jostling each other rushing up or down with the two little ones running under and between the legs of the larger dogs.
We really hate to take this away from him but cannot see how we can let him do this any more. You can see in the photo we have placed a bar across the stair railings at the bottom. Stubby and the two little dogs can get up the stairs, but not Buddy or Bella.
Here he is with his new haircut with Stubby at the bottom of the stairs. He is such a handsome dog even with his old-man white face and “crewcut”
Buddy has been in the yard for a week now, hopping around with his little pack. It’s like he doesn’t even notice he has three legs. It really is amazing how everything seemed so hopeless just three weeks ago and now he is just doing wonderfully.
When he had his surgery they shaved off his fur in this square around down the middle of his back and under his stomach. So I clipped the rest of his fur short so it wouldn’t look so odd.
Here is Buddy’s pack – As you can see from the photos it is quite an odd little pack.
Well I am back to work again which means I’m gone for the week and Dennis is managing all the pups and kitties again by himself. He calls every morning and every night with a report on everyone.
Yesterday (Monday) was Buddy’s first day out in the yard with the girls. The Chowchow is kind of like his mom and the hound is clearly his girl friend and the little furry monster is definitely his pesky little sister.
Dennis says Buddy is really happy to be on his own again doing whatever he wants to do, barking with the pack when anyone walks by on the street or through the back alley, lying around in the doggy holes, and greeting the neighbors. So he is a happy boy.
When I come home on the weekend we’ll start walking each day and try out the harnesses to see which one helps us get in the car and maybe even go back to the dog park!
But for the rest of the week I’ll be working so next posts will be this coming weekend. Sending lots of hugs out to you all and your wonderful pups and kitties.
So since Buddy had his stitches out on Thursday I’ve started taking him out for walks. The first time I was going to take him around the block but it seemed he was really exerting himself a lot – panting like he was running and half way around the block he got really tired and wanted to sit down. So I cut through the neighbor’s yard and we came back home.
The next time I just walked him to the corner and half way up the block and back home. Then I looked back at some of the helpful suggestions you all have been posting and looked at some of the links on the website for exercise and strenghtening. I saw where it said that tripawds need to move more quickly – that it’s actually easier for them. So today I took him out for a walk and let him move as quickly as he wanted. Of course he had to stop and sniff stuff and stopped to poop (something to celebrate still!) but we went all the way around the block!
I had planned to take photos or even a video of him walking but I forgot! So I have this photo of him with his toys asking to go out the front door. I’ll get some pictures the next time I walk him.