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An Awesome Pup and His Human

An American Bulldog's Story

An Awesome Pup and His Human

July 7th, 2018 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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I really wish dogs could live for as long as their humans (and vice-versa). The last round of K9 chemo yesterday was just another day for him, with a 30-minute belly rub by a person he’s only seen five times. I know what the stats say. Amputation only: up to 90 days. Amputation with carboplatin: Median remission is 378 days. In the last few months I’ve learned more than I really want about canine osteosarcoma. I’ve learned I don’t really care about K9 Osteo statistics. What I care about is life while life is happening.

I’ve also learned more than I thought I ever would about how an animal responds to having a leg removed; about how supportive people and pup can really be (and it wasn’t anywhere near as patronizing as I thought it would be for either group) as a dog and a human are being removed, gracefully, from each other’s lives.

I’ve parted with more tears than I would have realized a person could shed over an animal (I say that more as an offer of maybe a little wisdom than any request for consolation.) Said another way, “If you get a pet, you may be surprised at how the pet actually gets you. And it’s worth everything you put in.”
I know he won’t live forever. I am okay with that, now. He’s already on the high end on the normal distribution curve. Said another way, “We are blessed beyond a cup running over.”

I don’t have 2.3 kids, a spouse to share a house and chores, or a white picket fence. And I’m absolutely cool with that. I’ve got a few good friends, a way to make a living, and a couple of muts. I’ve got inspiration from friends, strangers, and a favorite dog. Tentatively, I think I may have belted more laughter and shed more tears because of joy than I’ve cried more tears from pain. If so, it is because of blessings like these.

I know that’s a lot more than some people have, and I wish everyone could catch a glimpse of the abundant blessings that grace their brief lives.

I think right now, though, I am most grateful that this guy’s 5th chemo is behind him; and more than that, I’m thankful for this guy. #GoRoscoe Just how much he has impacted my life? There are no statistics for that one. The Bell curve is blown, and I understand why statistic’s William S. Gosset called himself the Student..

Still going strong.  #GoRoscoe

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Good Dog.

June 23rd, 2018 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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Here we are.

Next Friday is Mr. Coltrane’s last round of chemo.  Maybe we’ll be on our way to the vaccine in the weeks after?  Who knows.  What we do know is that Roscoe is hopping around on three legs better than I sometimes walk on two.  There are good days, and days not so great.  There are days when he gets to the front door to greet me faster than I can unlock it, and some days I meet him on the couch in the living room, waging his tail as if I was the next best thing to a prime ribeye steak.

I’ve stopped thinking in terms of post-treatment median days of remission; and favor instead the number of hugs, licks, jumps, and snuggles.  Last night, I woke up from a disturbing dream that had nothing to do with dogs.  He was there.  He comforted me with the thump of his tail on the wall.

There are more lessons jam-packed in to these last few months than I can possibly absorb.  Every time he has stopped and laid down on his way to hopping somewhere, I have given him only a couple of seconds to regain his strength.

“Nope.  Get up.  Good boy.  C’mon.  Let’s go.  A little further.  There you go.  Atta boy.”

Every single time, he’s gotten up and gone a little further.  The message he sends?  An echo of my own.  I read somewhere, sometime that, “A man gets the dog he deserves.”  I wish I knew who said it, but I have to disagree just a little.  Whatever a person invests into a dog seems to have returns so much greater than the investment.  That seems to be the case with Roscoe, anyhow.  In this 70-80 pound stock of American Bulldog, there is (and I believe always has been) so much more than I, a mere two-legged human, ever deserved.  Somehow, I ended up with a dog that is so much more than I deserve.

Here’s to my buddy Roscoe.

Let’s go, little buddy.  A little further.

There you go.

Atta boy.

Ready to Play

Roscoe Flop




Another Day in the Life of Roscoe…

May 31st, 2018 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Right after the last treatment, I called my regular vet’s office (who is staying in close contact with the oncologist).  I asked the tech to have her give me call back if she wanted the post-chemo chest x-ray the next day or at the 10-14 day mark, to coincide with post-chemo labs/bloodwork.  She opted for imaging at the 10-14 mark.  The suspense has been distracting.

I dropped Roscoe off yesterday morning, and as I transferred the lead, he jumped up on me, gifting me a small scratch (in an apparently very vascular part of my forearm).  I knelt down and gave him a reassuring hug and kiss on the side of his mouth.  After the hug and a kiss, he happily trotted back into the treatment area.  I left the vet’s office, wondering….  and waited…


And waited…

The phone rang in early afternoon, “Roscoe is ready.  There is no need for Vitamin K on this round.  Neutrophils are in the normal range.  The oncologist said we’ll continue with the next two rounds of Carboplatin, and re-image the chest in three months;”  The implication is that the chest x-ray is clear.  He can finish the chemo, and is still a candidate for the osteosarcoma vaccine…

Again, I’m thankful for another day in the life of Roscoe.



Casual Saturday

May 20th, 2018 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized


Treatment Three is in the Books

May 19th, 2018 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

5/18/18.  Today was treatment number three with Carboplatin.  Roscoe is chillin’ tonight and doesn’t seem quite as run down as he was with the first two treatments.  So far, the only side effects have been post-treatment blahs, low platelets and borderline neutrophils at the two week mark after treatment.  Vitamin K and Yunnan Baiyao  have done really well at helping him rebound in the platelets department.

For the last week or so, he’s been really full of energy.

Before the next treatment, his oncologist wants a three-view chest x-ray to see if there is evidence of metastasis to the lungs.  If the lungs are clear, then we are hopeful to make it to the vaccine.  In any case, I am so grateful for each day with this guy.  So full of love.  Thanks to all for the thoughts and prayers!  It’s good to have somewhere like this to see the stories of others, and to share some bits of Roscoe’s journey through this.

This is about the five or six-month mark since we first noticed the limping.