Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One Of The Best Feelings...

Around 2 o'clock this morning, I woke up for no reason.  The Chili Dawg had some how gotten up on our bed again.  This time, he was curled up next to Ryan and his "cone of shame" was gone (I found it on his dog bed).  Ryan woke up too (unheard of, by the way) and told Chili to get off the bed.  Clearly, Chili is feeling better post-amputation, because he gave Ryan a look like, "you're kidding, right?" and crawled over him to get to me.  He immediately assumed our snuggle position for when Ryan is out of town with his head on my shoulder and let me pet his soft fur until I fell back to sleep- one of the best feelings in the world.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Conversations With Noah...

Yesterday we were driving to a doctor's appointment and Noah proceeded to ask, "Momma, when is it Noah's Mother's Day?"  "Well, first you have to be a Mom to have a Mother's Day."  "Well, when is it Noah's Father's Day?"  "First you have to be a Daddy to have a Father's Day."  "How do I become a Daddy?"  "Well, first you have to get a lot bigger and older.  Then you need to find a nice girl and get married.  Then you need to have a baby.  Then you will become a Daddy."  "When I have a baby I know what I'm going to name him.  It's the best name I know."  "What is the name?"  "Jesus.  Isn't it the best name, Momma?"  "Yes, Noah."

After we left the doctor's office, Noah asked, "Momma, where am I going to live when I'm a Daddy with baby Jesus?"  "You're going to live in your house with your baby and your wife."  There was a silence.  I tilted my mirror and saw that he was about to cry.  "What's wrong, Noah?"  "I don't want to live in a different house with my wife and Jesus.  I want to live with you and Daddy in my room."  "Well, where are your wife and baby going to live?  I don't think they will want to live with us."  "My wife can live with her mommy and daddy at her house and Jesus can sleep with Juli in her room!"  "What if Juli doesn't want to share her room with Jesus because he's a baby and she's a big girl now?"  "Well, Momma, she's small and she will want to snuggle with Jesus!  Please don't make me live somewhere else!"  "Sweetie, you can live with us as long as you want."  "Thanks, Momma."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chili Dawg Update...

Chili Dawg came home on Thursday night.  It was a hard night for him and for me.  Ryan brought him home around 5:30, just as I was finishing getting the kids' dinner ready.  Ryan needed help getting Chili out of the back seat of his car- Chili was heavily sedated and didn't want to move.  I grabbed a chicken nugget and helped lure him out of the back seat.  Chili gave a yelp of pain, but we were able to get him up and get a towel underneath his body as a sling and get him in the house.  We got him onto his dog bed.  I showed the kids where they could pet him and where they could not pet him.  Noah immediately sat next to him and started stroking his back.  Juliana was terrified and literally tried to climb back inside of me.  When I picked her up, I noticed that we had irritated one of Chili's staples and he had blood running down his side.

Normally, I can handle anything, but I wasn't prepared for what the scar and staples were going to look like.  Combined with the blood, not sleeping and not eating because I was worried, I got light headed and started to sweat.  I had to sit on the floor for a little while until the world stopped spinning.  Once that was done, I was ready to take care of my dog.

The first night, Chili slept on the main floor.  There was no way we were going to allow him to climb all the steps up to our bedroom.  Around 11 o'clock, I awoke to Finchy whining on my side of the bed and I heard Chili barking downstairs.  Finch and I went downstairs.  Chili had gone into the kitchen and couldn't figure out how to turn around with the cone on his head.  I got him turned around and back on his dog bed.  Then I went upstairs and got my pillow and spent the rest of the night on the couch.  Every 2 hours Chili would get up and whine trying to find a more comfortable position.  I would help him adjust and then go back to sleep.  It was a long night.

I am happy to say that that was the only night like that.  Chili refused to sleep downstairs the past few nights.  He takes the steps like a champ, and now goes down the steps too (the first morning, Ryan had to carry him down, because he was afraid, but he has conquered that fear).  Juliana is no longer afraid of him as well.  She gives him hugs and pets him as well.  Noah is still a gentle heart and gives him a hug and kiss every time we leave the house.  You can tell that Chili feels better too, because he greets you at the door when you come home and his tail is wagging- 2 weeks ago he didn't do that.

I'm posting a picture of Chili, but it won't be an up close one of his amputation- for those, you can go to his blog that I have started (I haven't had time to make it anything nice yet, though).  He is still beautiful, just in a different way now.
4 days post amputation

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Tomorrow is the Chili Dawg's amputation.  I am nervous and scared for him.  He's in a lot of pain right now, but he tries not to show it- I think it's the nature of the Golden Retriever.  He keeps a smile on his face almost all the time, but you can see when he's walking on three legs that he hurts.  He moans and cries in his sleep.  He has stopped eating.  The past few days, I have sat on the floor and hand fed him because the oncologist told us that he needs to be strong for the amputation.

I have been reading up on dog amputation, and he should adapt well to life on three legs- he already is using just three.  He also will no longer have pain from the bone cancer so he should be back to his normal self fairly quickly.  We have also been preparing Noah for what will be happening to Chili.  I had to pull up some video on YouTube of three legged golden retrievers so that he could see that they could walk and run and play, because as soon as I told him that Chili was going to have a leg removed he burst into tears afraid that Chili wouldn't be able to move around.  Every day he asks me the same questions making sure that Chili will be able to walk and run.

The Chili Dawg is my special friend.  My crying blanket.  I hope that our decision was the best decision for him and will not cause him any extra pain.

Chili's Last Weekend With Four Legs

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jaimers!

Today is my sister, Jaime's, birthday!  Jaime and I are 13 months apart, which meant that I always had a playmate growing up, as well as someone to fight with- oh wait, we never fought, did we, Jaime?  NEVER!  Jaime is one of the coolest mom's on the planet to three of the most beautiful children on the planet (and I'm not just saying that because I'm the aunt- I'm really saying it because Rori Rose still owes me a bracelet- kidding!).

Jaime and I have been through a lot in her 33 years on this earth (wow, Jaime, you're getting old), and there is no one I would rather have by my side then her.  Happy birthday, Jaimers!
Back in the day when I was the taller sister

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Monday, as we were driving home from Juliana's 2 year check up, my cell phone rang.  It was Ryan.  "The vet called about Chili."  "I'm not home yet, so don't tell me the results."  Now, I don't know if Ryan heard me since his phone was crackling, but he then proceeded to say, "I don't really have anything new to tell you.  We just have to decide what treatment we want to do."  "So it's cancer for sure then?"  "Yes, and it's in the ulna which is rare.  They are recommending amputation and chemotherapy which combined could get him to a year.  6 months if we only amputate."  I started to hyperventilate (which is why I didn't want him to tell me until I got home) and told him I couldn't talk right now.  I pulled to the side of the road because I thought I was going to throw up.  I started crying, hysterically and hitting the steering wheel with my hand.  As I was about to yell the "f-word", I heard, "Mom? Why are you crying?" from the back seat.  I realized that I still had my kids in the car, and if I had started to swear, I'm sure that would have been a word they both would have picked up (wouldn't that have been an interesting conversation with Juliana's speech therapist- "Juliana said f*** today. Where do you think she heard that?).  I settled myself down and drove the rest of the way home, still crying, but no longer in hysterics.

My special boy, my best friend, has terminal bone cancer and is in pain.  None of the options will cure him.  What do you do?  Amputation will remove the pain for the remainder of his life until the cancer moves to his lungs and he's already only walking on 3 legs.  Radiation will control the pain but will weaken the bone making him susceptible to a broken leg and is more expensive than amputation.  Chemotherapy will kill the cancer but it will come back and may buy him a year and is the most expensive of all the options. 

If I were to be totally selfish & we had an unlimited supply of money, I would choose amputation and chemotherapy to keep Chili with me as long as possible, but that is only thinking of myself and not him or my family.  I have done so much crying over this decision I am exhausted.  Every night I lay on the floor with him at bedtime and tell him how sorry I am and what a good dog and friend he has been to me.  If you're not a dog lover you probably think I am nuts, but if you've ever met the Chili Dawg you'd understand.

Ryan and I have done a lot of talking about this.  Last night he called me and said, "Chili's amputation has been scheduled for next Wednesday.  I want him to have no pain for the time that we have left with him."  Me, too. Thank you, Ryan, for helping us make the decision.

My heart is broken.