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The One & Only #RiotDog: Diggs

Diggs loses a leg to cancer

The One & Only #RiotDog: Diggs

Day 11: Stairway to eleven (Diggs takes the stairs)

March 30th, 2018 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

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Today is Thursday, Day 13.

Diggs spends most of his day sleeping in odd positions. He has 4 more days worth of medications left. I’m interested to see how things change once he is off the meds. He is obviously upset about what has happened to him. I am hoping that he will bounce back soon. I’m very sure that our packing the houses in preparation for our move isn’t helping either. By the end of day Saturday we will be in our new home (without stairs) and things should get back to normal for him.

Speaking of stairs…

Diggs Stairs

Diggs has managed to stumble himself down the stairs well enough but he is showing the most improvement coming back up. It has been really interesting to watch him figure out his new situation. He shows the most improvement whenever food is involved.

 

 


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Day 5: On the bed!

March 22nd, 2018 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

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I have to apologize for not posting more often but life beyond our Tripawd has been nothing short of crazy. We are moving 2 houses into 1 in a week. Pure chaos.

Diggs still can’t take the stairs but this morning he did climb into our bed, camped out a while, and then got himself down (with a minor whimper). I’m not holding him back from doing much right now. After the spleen removal, he’s not trying to do all that much at the moment anyway.

We had a bit of a terrifying moment on the night of Day 3. Amy and I were fast asleep until we were startled awake at 3:30am by Diggs, wailing like a banshee. It wasn’t a bark, it wasn’t a yelp. He was wailing. If a dog could scream, that is what Diggs was doing. It was terrifying. It took a few minutes to get him to stop. Maybe he slept on the wrong side and woke up in anguish. Maybe it was something else. He finally calmed down as i cradled him and told him he was gonna be ok. Amy mentioned that at a few different points throughout the night she awoke to him sitting up and staring at me for long periods of time. It’s like he’s contemplating how to get back at me while I sleep. Creepy. Haha.

The nerve block has finally worn off so he feels a little more like himself, at least to us. Tonight he decided to head down the stairs on his own. He isn’t real sure about the process yet but his bravery abounds. The bathroom situation is back to normal and he is venturing out further from the house. He tends to forget that he has to make it back too.

He has started licking at his front ankle. I’m hoping it is just a little sore from the extra work. Fingers crossed.

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Day 2: Waking up is hard to do

March 19th, 2018 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

Yesterday (Sunday) was Day 2.

I moved his bed in next to ours that night. I woke up pretty regularly to check on him. He had been shifting around on his own without a peep but ultimately stayed in his bed the entire night. Yay drugs!

The morning of Day 2 was definitely interesting. Diggs is much more attentive today but still pretty zonked from the meds. He didn’t want to get up so we dragged his bed (with him still on it) out into the living room. We finally got him up to go outside. He’s moving a little better. Still no poop.

Amy and decided by mid-day that we needed to take Diggs out of our St Pete house with hardwood floors and into our apartment which is carpeted. The trip was… challenging. Getting him into the car was nothing short of a miracle. He got TO the car just fine, it was getting IN the car that proved to be more difficult. On the day I brought him home from the hospital, he let me pick him up to get him out of the car. Now, that was out of the question. Eventually we got the front paw on the seat and just shoved his butt in. There was some whining but we got him in. Now for getting out…

Luckily I had thought ahead and brought a few blankets for him. He was not a fan of the original process so he was very hesitant to even get up when it was time to get out. I laid a blanket down in front of him and was able to convince him that he should get on it. Then the two of us just picked up the blanket with him inside of it and pulled him out. This also served as the process to get him up the flight of stairs to the door of the apartment. The stairs were a big concern, but this move has proven to be the right choice. He is much more confident walking around on the carpet. Developing his confidence was the most important part so I will happily carry him up and down the stairs for a while. We placed him in front of the door and he got up and walked himself inside. I was stoked.

We left the kids with him while we went to the store to get groceries. He hardly moved. Once home, we unloaded the groceries and started making dinner. The 4 of us were talking, catching up on how everyone’s day had gone, when suddenly someone shouted, “OH!”, and we turned around to see Diggs standing behind us in the middle of the kitchen. I was elated. It took everything I had to not cry.

We took him out at night for a final bathroom break before bed and, to my relief, he finally pooped! Now I can stop writing awkward comments about his BM’s. You’re welcome.

He walked himself into our bedroom, around the bed, and on to his own bed all by himself. He seems a bit bummed right now but I think that will pass with time. Otherwise, he is kicking ass and taking names.

He’s walking, he’s eating, he poops. I can finally breathe.

Can’t wait to see how we do on Day 3!

Diggs & Nick

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Day 1: Sleep, eat, pee, repeat

March 19th, 2018 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Well, day 1 went just fine.

Diggs spent most of the day laying in his bed enjoying the Nick & Amy food delivery service. His medicine schedule is pretty easy to deal with and I’ve been rolling the pills in peanut butter which has been even funnier to watch him try to eat while he is doped up.

I made an entire batch of chicken and rice to give him to guarantee that he eats. I wouldn’t say he has lost any of his appetite at all, he’s just too lazy to reach the bowl. If I stick it in his face he usually eats without hesitation.

He hasn’t let out a peep so far which means the nerve block they put in him is still working. I’m pretty grateful for that. They sent us home with a sling, which is essentially a padded piece of material that goes under his belly and has a handle at each end so I can assist him in getting around for the first few days. He peed on it every time we went out yesterday so I finally got smart and folded it in half so it didn’t reach all the way back to his good stuff. Now we just have to learn how to miss our front leg and we should be golden. They told me at the vet that he didn’t have a problem pooping but I haven’t been able to get him to go since we got home. That is really my only concern so far. Once he does that, I’ll be much happier. (Never thought I’d ever say or type something like that. Haha)

His scars are pretty gnarly so we put his t-shirt on him. He seems to be handling everything pretty well. We are trying to ice him down 4 times per day and otherwise just let him sleep. Tomorrow he should start to wake up a bit more. We will just take each day as it comes.

 

Diggs & Nick

 

 

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HE’S HOME!

March 17th, 2018 · 15 Comments · Uncategorized

Yesterday was crazy difficult but…

At 3:30pm we got the call that Diggs handled the surgery like a champ!

The leg was removed without issue, he handled the anesthesia just fine, and they were able to remove the spleen and biopsy the liver with zero complications! I would’ve updated last night but I wanted to get him home before I started bragging about how well he did.

I called the vet last night at 8:30 and they said he was doing fine. He was resting comfortably on a big cozy bed and he had a nurse assigned to him all night. I got a halfway decent nights sleep but I was up at 6am checking my phone to make sure I hadn’t missed a call. I called the hospital again at 9:00 today and they said the were very happy with his recovery and that I could come get him whenever I was ready. Needless to say, I’m stoked! I jumped in the car and hauled ass to go pick up my slightly modified Yellow Dog.

When I arrived, I paid a hefty fee and anxiously waited to see my dude. There is no amount of preparing yourself for what you are about to see. The hospital was empty for the most part so I could hear the click of his nails and the thump of his cone bouncing off of things as he fumbled his way towards the door. In just the same way that he disappeared yesterday morning, he reappeared to me today, only this time he looked like Frankendiggs. His fur is shaved in all sorts of odd patterns, he can hardly hold his head up from the cone and the drugs he’s on, and the scar is massive. He is very unsure of the walking part but I’m sure he will get it together soon. He’s alive and that’s what really matters.

All he wanted to do was leave. He didn’t care so much that I was there, he just wanted to go. He got outside and was able to pee, although he mostly peed on his front leg. Poor guy. We were able to get him in the back seat and he immediately laid down. He looks pitiful. The drive home was as quiet as the drive to the hospital the day before, minus the sound of the plastic cone scraping around as he tried to move his head. We pulled up to the house and he immediately stood up but couldn’t quite figure out how to move beyond that. I was able to scoop him up out the car and place him just outside the door, but he immediate wanted to lay back down. Luckily he went down on the padded sling that the hospital had provided us with, so he didn’t get his belly dirty. I helped him back up wth the sling but he just wasn’t having it. I picked him up in my arms and carried him to the front door. I know he has to learn but today isn’t the day. I got him inside and he went right for his water dish. He plopped down on the kitchen floor looking a bit defeated. I ran around the house grabbing clean sheets to cover his beds and then dragged one over by the back door so that he could have a comfortable place to lay down and enjoy the warm sun. He hobbled over with a little assistance from me and has been there ever since.

A lot of what I read and have heard from others was that he was going to hop up and walk out of the hospital. Had the surgery been just the leg removal, he might have. The poor guy has been through so much that I don’t blame him at all for not wanting to do much of anything today. Maybe tomorrow will be a different story.

I can’t tell you how awesome it is that so many people (and pets) from the Tripawds community took it upon themselves to reach out to us and send love and well-wishes since this little adventure began. Facebook has been getting the updates just as regularly and I had multiple people reach out to me last night saying they were on the edge of their seat waiting to hear how he did. To all of you I want to say, “I love you”, and want you to know that we both have felt more love than we ever have before. I am very sure that he wouldn’t have done half as well without your support. You mean the world to us and are all officially part of the #RIOTGANG for life.

I’m so proud of Diggs for staying brave through this challenge. My day is so much brighter today. He is resting peacefully in his bed and listening to the sounds of the neighborhood while he heals. He’s such a sweet guy.

Meanwhile, I am taking some well deserved deep breaths and learning to adjust to my new heart. It has more than doubled in size and I attribute that to all of you.

We are eternally grateful.

We love you all.

Diggs & Nick

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