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The One & Only #RiotDog: Diggs

Diggs loses a leg to cancer

The One & Only #RiotDog: Diggs


March 16th, 2018 · 11 Comments · Uncategorized

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Well… Yesterday didn’t go quite as we had hoped.

As I mentioned in the last post, Diggs was at the vet yesterday having a chest ultrasound, just as a routine measure before today’s surgery. The phone call that I got was not so good. The ultrasound revealed that he had developed 3 new spots. 2 on his spleen and 1 on his liver. It was crushing.

After a few good cry sessions, some advice from friends and loved ones, and about a million questions for the surgeon, I decided to go through with the surgery and also to remove the spleen and the affected portion of the liver all at once. What started out as a big deal to begin with has now become overwhelming. The conclusion that I came to was that if this was a human family member, I would make the same decision. Diggs has been a beloved member of my family for more than a decade. He deserves the same treatment. Had I left it alone, he would have likely only had a few months left. At least this way he gets a fighting chance.

This morning I woke up at 6:30. I sat outside one the porch with Diggs for a while. We just stared at the dark street, enjoying being in the same space. I fought back tears as I got dressed. He climbed into bed with Amy and she spent some quiet time with him while I got ready. I met them both at the bed, eyes full of tears, and had a long conversation with him about what was going to happen and why. I tried to reassure him that I was doing it because I had to, but I know the reassurance was just for me. He licked the tears off of my face. He loves the salty stuff. Let’s be honest, he licks everything.

Amy stayed home with our other dog Chance, and Diggs and I made our way to the car. The ride was quiet. Diggs pressed himself against the rear passenger side door and stared out the window, watching the sunrise in the distance. I don’t know if he was still tired or maybe groggy from the procedure yesterday. Either way, he seemed content.

We pulled into the parking space in front of the clinic. Like always, Diggs was ready to face the day and explore the new space I had brought him to. I was trying to keep it together. We walked inside and sat down. I just needed to spend a few extra minutes with him before I handed him over. I asked the woman who came to get him if she would mind taking a quick picture of us. She was happy to. Just as we had our pose all set, a man walked through the door with a small dog, and I was no longer of interest to Diggs. I was able to drag him outside and pin him down just long enough to sneak one more picture. I had brought with me one of my t-shirts with the #RIOTGANG logo on the back. I handed it to her as she took the leash from me and asked her to keep it with him. Then, just like that, he disappeared through the doors and I found myself standing there, staring at my reflection in the closed door.

This surgery was a big deal when he was just losing a leg. Now it’s much more. I hope I’m making the right choice. I hope he makes it off of the table today so we can spend more great days together. I hope he knows how much he means to me. I hope he felt loved. I hope he never felt like he disappointed me. I hope he can forgive me for what I had to do.

I love you Diggs. See you on the other side.

#RIOTGANG for life


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11 Comments so far ↓

  • benny55

    Geez….I was just getting ready to respond to your previous blog, and this update came up. And BTW, I love all the gear you jave for Diggs, and all the thought thst went into it!

    For whatever it’s worth…YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING!! For whatever it’s worth, I think everyone here would proceed exactly as you have.

    I can think of one pup right off the bat who had her spleen removed also, Shelby Lynne (mom Aliso ). Actually, spleen may have been removed first, can’t remember.

    Yes, Riot will be undergoing a lot of surgery today and recovery may take a bit longer. You are getting rid of that bum painful leg and that bum spleen that dogs don’t need anyway! And you’re getting the bad stuff of that liver. Yes! You are doing everything possible to get Riot back to living a pain ree quality life for more loving and spoiling!!

    I LOOOOOVE HIS TEE SHIRT!! This boy could not be more adored and could not have a more devoted Dad!!

    If we may be so bold, we would all like to join the RIOTGANG for life!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ It would be such an honor!!

    We’ll all be watching for your updates and looking forward to cheering for Diggs and celebrating all his upcoming victories!!

    Huge hugs to all
    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  • Michelle

    I know this feels over whelming right now. And yes the recovery time is going to be longer now. But you are giving Diggs the best chance you can.
    I will keep him in my prayers. Keep us informed.

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  • dawn3g

    I agree with Michelle and Sally. We do the best for our loves with what we have to work with. Without crystal balls, we only have what’s in our hearts to go by, once all the facts are out there. We question choices, we all have when needing to make big decisions at an emotional time when we’re feeling unequipped–but who better than the one who knows him best?

    It’s clear you love Diggs and are doing all you can to give him a chance at a pain free life. We’re sending you positive energy–we’ll be thinking of you guys and looking for updates.

    Many hugs,
    Dawn and Fallon
    (and Paul and Maggie)

  • Rocky's dad

    Sorry that an already tough situation became even tougher. Cancer is so dirty.

    You’re doing everything you can for Diggs. He knows that.

    Fingers crossed everything goes well today.

    I love the RIOTGANG shirt.

  • linda8115

    Sending healing thoughts and many prayers to handsome Diggs and you his loving family too! Update when you’re able to.

  • jerry

    Nick, it’s hard to believe that things can change so quickly. Just had a chance to catch up and I’m so sorry about the bad news, that bites in a big way. But you did what the best oncologists would recommend doing. The most important thing is to get rid of that awful pain, and any time after that is icing on the cake.

    We have seen MANY dogs outlive their prognosis, even when cancer plays nasty like this. There’s no telling and we hope with all our heart that Diggs gets a long, long time ahead of him. Yes, you are giving him the fighting chance he deserves.

    Hang in there and if you want to talk, you know how to find us OK? Call the Helpline, jump in the chat room, post in the forums. All of us are here for you and your handsome doggy.

  • dougo1

    You are doing the best you can for your dog Nick. My cookie just had her surgery today so although you got a bit of bad news you are absolutely doing whatโ€™s best for Diggs. We do the surgery as that is the humane thing as hard as it is.
    Diggs looks like a fighter. Fight this with everything you got as cookie and I will fight as well.
    Iโ€™ll bet the both of us will feel a lot better in a couple weeks as our dogs recover.

  • benny55

    Holding you in our hearts…….

  • cvb5

    Thinking about you and hoping for all the best. You made the right decision. I also thought the same exact things you posted: “I hope he makes it off of the table today so we can spend more great days together. I hope he knows how much he means to me. I hope he felt loved. I hope he never felt like he disappointed me. I hope he can forgive me for what I had to do.” He loves you more than you will ever know.

  • paws120

    Just checking in to see how you are all doing. Please update when you are able to. I am hoping the surgery went without a hitch. My Mitchell just had a nasty spleen taken out and bladder stones all in the same surgery. He recovered quickly without a spleen. The liver is a rejuvenating organ. I am holding my glass half full for you, anxious to see how you are all doing.
    Jackie and Huckleberry

  • Super Stu!

    Stewie and i are holding you in our thoughts and hoping that all goes really well for Diggsโ€™ surgery!!!
    You are doing an amazing job for your boy and i commend you highly!
    Such a beautiful jacket for you Diggs! You are a true Riot Dog!!
    Go Team #RiotDog
    Lots of hugs
    Petra, Stewie and his Pride of Kittens xxx

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