Sorry it’s been awhile since we’ve updated. Royal has been doing absolutely fantastic he runs laps around me every day! He broke his nail down to the quick and had to go see the vet again but for once it wasn’t a big deal! They even gave us 25% off all nail trims present and future for him (call it the Tripawd discount). Shamrock animal hospital continues to impress us. We switched him onto a much higher quality Royal canin food that he loves. We celebrated a year of having Royal Thursday and Friday. We also found out that WE’RE SIX WEEKS PREGNANT on his one year adoptiversary!!! I tear up just thinking about how happy it makes me that royal will be our child’s best friend for many years to come, something for awhile we weren’t sure we would have. Royal hasn’t left my side. I’ve had bad anxiety my entire life and had to go off of the medication I take for it when I found out we were expecting. Royal calms me down and sits up with me. When I have morning sickness he lays outside the bathroom waiting for me to be done so he can cuddle with me. We are both thrilled with the news and I’m confident Royal will be a great family friend!
I can’t believe it’s already been a month. It’s still kind of surreal for me because it happened so fast. But Royal has completely regained his former spunk and energy. He still has problems on ice (mom just carries him like a baby if he gets too nervous which he has come to expect at times now) and on our kitchen floor but a rug with grips is an easy fix. I celebrated my birthday recently. I had asked for one of the necklaces cofounder Reneé hand makes so beautifully and my awesome mom I’ve talked about ordered me one that says “Tripawd Mom”! I love it and wear it every day. It’s a fun conversation piece too if Royal (rarely) isn’t with me. What I love is that they took the time to ask my mom about my story and found out who my Tripawd furbaby was. They hand stamped Royal’s name on the back of the pendant! There was even a treat and a cute bandanna for Royal. He will definitely be wearing this out and about especially when we take him to the dog park and out in public! We went and visited the vet a couple days ago too just to pick up a refill for his medication (yay no more vet appointments for Royal besides routine check ups!!!!!!!) and all of the staff was overjoyed to see how well he was getting around. Royal happily ran through the clinic and greeted everyone including the wonderful Dr. Hansen, our vet who got Royal through this mess. We were lucky enough to be chosen for Tripawds January ASAP surgery grant and we still cannot express our gratitude enough. Royal has a whole bin of toys. Before he broke his leg he would dig through every single day and play for hours. In the last few weeks he finally has been back to his old self. He plays “catch” with himself and also has been back to playing with his feline friends. It’s so good to have our pooch back! Thank you so much Tripawds!!!
Royal’s 26 staples and 4 sutures all came out Thursday! He has been slowly but surely adjusting to life on three legs. Right after his staples came out we took him shopping at Petco in his shiny new vest. He happily trotted up and down the aisles sniffing at everything and everyone in sight! He’s definitely a head turner; five people asked about his story and stopped to give him some scratches! He found a nice big bone and we got him his first kong as well. He got tired fairly quickly but not until we were ready to leave anyway. He’s had an exciting week! He is officially done with his vet appointments for the break and now it’s just routine care THANK GOD! For those pet parents that feel like this whole thing is a nightmare take a deep breath. You WILL get through this. Royal is two weeks post op and back to his old self. He is happy playful curious and has his spunky attitude back too. He’s right back to “yelling” at us when he doesn’t get his way (when we aren’t getting ready to go outside fast enough, he gets jealous, he wants up on the bed, or we quit petting him he does this). Thank you to all the support from this wonderful community over the past weeks! We will continue blogging as we continue our journey on three legs together. We couldn’t have gotten Royal this far without the Tripawds community!
So for those of you who don’t personally know me you probably haven’t been following our story since Royal’s break in November. It has been a long road. We came about an inch away from losing Royal when this mess all started because of funding we almost surrendered him. My mom actually opened up a care credit in her name (neither one of us had the credit at the time due to circumstances in our past, mine being identity theft. My fiancée was a foster child adopted by a sweet elderly couple that both passed away within the last four years so he’s been completely on his own since) and saved our sweet boy. The alternative was surrendering him. I’m sure it’s an issue pet parents have faced without such a happy ending. My heart goes out to those pet parents who did the right thing for their fur babies if they weren’t able to afford treatment themselves. Life happens. People get laid off. Businesses close. People get sick, sometimes even chronically ill. It doesn’t make them bad people for not being able to afford a $5000 vet bill suddenly when their fur baby breaks a limb, tests positive for cancer, ends up with any other array of health problems none of us are prepared to handle mentally or emotionally usually when it happens. But we adjust. We do what we have to for them because we love them and want what’s best for them. The day his leg broke, our vet put a rod and two pins in his leg to try and save it. We were optimistic about the results. It was a hard first few weeks. Royal came home in a stiff cast he couldn’t get wet. The first few days he couldn’t even walk outside to use the bathroom. We had to express his bladder a few times he was so weak after the first surgery. I cried, more than I’ve ever cried. He had five different medications he had to take. He couldn’t stand not being able to sleep on our bed so we made a bed next to him on the floor and took 12 hour shifts making sure he had round the clock supervision. We made him hamburger, chicken, anything we could to spoil him and make sure he ate. He had a lot of accidents the first couple weeks. We had to carry him everywhere. I questioned my decision more than once, asking myself if we had done the right thing putting him through all of this. A few times early on he would whine and try to lick at his cast (we are literally sitting next to him 24/7 so he only wears his cone when we are out of the room or sleeping) because he didn’t understand what was going on. As time passed he adjusted, slowly. He got an infection in his paw. We were at the vet every single day they were open for awhile. Some of the tissue had died but we managed to fund a surgery to remove the dead tissue and put a few sutures in to promote healing of the tissue still good (this is the paw on the leg with the break. The break was above the elbow pretty close to the joint). This was probably about a month in. At one point, he was starting to get around ok, he slipped on the ice out front of our place and the rod poked through his chest. I freaked it and rushed him back to the vet. They did another x Ray immediately and it looked ok initially. But about a month later an x Ray from a different angle they hadn’t done before showed how poorly it was truly healing. January 3rd we found out royals leg was going to have to be amputated. When my fiancée and I went into the vets office that day we thought we were just picking him up from a routine appointment and that everything had been going well. I immediately blamed myself. The truth is we don’t know exactly why it didn’t heal right. But it’s no ones fault. If there are any complications the most important thing is to not blame yourself. It doesn’t do anyone any good and there’s a lot of evidence out there suggesting dogs can sense when we are stressed and it stresses them out as well. If you do feel guilty concentrate on what you CAN do to help your fur baby, not what you can’t. We were in the vets office so much in December I baked the office staff Christmas cookies for taking such care of Royal. He’s become a bit of a local celebrity of sorts with everything that’s happened. Today he had one of hopefully his last appointments. Royals leg was amputated January 5th, 2017. It was a hell of a way to start the new year. Today royal’s drain came out though!!! And his 26 staples and 4 sutures come out next Thursday. I had to write a post about how far we have come. I hope it helps another pet parent out there dealing with the same anxiety and guilt my fiancée and I have both grappled with since November. All of the tears, the late nights, the endless vet visits and bills, making them take medication, the exercise restrictions, will all be worth it in the end when you see their personaliy start to shine back through. Royal has always had a bad habit of jumping up on people with his front legs to greet them. For the first time since his break, he did it today when he greeted a new neighbor to say hi. I almost cried right there because I never thought he would do that again. So many things I didn’t think he could do he already has although we have to prevent him from running excessively or doing anything outside minus pottying, I know when the time comes he’s gonna be back to our same sweet boy we brought home in November. I attached some photos pre op of the day we brought him home. The bottom one is of him today hanging out with his feline friends Josie and Loki. Remember pet parents, optimism is the ONLY way we have gotten this far. Try to stay positive and take small steps to reach that milestone. It won’t happen overnight but your Tripawd will surprise you more than you know. Ours sure did. Thanks for reading.
So we brought Royal in for his drain removal. The area is still quite sore obviously but it’s still leaking a fair amount of fluid so the drain will stay in for two more days unfortunately. Everything else is looking good though, he is eating drinking and pottying without any issues which is huge. He hasn’t had any really major pain issues for the most part. He slipped on a patch of ice and whimpered for about 30 seconds yesterday but recovered quickly. It wasn’t a bad fall at all more him learning to get used to being a tripawd. The incision site looks clean and there are thank god no signs of infection or complications. So our fingers are crossed the drain will be out Wednesday!
Edited to include an adorable photo of that time we brought Royal home and he thought the top of the cat scratcher was for him. Pre op. Because it helps to remember all the cute things.