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Pofi: Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

Jul 04

When Pofi met Mia

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I’ve covered Pofi’s origin story previously, but would be remiss if I did not share the story of how he came to be the best canine big brother our Mia could ever have hoped for.

As discussed previously, he grew like a proverbial weed…

At 11 weeks

At 11 weeks

 

At 16 weeks

At 16 weeks

At any age, Pofi was a social pup – loved people loved the company of other dogs.  His very first friend was our tenants’ dog, Summit, a Beagle x Dachshund and a bit if a cranky old man (per his people), but our boy was a sufficiently respectful youngster, so peace prevailed.

 

Giving Summit space, Easter, 2005.

Giving Summit space, Easter, 2005.

 

Learning to play with Summit, Easter, 2005.

Learning to play with Summit, Easter, 2005.

Over his first winter, he also became even better BFFs with Igby, a Lhasa Apso neighbor who is just one year older.  Pofi really has always been good at scaling his play style to size as appropriate and watching these two wrestle was great fun for all of us.

 

Dancing with Igby

Dancing with Igby

 

Letting Igby pin him!

Letting Igby pin him!

And we discovered the dog parks in Minneapolis as he got a bit older.  We started at the small one in our neighborhood and I can remember the mounting excitement reflected in his expressions as he looked up at me in wonder hearing the sounds of dogs playing as we first entered the first of the gates.  His gait got so animated as if he could hardly believe we were headed to a gathering of his kind.  We went often and he loved running in a big elliptical orbit around the park with all the other dogs chasing him.  A few of the other dog parents took to calling him “Our Dog Park Athlete” and appreciated the work out he gave their dogs.  He would look as if he never broke a sweat leading them around and around.  It was poetry and effortless grace.

 

Payton was a favorite dog park friend - a German Pinscher x Shar Pei.

Payton was a favorite dog park friend – a German Pinscher x Shar Pei.

 

And when our upstairs tenants moved out with Summit, the time was right for us to take over the whole house and also the yard and find a friend for our social butterfly dog.  He was 18 months old when we found 6 month old Mia through PetFinder.  We met her at an adoption event and walked them together in the parking lot.  We left with each in our separate cars and met up again at a dog park where he was doubtless surprised to run into her again.  We played with some of his friends and then again left in separate vehicles.  And then when he got home, low and behold, she was there again.  He was pretty instantly delighted and presented her with all his favorite toys and played with her patiently and endlessly those first few days.  March 4 of 2006, we became a two dog family and Pofi became the best canine big brother Mia could ever have had.

 

Showing her the dog park ropes

Showing her the dog park ropes

 

Wrestling

Wrestling

 

Sitting for treats

Sitting for treats

 

Tug

Tug

 

Playing nicely

Playing nicely

 

The beginning of a (mostly) beautiful friendship and happy adventures for us all!

 

 

Jun 21

This one is sort of self explanatory – my husband took this the other night showing how well he gets around.  It was a beautiful night – really comfortable, and he decided to go to his favorite spot on the second floor deck to relax and survey his domain!  We think he is doing great!

 

 

Jun 19

I just want to document, briefly, the absolute start of things: how Pofi was found and came to be ours more than eleven years ago.

Pofi was rescued by a dog.  True story.  In late October of 2004, our friend was hiking in Tettegouche State Park on the north shore of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota.  Amy, her friend and her friend’s dog, Hershey, had finished their hike and were back at the parking lot preparing to depart.  Hershey had accumulated some burrs in her fur coat and so her person was getting a comb to remove them when Hershey bolted from the car back onto the trail head.  They followed after her to find her sitting guard over a little pup – cold and alone and likely terrified.  No way he had gotten into this predicament on his own and certainly, they could not leave him.  Amy’s friend closed the little peanut up in her coat and Pofi and his rescuers headed back to the Twin Cities.

 

Pofi - found alone in Tettegouche State Park, northern MN, Oct, 24, '04.

Pofi – found alone in Tettegouche State Park, northern MN, Oct, 24, ’04.

 

Amy could not keep him, but knew us to be good animal people and heard we had lost our dear Yellow Lab mix, Jesse, earlier that year.  We were ready and agreed to meet him – I knew right away he had to be ours, but my husband wasn’t quite sure, so I told Amy we would at least help by getting him vetted at our clinic.  We decided even before then and she brought him to us a few days later, November 14, 2004, and at the age of 8 weeks, he became ours furever more.

 

Snuggling with my furever Daddy man, 11/14/04

Snuggling with my furever Daddy man, 11/14/04

 

First nap with my new furever Mommy, 11/14/04

First nap with my new furever Mommy, 11/14/04.

 

We didn’t know what he was or how big he would be (and fast he would grow), but he settled in with us and our trio of Kitty Boyz with no issues.  He charmed us from the start and charms us to this day.  And while I’m not going to run through his whole life’s history on this Tripawd blog, I will say he grew at a rate that stunned us.  Nightly, we’d put him in his comfy crate and in the morning, we’d exclaim that he had clearly grown overnight.  To illustrate that point:

 

Growth Spurt - left, 11/20/04 & right, 02/13/05. Less than 3 months time!

Growth Spurt – left, 11/20/04 & right, 02/13/05. Less than 3 months time!

 

The first photo on left is from our first shopping expedition when I bought him his first name tag and a new collar of my choosing.  I also signed him up for the next session of Puppy Kindergarten that was available after his immunizations would be complete.  The photo on the right is from class graduation date – him in my lap with me trying to put a grad cap on his head.  In the 8 weeks of the class he outpaced all the other dogs in terms of growth, even the Goldens and Labs.  He towered over all of them by the graduation ceremony – dwarfed them! It amused the trainer and me greatly…

So, next entry, I will skip ahead to the start of his Tripawd and cancer journey, but I just wanted to honor and remember the incredibly lucky day (for us) that he became our boy.

 

Jun 10

I have been hoping to get to the beginning of our story and the start of Pofi’s Tripawd journey, but after our all clear lymph node cytology, we had a stormy night.  I gave Pofi his first dose of Piroxicam in the morning as the anti inflammatory part of our evolving Metronomic chemo approach.  And we were to start alternating the Cyclophosphamide with Palladia today.  But our sage Oncologist had suggested staggering the new meds so I could be certain if which, if any, caused any unwanted effect.

Well, Tuesday night, Pofi seemed a little hesitant about food and treats, but ate pretty easily.  I noticed soon after, however, that he was uncharacteristically “windy” and it was pretty unpleasant.  I gave the chemo anyhow, which probably was not advisable.  About 1:30 AM, we were awoken by a retching, restless dog.  He wasn’t really bringing anything up initially, but he was trying awfully hard.  And then for the next few hours, I let him out a few times and for multiple bowel movements, poor lad.  And he did finally retch up some liquid, too.  Since we never have stomach upset, I did not have Pepcid AC on hand.  Spoke to the Oncology department in the morning and we decided on a one to two day medication holiday for him except for some Pepcid to help settle his gurgling tummy.  He also was still sort of clearing his throat on Tuesday morning, but it lessened pretty quickly.  I can only think the combination of intubation GA the day before for CT and then all that retching really irritated his throat.  This wasn’t really coughing- didn’t come from chest at all, but of course, PARANOID so thank you fellow Tripawd members for talking me off a ledge in the chat room.  You know who you are!  🙂

I did add one Mirtazapine on Tuesday evening along with the newly procured Pepcid AC to make certain we got past the resulting inappetance (breakfast was a big “No thanks” in the morning).  And we seem to be back on track.  Plan now is to pick up the Palladia this weekend and start it Monday.  For now, we will use Rimadyl as the anti inflammatory component, but perhaps I’ll try Piroxicam, which is less toxic to the liver, in the future with Pepcid…if I am brave enough!

For now, a few glamour shots of my boy and his sister, Mia.

 

Pofi profile

Mia enjoying her first dip in the Pacific in Santa Barbara, Sept 2013

Mia enjoying her first dip in the Pacific in Santa Barbara, Sept 2013

Pofi happily embracing the ocean for the first time, Sept 2013

Pofi happily embracing the ocean for the first time, Sept 2013

 

 

Jun 07

We have our dancin’ shoes on, because U of MN Veterinary Oncology says there is nothing to be concerned about on any of the 3 slides of lymph node aspirate.  Nothing to see here folks, move along.  Just biggish lymph nodes.  NBD – No Big Deal!!

And this is how we feel about that news!!!

And this is how we feel about that news!!!