Samdog’s Dad taking over posting duties for the one month ampuversary.
Our boy is due for another round of chemo this week. He did pretty well. Little low energy on week 2, but he’s been a hopping freak for the last few days.
Haven’t gone for any long walks for a week, but he’s been swimming every day and is loving it.
His last staples were removed a week ago and the incision site is basically healed at this point. He still has a pretty wicked scar, and I guess always will, but it looks pretty healthy and for the amount of retriever they subtracted from our pup, it’s not too bad.
It’s kind of interesting to see how he’s adapted to the whole thing. He’s still our goofy guy, but there have definitely been some personality changes.
Sam has always had the strongest bond with his Mom. We’ve joked that he is velcro dog, but lately he’s been super-glue dog. We wonder if he’s feeling more vulnerable and therefore more eager to cling to Mom.
Were I a little less egocentric, I’d feel a little sad about his bond with Mom over me. He likes me, but has been inseperable from Mom and moreso than he ever was before his cancer.
I’m sure it’s just a part of his adjustment to new normal.
Exhibit B of change would be his sudden aversion to popcorn. I know this is strange, but he used to love the stuff. The sound of it popping in the microwave late at night was always enough to draw him away from bed to the kitchen. Now, he won’t touch the stuff. He spits it out. I guess his right leg was the only part of him that liked it.
All in all, things are good. His endurance is increasing and he was even able to swim the other day without his float coat for a few minutes (survival skills training).
Mom taking back over…
As I type, our boy is up to his usual shenanigans… standing by the door with the “I need to go out” face only to back away from the door when we stand up to let him out and give us the “hey, while you are up, there are treats on the counter” look. I should also add that right after Dad complained about our dog’s new distaste for popcorn, he popped a bag and is currently tossing kernals to the pooch, who is jumping up to catch them. (excellent core work out, balancing on his hind legs to reach the snack!)
He is back and he feels good. Here is to hoping the chemo this week doesn’t wipe him out to badly. We are also consulting with a rehab specialist who is encouraging us to let him swim and play tug of war – activities that encourage him to drop his weight with his front leg extended out front. He won’t play tug on dry land… but on the second step of the pool – he is a tugging fool! He must feel more steady with his weight supported by the float coat. We are also encouraging him to walk backward in effort to help him practice placing those back feet, and it extends his front leg at the same time. If you hold the treat under his chest – he has to walk backward to get it. We are forcing him to walk the length of the runner rugs before he gets that treat he talks us into getting, while we are up. Works like a charm for all involved.
One last note about swimming – he is getting much better at it, faster, turns better and has more stamina in the water. Yesterday, with both of his parents in the pool to support him, we took off the float coat so that we could see if he could swim without it. We were there to help him learn again if we needed to. After supporting his chin for a little way, he started using his back feet and ended up with a odd modified side stroke – but he did it! We did two laps around the shallow end to alleviate all of our fears in case he accidentally fell into the pool. Our intention is to always have the float coat on him, but now we all know he can if he has to.