Last week, Elgin had his last chemotherapy treatment. The UC Davis vets and techs were thrilled to see him again and even more thrilled that his lung X-rays came back clear! While reiterating that osteosarcomas ultimately claim their victims by metastacizing in the lungs until the dog is too lethargic to live a good-quality life, they were very enthusiastic at how well Elgin has coped with this whole ordeal. His demeanor has been good, his side-effects minimal, and his recovery from the various procedures has been rapid.
We are looking forward to the year (give or take some) we have left with him. He still barrels along on our “hops” and thinks he can take on other dogs. I sincerely think he didn’t get the memo that he now has only 3 legs…. I giggle a little when he tries to lift his remaining leg to mark a bush or trash can…. or when he goes to get up on the couch and wants to put his missing back leg up first before the other one and just stands there moving his “bun” but not going anywhere. Now, I am never laughing AT him, but rather sympatheticly chuckling, because Elgin seems to be emoting: “I meant to do that.”
We’ve adopted the YOLO (You Only Live Once) philosophy with him and are way more indulgent than with any dog we’ve ever had. While his diet is going well and he’s trimmed down by 5-10lb so that his remaining legs aren’t under unneccessary stress, he’s enjoying a few treats from the table. He goes for a hop around the block darn near every day, whereas he used to only go 3 times a week. And we sometimes give up our spot on the couch for him, if he shows an inclination to be up there. (I really hope Caesar Milan isn’t reading this blog). Elgin is so sedate and has always had very good manners, and we are glad to see that he isn’t turning into a bull-headed tyrant with all of these new privileges. He’s a bit large for that kind of behavior to be overlooked.
His hygroma on his back leg is looking FABULOUS, and is completely healed since he began wearing the wool-lined leather “glove” over his joint on that back leg. The vet at UC Davis mentioned she has seen many patients who struggle with bad hygroma issues and she wishes they had this “glove” too. I wonder if there is a market for it, and have toyed with the idea of contacting a saddle maker I know, to see if it would be feasible to produce them…
Elgin’s next vet-check is due in March, when he will have his lungs X-rayed again to check for metastasis. Until then, I will leave you all with this happy photo of Elgin and his boys, the day he came home from his last chemo.