The happiest dogs & Mojo training

Toller and Mojo had their first walk together today, they LOVED it!

Toller’s fitness is doing well, although she still gets tired pretty quickly, she’s always running at FULL SPEED! So I’m not sure if her stamina’s still less or if it’s just because she’s so desperate to make up for lost time XD

Now that Mojo is bigger and can hold his own against full-throttle Tolly, they could enjoy some off lead time together. Here it is, in video and pics!

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He’s catching her in size!

They got tired quick XD

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And Mojo has been doing some wonderful training, that little dog makes my heart sing πŸ™‚

Yesterday we went into town, and even though we didn’t do much there were so many positives! We bumped into the same child’s toy that Sasha saw a few days ago, and hugely freaked out over. It was good to get Mojo training around it, and obviously he didn’t care.

Then I took him to the metal panel that Sasha was terrified of between 3-6 months old, and Mojo walked onto it like a champ, zero fear πŸ™‚

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Also, that’s the town centre behind us – he is still doing wonderful focus around distractions!

Walking under scaffolding πŸ™‚

And finally,Β YESTERDAY I started teaching Mojo ‘scratch’, so that I could transfer it to the scratch board and he could file his own front nails…ONE DAY later, and look!!

This dude’s such a champ ❀

2.5 weeks after surgery

Tolly now has a bare nub πŸ˜€

She’s even growing adorable ginger peach fuzz over her stump already hahaha!

Please ignore those sad puppy dog eyes. She *really* wanted to go play with her big sister and I was making her pose for nub photos XD ❀

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Wrestling with Mojo this morning

Look at that little nub go!!! XD

I was kinda worried how I would feel, seeing it bare 24/7. I thought I’d be grossed out, or sad every time I saw it…I actually find that little stump adorable, because it’s a part of Tolly! And seeing it wobble about is so cute!! ❀

You honestly wouldn’t believe how smoothe her recovery has been. She is incredibly agile already, and we can see her stamina improving.

She didn’t actually need me to hold the buffalo horn here, I was just doing it so that we had a better shot of her nub!

The best of best days

Yesterday my parents came up for another visit, as the hand washer they ordered for my partner’s birthday had finally arrived (unbeknownst to us it was shipping from America!!).

Before they arrived, we decided to tire everybody out by a morning in the pool…as usual it was A LOT of fun πŸ˜€

Kasper had immense fun bobbing for kibble πŸ˜›

Toller enjoyed basking on her own private island πŸ˜‰

And Mojo fell in the water and was miserable XD

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Toller soon helped him dry off chasing him about and wrestling with him though (also look how amazing Sasha is as the little uns play πŸ™‚ )

Lots of happy tired pups!

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Look, size order!! Only missing Spud, but we don’t have Kasper out around her as he WILL knock her over!

Once my parents arrived we went to meet them, and just as last time Sasha was super confident with them. Yay, progress!

We walked through the fields to a local pub, and sat in the beer garden. It was such a beautiful space and we had it all to ourselves! Sasha was mostly on a longline, although we did go for a mooch and do some training off lead, but she was amazingly well behaved.

Off lead!

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Just as our food had been brought two extremely aggressive Labradors began barking at us, from behind a low wall but down a large drop. My dad went and loudly exclaimed what horrible dogs they were, making them bark more, and guess what?

SASHA DIDN’T MIND AT ALL!!

Other than her unease with people, barking dogs has been her biggest fear. Even way off in the distance, a barely audible dog barking would make her skitterish and fearful. These dogs were less than 6 feet away, and Sasha sat there grinning at me, happy to do training and totally at ease πŸ˜€

On the walk back we bumped into the Leonberger puppy that we saw over a month back.

At 16 weeks old this dog reached Sasha’s shoulders, now 22 weeks he towers above her!! Sasha was overwhelmed at first with this GIANT over-the-top puppy bouncing in her face, but I thought she could adjust. I left her to it and sure enough a minute later she was charging about and had made a new BFF, it was so sweet πŸ™‚

Their play style was hilarious, Sasha would literally run laps around us all, then dart to the Leonberger so that he could feel included XD

He was very big and clumsy and calm, and the few times he accidentally knocked into me almost had me off my feet hahahaha!

Once we’d walked back we dropped Sasha off at home, then went for a trip out to the zoo!!

I haven’t really been anywhere other than local pet shops and on dog walks for about a year, so to have a proper day out including a meal and a zoo trip was just phenomenal!!

There was a stretch of rooms at the zoo that had glittery floors that seemed to flash as you walks, which triggered a seizure, but I bounced back quickly and the entire day yesterday I only had FOUR seizures…honestly don’t remember the last time I had so few πŸ˜€

Zoo pics…this place is so weird because some of the enclosures are awesome, such as the harvest mice, degus and fossa (the fossa has a second part of equal size connected via a shed)

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But then the chinchilla cage was AWFUL, and the spiny mouse cage was a little bare too, it used to have a load more branches but now they’re all very low and there’s just a few :/

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Meerkats

Striped squirrels (which just looked like chipmunks to me?!)

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And what wild creature is this?!? XD ❀

After the zoo we came back home, I took Mojo out for a quick hello, then my mum and partner headed to the supermarket to do some shopping (I can’t go in supermarkets due to the lighting), and me and my dad took Sasha to the nearby field. She was already pooped so we just sat about πŸ™‚

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Once we all met up again there was time to take Tolly for her biggest off lead walk yet, and then it was back home to rest before bed! πŸ™‚

(her ears still don’t know what they’re doing!! ❀ )

Look at this photo my dad took – he says she looks too cute to be real!!

It was truly a fantastic day, made even better by so few seizures ^__^

2 weeks after amputation!

Today marks two weeks since Spud’s amputation, so let’s review her achievements πŸ™‚

  • Come off pain meds
  • Stitches out
  • On lead walks (currently 5-10 minutes)
  • First off lead walk in 3 months (currently 5 minutes)
  • First playing with Mojo
  • First playing with Sasha – today!
  • Bombing about the house
  • First training

Tonight, before I even realised we’d hit the 2 week mark, I happened to take loads of Toller photos because we were having a really lovely time, and I wanted to remember it. So enjoy some very happy Pud pics!!

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First play with Sasha!!! πŸ˜€

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Her “oh shit I’ve overbalanced” face XD

Ah but she’s so *happy* now ^__^ ❀

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The cutest thing ever, look at the love captured in this photo ❀

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Nuddy stump photos! Our first time seeing her nekkid πŸ™‚

They left her shoulder blade in, so she’s more…stumpy…than a lot of tripawds XD

1.5 weeks after amputation: first off lead walk!

Toller had her first off lead walk inΒ 3 months today!! πŸ˜€

It was amazing!!

She had SO MUCH FUN πŸ™‚ ❀

On top of her pure joy, her recall was perfect, she didn’t stray far, she checked in and sat voluntarily…it was all just amazing!

She did 2 minutes walking on lead, and 2 minutes off lead. We’re still building it up very gradually, but she’s doing great πŸ™‚

I can’t wait until she’s fully recovered so that we can use the Ruffwear Webmaster on her. It’s supposed to be the best harness for tripawds, and a harness would make things much easier as atm she’s so excited that she pulls on a collar and a few times her front leg has skittered out and she’s face planted!!!

Lead work can wait until she’s got a few more walks under her belt though, I can’t blame her AT ALL for being excited πŸ™‚

How gorgeous and amazing is this little one? ❀

1.5 weeks after surgery: stitches out!

Before I get to the awesome tripawd news…

Toller’s ears have flopped down!!!

We have no idea why but it’s so funny haha! All we can think is maybe she’s going to come into heat soon, and that has something to do with it?! Her ears have been stuck up since before she was 4 months old, and she’s 9 months now, so it’s really bizarre and was quite a shock…popped her in her crate in the morning with two bat ears (I later said I thought one looked a little floppier, but my bf hadn’t noticed anything), got her out later that day and she had floppy ears XD

This was taken on Saturday

This was Sunday!!

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I honestly can’t tell you how weird it was.

The first night, I was actually quite upset…because it kinda felt like I had a completely different dog – Toller’s ears are what you see when you look at her, she looks so different without them!! – but I’ve gotten used to it now and think she looks frickin’ adorable πŸ˜€

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Anyway,Β vet news!

Yesterday my partner walked up to the vets with Spud, all bundled up from the rain, and he got to the surgery…and it was shut for bank holiday -_-

Now bear in mind TWO people had told us her appt was Monday (bank holiday), as we phoned the surgery last Thursday and spoke to a useless receptionist (asked for advice about Spud running on lead on walks, and she didn’t understand and thought she was off lead, so kept telling us to keep her on lead) who also confirmed Monday.

This is the second time vets have done this in the last five months, last time it was with the useless surgery!!

My partner thought to call the surgery’s number, as it has 24/7 emergency care, and it was actually the head vet that answered. He apologised profusely, was really nice, and sent out the on-call nurse to drive to the surgery and carry out our appt free of charge. Considering the call-out fee for emergency appts is Β£90+, that’s pretty incredible πŸ™‚

The nurse took Toller’s stitches out, and reassured us that her weird walking (bunny hopping with her back legs, sitting with them wide etc) was Toller’s way of learning how to balance with one front leg. Which we were hoping for!

And that’s that.

1.5 weeks after surgery Toller isΒ completely off pain meds, has had her stitches out, and over the next few weeks will be built up to full-size walks πŸ˜€

*photos of amputation site, not gory but some scabbing!*

We had our best time out so far with her last night, only in the house too!

I was rough housing as there was no worries about her blowing her stitches, and she was on her back flailing, loving it πŸ˜€

We did some training too (sit, touch, wait), played tug, she sprinted about, jumped on things, and sat staring at the treat drawer until I gave her a dried sprat!!

Nothing holds my little one back check this out πŸ™‚

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Before & after amputation: week 1

Before amputation, we considered many things to try help Toller, from a wheelchair to the vets’ suggestions.

The vets refused to consider amputation for Tolly’s injury (every connective bone in her paw broken), as they wanted to keep her “whole”.

We were given two options, pushed by two different vets.

  1. Re-wiring surgery

This is an invasive surgery where wires are used to attach her bones back together.

This was pushed by the head vet at the surgery when we went to collect Tolly after her first x-ray. The head vet brought Tolly in, passed her over saying “So you know what she’s done, yes? Broken every bone connecting her toes, silly little girl!” (uhuh, because being run into by a much larger dog running full speed makes HER silly?!?!), “You really must do the rewiring surgery, you’ll need to sort that out as soon as possible.”

That was all the advice given to us when we collected Tolly after her x-ray. We were with this awful for woman for less than two minutes, and later found out they’d charged us a consultation fee (Β£38 I think) for that!!

I spent quite some time researching this surgery, and everything I read was extremely negative. There was no way of knowing how effective it would be, recovery was a long arduous process, and there was a high chance of complications and further surgeries needed.

Just no.

2. Splints and crate rest

Toller has 6-8 weeks strict crate rest, and her paw is splinted to allow it to heal in the correct position.

This was pushed by the second vet we saw, who told us not to opt for the surgery because she thought Tolly would make a full recovery with crate rest, to the point where she could go on walks, be active, and you ‘wouldn’t even be able to tell’ that paw had ever been injured.

With both vets refusing to even consider amputation, we went with the second vets’ opinion. Unfortunately none of the vets could put a splint on properly; the first fell off in less than 4 hours, the second after a few days, and so the vet said to leave her bare and she would heal just as well.

Fast forward 11 weeks and Toller was absolutely miserable; she’d missed out on almost three months socialisation, training and exercise (5 months – 8 months old), she had been on very strict crate rest (the only time she walked was to go to the toilet), and she was so broken that we honestly wondered whether we should have her put to sleep.

When our vet declared Toller ‘fully recovered’, and where she basically still had to live a life of crate rest AND we could see the foot visibly getting worse, we started looking into other options.

Toller’s leg 5 weeks ago

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Toller’s leg 1.5 weeks ago

When we finally found a vet that would agree to amputate, Toller had the surgery in less than a week, and 24 hours after surgery she was walking. She is far more mobile now than she has been for the last 11 weeks πŸ™‚

And, pictures speak a 1000 words, so here are some before photos.

When you look at her eyes and you see the misery, THAT is why we were considering having her PTS. That is no life for a 5-8 month old puppy to live, and it was *breaking* her.

And the difference. Look at her eyes, look at her smile!

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To anybody who is in a similar situation, here is my advice to you – DON’T GIVE UP.

You may need to see several different vets before you find one that listens. You will find vets that tell you to listen to the first vet, that say they need to ask “permission”…keep trucking, you will find your vet.

Make sure you do your research, so you can spot when a vet is lying or doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Research your pup’s injury, the treatment the vet is recommending, and know your shit when it comes to amputation. The tripawds forum is amazing.

The more you push, the sooner your pup can be on the road to recovery!

Recovery from amputation is insanely speedy (Tolly is off pain meds, her amputation was 8 days ago) and your pup will be so much happier for it πŸ™‚