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Valentine is a Tripawd


Valentine’s Story with Photos

April 16th, 2015 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

Hi, I am Valentine. I just turned 8 years old on February 14, 2015–Valentine’s Day is my birthday. My people love me very much and take great care of me. I am always working to make sure that my people are safe and comfortable. I will bark whenever I need to. I love to snuggle and be petted.



I had been limping and my people thought it was just a common sprain from chasing my packmate Frances (a 10 year old husky/smooth coat collie mix) around the backyard.


They took me to our Vet and the xray showed the horrible pattern of osteosarcoma in the right front wrist of my leg. My people were devastated. They were not sure what to do with me. So they started making phone calls and appointments and searching the Web. They went back and forth trying to figure out what to do. They had a biopsy done and it pointed towards OSA but was not 100% conclusive. Then after a few days of worry and discussion they brought me in for amputation. I came through the amputation very well and went home the next day. It was weird and I was in pain. They gave me painkillers and took very good care of me. Things were going very well until day 6 when I developed a very hunched back. The surgeon suggested we see an accupuncturist and maybe a chiropractor and maybe a physical therapist but he was also sure that the hunched back was temporary. And he was right, we went and got some accupunture and a visit to a chiropractor and since then I have been doing very well. I can chase my housemate Frances around the yard and chase balls again. I can go down the back stairs to the yard but I get carried up the stairs. I will climb those stairs again after a few more weeks have passed. So the post-amputation is going very well. I woke up a few times in very bad pain, so bad that I whimpered and my people held me, but that has only happened twice, the rest of this has been weird but okay.


After two weeks the surgeon took the stiches out and turned me over to the oncologist to begin chemotherapy. My lung xrays were clear. So he gave me my first treatment of carboplatin. That was smooth. I didn’t get sick, never lost my appetite. We went back a week later for bloodwork and my neutrophils were low at 2.6 but not horrible. When we went in for the appointment for my second treatment at 3 weeks my neutrophils had dropped further to 1.55 (the second nadir which happens sometimes on carboplatin) so I was given some antibiotics and we made an appointment for the following week.


But then something weird happened. We live in Chicago and suddenly the local media was reporting on a spreading influenza amongst the dogs here. The reports were confusing. At first they claimed it was just a variant of kennel cough (bordatella). Then they claimed it was the dog flu from 2008. They were however sure that the flu was very contagious and very powerful, some dogs had died from it.   My people were very worried, so worried that they contacted their oncologist. He tried to convince them that they should risk it and bring me into the clinic for my second treatment. But the clinics were also reported to be seeing many flu patients daily. Which meant that the clinics were infected with the aerosol from the virus. My people cancelled and rescheduled two appointments for me and as the days passed the news reports got worse and worse with new reports about the Chinese origin of the virus and mixed messages about the efficacy of the current vaccine. My people cancelled my appointment and made the hard decision to wait on anymore chemo until the flu has passed for certain.


It was a tough decision. But for today, 7 weeks ampuversary, I do not have the flu and I am settling into my new life as a tripawd. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.


Love, Valentine





5 Comments so far ↓

  • dobemom

    Sounds like you have some great humans, Valentine! We live in Geeen Bay, and our Dobe Nitro is almost 11 months post amp and doing well. He had 6 doses of chemo, and is now doing metronomic therapy. He also has chiropractic adjustments every 4 weeks – which makes him feel fabulous. Good luck in your journey, and keep rockin’ life on three legs!

  • Christine

    Every Day with Valentine’s Day with pictures like those!!! Welcome Valentine! Seems like you are on the rooad to a great recovery and adventure to kicking cancer’s arse!!

    I heard about that scare with the influenza in doggies.. I am glad that you were healty and it did not affect you or your pack!
    Look forwad to seeing your adventures as a tripawd.. the both of you!!

    Christine… with Franklin in her heart♥

  • Codie Rae

    Yo Valentine! Looks like you are rockin it on three! Love the lion pose in the last photo!

    That flu is one scary virus. Glad you have dodged it and are recovering well.

    Codie Rae and the Oaktown Pack

  • benny55


    You are just adorable! These pictures of you and Frances just warm my heart!

    You have wonderful humans who are strong advocates for your well being. This stupid piece of crap disease makes us humans have ro make hard decisions. But they are always made from love and that makes each decision be the right decision!!

    So glad to hear how well you are doing! You write delightful blogs and we look forward to hearing more good updates!!!

    We’re all cheering you on sweet Valentine!! Just love your name!!


    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

  • jerry

    Valentine you have the heart of a warrior princess. Keep on fighting!

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