I had never had a dog growing up, but always wanted one. I got my first fur baby almost 10 years ago, with my then boyfriend, now husband, father, better half! She was a black lab we rescued at 16 weeks from the Chester County SPCA, her name was Black Bean, but we changed it to Cady. She was my first baby, until I had three humans. Cady is the best dog in the entire world, ask anyone! She listens, stays in the yard, and never once has eaten a baby toy. When my oldest was little she would take things out of his hand that he should not have. One time she took a small leaf from him he was trying to eat. She would gently nudge his small hand with her big black snout and when he would open his tiny little fingers she would carefully take things from him with her mouth. It was amazing.
As Cady got older she started to develop, as many labs do, benign fatty tumors. She had one on her leg that caused us concern so we took her to the vet where we were told to keep an eye on it and if anything changed to bring her back. A year went by and as the mass got bigger, but stayed on the upper part of her leg, we kept a close eye on her. It did not bother her, she was still happy, jumping, playing ball, and smiling as only a lab can!
One week ago today, things changed. At five o’clock, she was playing catch with my son and husband, and at 7 o’clock we noticed that her entire lower leg and paw were very swollen, she would not walk on her leg, and it was weeping. The swelling was just too much for her doggy leg. We took her to the vet on Tuesday where we were faced with the hardest decision ever. We could amputate her leg, or we could put her down. I was not expecting to have to make that choice, I thought they would give her steroids, diuretics , pain killers, I thought there would be a medical protocol we went through before we had to make a decisions like this. But that was not the case, the tumor had cut off circulation to her paw, and if we did not move quickly, she would get very, very sick and would not last until Christmas. (Certainly did not want to tell my kids their dog died days before Christmas) As we talked about what to do, tears just streamed down my face, she wasn’t ready to go, she was still vibrant and full of life, she had kids to watch grow up, she had a lot of living left to do.
So we are now the proud parents of a brand new Tri-Pawd dog! Yes, we chose to amputate her leg. (It runs in the family, see First Steps) In our minds, you put a dog down when they are dying, and our girl was so far from death that sending her to Rainbow Bridge was not an option.
Cady is doing great, hopping along, eating, wagging her tail, and getting lots of rest. They say that dogs have three legs and a spare, and they are right!