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As many of you know, my humans found out on January 17 that Cookie Monster has a sarcoma on her right front leg.  Same leg as me (OSA) and Tex (HSA but in the wrist).  The tumor is almost in the exact same spot as mine.  Cookie isn’t limping but she is offloading the weight just a bit.  Cookie will scream her head off if she sees you coming near her with nail clippers or if she THINKS you’re going to hurt her but when she had her degloving injury, NOT A PEEP.  She just left these big bloody footprints around the house, pretending EVERYTHING was normal.  Same with her psoas injury.  Just built a pillow fort to hide/recover in but never wanted to trouble anyone with her pain.  Just keeps it to herself.

I was weeks shy of turning 12 when I came to the bridge.  Cookie is going to be 13 on May 30.  NC State has offered and suggested amputation for Cookie.  My humans are pro-amputation but their hearts just tell them that it isn’t the best choice for Cookie.  It comes down the idea that you should always know your dogs three favorite things to do when they are healthy.  It is time to send them to the bridge to wait for you when they lose the ability to do their three favorite things.  Although this is not the best quality of life scale out there, it has a good bit of truth in it.  (Please see the HHHHHMM Scale for a better scale.) 

Almost everything Cookie loves to do requires the use of both front feet.  Although I was older and had been paralyzed at one point in my life, I took working out seriously.  I loved physical therapy.  I loved the water treadmill.  I always loved training.  Cookie….Cookie won’t work for bribes.  She’s been in physical therapy for years and it is always very, very hard to get her to do anything.  She says no to cookie crunches.  No to balancing exercises.  It takes her a very long time to come out from sedation or anesthesia (a day or two) and she can barely move her hind end.  It took four hours to safely get her out of the car on Thursday night because she was having so much trouble with her back end and the sedation.

Although we have touched on it before, “Peeing on ALL the things” is just my favorite thing to do.  When I was paralyzed and lost bladder control, that was one of the first things my humans wanted to make sure I regained the ability to do.  They may not have moved forward with their flounder puppy needing 24×7 care for over 2 weeks  and four months of in the office PT.  If I haven’t blogged about that adventure, I probably should.  There is nothing more annoying that being assessed for “Deep Pain” with forceps every 30 minutes.  As we all learned from that experience, I am very, very creative and will find ways around pretty much any obstacle put in front of me.  There has to be a way, even if I need a team of 3 humans to help, I’ll find a way and convince you to help me.  The force is strong in me.

Last night there were lots of tears as the humans assessed Cookie’s situation.  Amputation would permanently take away 2 out of the 3 things that Cookie loves to do.  All that would be left would be trips to McDonald’s for a McDouble, Plain, no bun.  Although one of my personal favorites (a Bo Jangles Biscuit is better), there are only so many trips to McDonald’s one can do before one loses their figure.  She might be able to find other things she enjoys just as much but Cookie doesn’t like to try new things most of the time.

So what is a human to do?  There is a plan.  Although Cookie’s tumor might be a very good candidate for SRT, Cookie may not be.  The current plan is zoledronate and at least one round of palliative radiation.  Of course we’ll be using K9 Immunity, trying appocaps cx for the first time, and may do metronomic therapy or artemisinin.

Cute photos will be posted later.  Here are some radiographs of Cookie.

8 Responses to “What are your three favorite things?”

  1. jerry says:

    Cancer. Ugh. So unfair you guys are dealing with this again. I’m sorry!

    Angel Nixon, you have the best people in the world. Cookie has made it clear what she will and will not do in her earth clothes, and they listened. That is all dogs want from us right? To be respected for who they are, to abide by their instinct to do what makes them happy.

    Amputation isn’t always the answer. We know that the path your people have chosen for Cookie is a good one, because it’s a plan made with 100% pure love. Whatever happens, she will show her gratitude over and over again that they put her needs over their own. No doggie could ever ask for more.

    We are here with your people and Cookie, and will be waiting for updates.

    P.S. I love the three favorite things QoL idea, and thanks for that link too.


    • ohmynixon says:

      Sadly, my humans have never been able to use the 3 favorite things before. I was still able to do all three things on the day I died. I was just tired and they said it was ok to let go. Tex…when he wasn’t bleeding internally, was still his normal self the day he came here too. But HSA is wicked and one of those bleeds was going to kill him and it looked like sooner rather than later.

      Kitty was 14.5 when she had her fracture, they found what they thought were mets in her lungs (they were all benign), she was in advanced kidney failure that no one knew about, she had spinal stenosis with no proprioception in the right hind foot, was completely incontinent when she was asleep, and had just been diagnosed with dementia. Up until the break, she was able to do all the things she loved too. They just didn’t think it would be kind to ask a dog with dementia to have her left hind leg removed while she had no clue what to do with her right hind leg, and would be covered in urine constantly as her daily showers were not going to happen while recovering from amputation.

      Lastly, Toughie couldn’t do anything when his liver failure hit. He went from being mostly healthy to being unable to stand. He had liver disease since he retired from the race track but the vets never realized that his lever enzymes were off for so long until his liver just said, “Hey, I’m done!” They even missed it for three days as his liver was shutting down. All the vets caring for him were devastated that they missed all the signs that had been right in front of them. Lots of apologies from the vets which is really unusual. That’s why when my liver started to fail, Toughie and Kitty came to visit me and my humans and said, “Hey, you’ve seen this all before. “

  2. Michelle says:

    I am so sorry to hear about this. I totally get where you are coming from. Going through the same thing with Bosch and with his age and he has arthritis in his front feet and back he isn’t a good candidate for an amputation now. He is almost 13 and that is like 100 in Rottie years. You are making the best decision for Cookie and Nixon is there to guide you.

    We are doing holistic and palative care. That is the best choice that we can do for him.
    Michelle & Angel Sassy

    • ohmynixon says:

      What holistic options are you doing for Bosch?

      Cookie is off for her acupuncture tomorrow. She absolutely ADORES needles and asks for them like a parrot asking you to scratch it’s head. I was ok with needles until the liver failure and then I was great until she’d give me my liver needle and I hated it. I did everything I could to stay quiet but oh, the liver needle was the worst and I’d jump up and needles went EVERYWHERE.

      I am a big fan of K9 Immunity. I love the taste of the chews, didn’t mind the pills and wafers, and I think it really helped me beat OSA so Cookie is back on it. Cookie is going to start Apocaps soon once she gets back to eating normally again. She hasn’t been 100% herself since she had some methadone to relax her. If she does radiation, she might do Artemisinin a month after they stop the radiation. A lot of people, scientists too, speak highly of the malaria treatment.

  3. tinsch says:

    I think your people are very wise, Nixon. While I believe I did right in amputating, I absolutely would not do that with every dog. I think it is a sign of wisdom and mercy for your people to decide in Cookies favor and not their own interests.
    I think you’re on a good track with the Zoledronates and radiation, I would do the same. I hope you get a lot of time still with Cookie and I am sure she will appreciate all you do for her and how you decide with only her best interest in mind.

  4. benny55 says:

    Nixon, thank you so much for taking time to share more about Cookie with us and letting us know how your hoomans arr moving forwatd and why. Even though they know in their hearts, in their guts, this path is in Cookie’s best interest, it still would have been hard for them to write this update through all their tears.
    I had the privilege, the true privilege and honor, of meeting you, Cookie and your hoomans on several ocassions. And let me tell you, you ALL were soooo tuned into each other, such an incredible bond and connection. Yes, one heart.💖💖💖

    And thank you fot sharing using three favorite things a dog likes to do as a way to help measure quality. And the link was insightful too. It’s very “specific ” for each individual dog. It’s not just the usual “one size fits all”. And I didn’t recall hearing that one of your favorite things to do was to “pre in all things”! I’m so glad you were able to get that fun thi g back I to your life!!
    Please convey to your hoomans how much I have always admired their devotion to all the dogs that come ingo their lives and the deep connection they develop…the deep understanding of each individual Soul. They understand their needs, they understand their behavior and why they do what they do. And because you brought them here to us when you were in your earth clothes, we all have gained so much knowledge on how to be better companions to our dogs.
    And you j ow ehat Nixon? I have a good fee6 about the treatment plan for Cookie. I have a feeling she’ll get to continue to eat cheeseburgers (without the bun) and she can still do things with both front feet!!!
    We’re cheering for sweet Cookie. Keep us posted, okay Nixon?

    With love and some hugs too!
    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

    • ohmynixon says:

      Hugs and lots of love to you Sally! Not much more I need to say to you, the woman with a huge heart. You’re always there for my people (and everyone on tripawds) and you always help my humans find where they left their smile. So glad you’re still so active here no matter how jumbled life gets for you.

      As soon as we meet with the oncologists again, we’ll let you know. Yes I’m going. I help calm the human down and give her strength. Kitty may come too because she’s bossy like that.

      Hmmm, have I ever shown you the photo shoot we did 7 months after amputation where the photographer was able to make it look like I was lifting my leg while only with 3 legs? We did that photo shoot thinking I had weeks left to live. Hah, I had well over a year left with my people!

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