Thursday, December 18, 2008


I've been involved with greyhounds for quite a while now. I've seen many changes in things from the amount of greyhound groups who find homes for these wonderful creatures to being able to custom pick your dog! It's been such an incredible journey.

I picked up my first greyhound on February 19, 1995. I had 2 males to choose from. That was it. I chose a beautiful red boy with a chocolate colored mask. His name was Run-A-Way, I called him Runz. The groups did not give me much information on him, all I knew was his name. He wasn't a puppy, he had a life before me, I wanted to know more. I started on a learning journey that has brought me to where I am today. More about that in a later post.

Starting with Runz, I wanted a littermate. I wanted to know where the others were. Were they living, still racing, brood bitches, studs, pets? Where were they? Only on one occasion did I find a littermate, but the timing wasn't right to bring him to my home. I always searched for greyhounds who's sire was Lone Lobo, the same as Runz's. There were lots of those and I met many people with out half-brothers and sisters. I even welcomed one into my home, Colt. Finally, some "family" for Runz. HA! Runz could not care less! he tolerated Colt, but never bonded to him.

On June 22, 2005 I brought home a greyhound I had watched race for a long time, Calamity. I had followed her career and hoped someday I could have her as a pet. I was thrilled beyond belief. And as usual, I began a search for any of her littermates. Her sister Kitty, was back at the farm breeding, it'd be years before I could have her, if ever. One brother had been adopted and was tragically killed when hit by a car. A couple brothers were still racing. I followed them when I remembered to look.

Imagine my surprise one day, in October 2005 when Calamity's racing owner called me to see if I had room at the adoption kennel for a male that was retiring. It was the end of the season at a track in Iowa & he was not going to bring him back to the farm. He was on a hauler on the way to Kansas City and guess what? He was Calamity's brother, Morgan! I decided right there & then that he could come to the adoption kennel & I would see what I could do for him. We had 6 greyhounds at home at that time. Once again, a chance for a real littermate, but no room at the house. Morgan stayed at the adoption kennel until February 2006, when I brought him home.

Within a month it was very clear the connection was there. Calamity & Morgan became inseparable. They became playmates. Calamity bossed him around & he let her. They played rough & hard like greyhound puppies do with their litters. I knew they remembered each other!

It's so unbelievable how these two dogs could have travelled different paths in their racing careers and came back together to remember and love one another as much as they do. When Calamity was going through all of her trials and would not come home with me, Morgan looked for her. He always searched the house or the yard for her.

I'm so blessed to have these twins in my life! Finally, a dream of mine has been fulfilled with the addition of them! I not only have littermates, I have TWINS!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

All My Children - Part 1

It's been a while since I've had time to write anything here, I apologize to my faithful readers. I thought I'd write about each of my dogs separately. They are great dogs & deserve a post of their own! I'm going to start with Kade, for no particular reason.

Super C Kade, whelped May 5, 2006 out of Trix Miss Kitty & Kiowa Sweet Trey. Kade was in a litter of 8, five males, three females. A litter of all colors, brindle, red brindles, brindles & whites, reds, dark brindles and white/dark brindle ticked. Oh so many colors! What a beautiful little they must have been as wee puppies!

Kade is a nephew to Calamity & Morgan. He has a lot of Morgan's features.

Kade and most of his litter came to race at the Woodlands where I first met him. I was really more attracted to one of his sisters Kimbra, but Kade loved me. What a silly boy he was! When I would go visit Kimbra, Kade would bark & whine until I went to his crate & played with him. When he was out in the turn-out pen, he would follow my van as I drove by. This boy was smitten! He was so huge!

Kade was retired when the Woodlands closed and I had committed to make sure he got a home where I would know where he was and how he was treated and that I would take him if any home didn't work for him. He came to the adoption kennel for a few days, then I brought him home to "foster" until I could get his medical done & find a home for him.

He fit right into our home. No alpha issues with an unaltered male! He is smart & learns quick what we do here & what is expected of him. He learned the routine quickly. He slept through the night his first night here! Out of all of our greyhounds, I have to say Kade has the gentlest heart & soul.

With all that we were going through with Calamity, his medical got put on the back burner. That just wasn't a priority with all that Calamity was going through.

Now Kade has been here so long he's a member of the family. He is perfect in every way and he is here to stay!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

One Year Ago Tonight

One year ago tonight I was preparing dishes to take to my daughter & son-in-law's home for our annual Thanksgiving gathering with some wonderful friends that we consider our family. My son was staying at our home recovering from his accident and I was dog sitting for a friend's greyhound's. The smells were wonderful, the house was full of greyhounds and my world was perfect.

One year ago tonight, my world came to a crashing halt, one that would not start for almost another year.

One year ago tonight I heard the scream from her, I rushed to the door to see her in the yard, paw held up, blood pouring out. I rushed to her, carried her to the back stoop and held her exposed bone in my hand as I tried to control the bleeding, I screamed for my son to get the other dogs in and get wrap items to stabilize her leg. I frantically called family members to come to help get us to VSEC. My son's leg was broken and his external fixator looked like an erector set the length of his leg, yet he did all he physically could to help us. Family arrived, we got her to VSEC where she was given pain medications and her leg was splinted. The x-rays seemed to not show the cancer I had dreaded the entire ride to the doggie ER. That was the only bright spot.

This past year has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs as she has had a total of 6 surgeries now, each one held the hope of bringing her back to her leg back to normal. For most of the year, she has been in a splint and not been able to run & play with her littermate brother Morgan or her other brothers. It's been a year of telling her to calm down, don't jump, don't run, don't do anything that makes you be a happy girl. Only the final surgery accomplished the results we sought for her, the final surgery that removed her leg.

The final straw came on October 21 when she re-broke the leg. When I heard that scream once again, when I called for help in getting her to VSEC once again, when it was like deja vue all over again. The only difference was that her bones did not break the skin this time. We were all sick.

The decision to amputate her leg was not made on a whim, but rather 2 days of thought and discussions. Could the leg be fixed once again? How long of a recovery? Would the bone that had lysis even be repairable? We only wanted the best for Calamity. The best was amputation.

The first 2 weeks were hell. I kid you not. Healing for all of us was painful, physically pain for her, emotional pain for us. We made it through it. Sometimes I still grieve the loss of her leg and I am sad that it came to this, but I know she doesn't miss it at all.

Tonight, the eve of Thanksgiving, Calamity is a month post-amputation. She is once again alive! Her eyes sparkle as she watches Morgan poop, stalking him and then bursting into a full run to get him! She always has loved to do that! She races her little sister Munchkin as fast as she can across the yard. She races out the door with her pack, head held high, tail wagging. She is once again a happy girl.

Tomorrow we will gather with family & friends, people who love us & love Calamity. She will be going with us and she will be happy to see her greyhound friends as they gather together with us also. She'll play & beg for food & chase the pugs. She'll be happy.

We will give thanks for the blessing of still having her with us. We'll give thanks for the doctors and staff at VSEC that loves her also. We really have a lot to be thankful for, we are blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bad Dog - Which One?

When I am at home, I wear slippers on my feet. I used to go barefoot, but as I have gotten older, I like my feet covered. Plus, for some reason, my feet are cold all the damn time!

I like these Dearfoam slippers that i get at Costco. They get them in when the weather gets cooler. These are nice, fleece insides, a faux suede cover & a soft rubber type sole. I can wear these outdoors when I take out the dogs and they are machine washable! That is a plus for me. I keep an old pair to wear when I am washing the new pair. The tan ones are my newest, the pink, last year's.

Two weeks ago I bought a new pair of slippers when I went to Costco. Ohhh how nice it was to slide my feet in the new fleece!!! And the memory foam padding, how lush! I was in love once again. The dogs came to sniff the new slippers & all got a sharp "NO!".

Within one day of having my new slippers, I catch Kade with one, chewing on the toe! Then Munchie! Then Calamity! The days pass & the dogs sneak more & more chews. Old Fart says I buy slippers that look too much like toys. What!?! I buy the same slippers each year!
The old, pink slippers lay by my spot on the sofa all the time or at my bedside. They are never touched. They smell, dogs love things that smell. Do my feet smell so bad a dog wants no part of something they have been in?!? My navy ones from two years ago were never touched. Is this a color thing? Why my lovely new slippers?

I am going back to Costco this weekend for a new pair and spraying Bitter Apple on the toes. Ha Ha Ha!!! Hope it tastes good. Bad Dogs!!!
And by the way, The Old Fart wears slippers, his has always been navy colored & they have never bothered his either.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Disappearing Medicine Basket

With all the greyhounds the Old Fart and I have always had, one of them seemed to always be on some sort of medication or supplement for something. Before Colt lost his eye to glaucoma, there were a lot that he got, so the medicine basket was always full. The past year with Calamity has been no different.

At 4 weeks post-amp, her life is getting back to normal & we are now off all of our medications with the exception of her glucosamine supplement and her Metacam for arthritis. The Medicine basket has shrunk!!!

No medication list sure makes feedings much easier.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chicken Strips & Bad Dogs

What a night with these dogs!!! I believe Calamity feels well enough to be the ringleader once again.

I made dinner for the dogs to make sure they are fed and tired before I make my dinner which mearly consists of some chicken strips and a Diet Mountain Dew Code red. I bring my dinner in the living room & sit to watch the last half of House.

At the end of House, the kids need to go out, we always make them wait an hour after eating, more if we can. Munchie paces for that hour almost non-stop. Munchie paces most of the night when her Daddy isn't here. I go to the door where the boys are all ready to go out, I see the girls lingering in the back, really at the living room. I ask them to come to the door, then Calamity goes to my plate & grabs a chicken strip! I yell at her to drop it and go towards her. It's then that Munchie makes her move and grabs the remaining chicken strip! I know these girls have tag-teamed me! Silly, silly girls!

Later, I hear the familiar jingle of Kade's tags on his collar. The sound is coming from the bedroom where I know he is up to nothing good. I call for him and he comes to me, as usual. Kade climbs up on the sofa with me and I pet him. Then I hear it, Munchie's tags jingling in the bedroom and a quieter sound that I recognize as Calamity. She has no tags on her collar because they pop up and hit her when she hops & that drives Auntie Shelley nuts. We don't wear tags to keep Auntie Shelley happy. Once again the girls are up to no good!!! They have my new slippers. Both of them! Tag-teamed once again.

I know Calamity feels great today, she's up to mischief once again & has found a co-hort in Munchie. What a pair they are becoming!

It's A New Life

As of yesterday, Calamity is off of all pain medications for her amputation! That is the gabapentin & tramadol. She will continue to have her Metacam for her arthritis (almost all greyhounds that ran a couple steps have some degree of arthritis) and her GLC5000 (that is glucosamine, for her arthritis too).

She is so much back to being herself, barging in the pack for treats, jumping on & off the sofa & bed, and just being herself.

Yesterday, Old Fart & I took the kids out for a potty break and she found a ball. She snapped it up and went running - YES RUNNING - through the yard, past the others that might give chase to her. Teasing & taunting. Such a silly girl! Then she stops and places the ball tight at her front foot, just daring another to try to take it!

She's happy now, I see the light back in her eyes. This is the dog I dreamed of the day I told Dr. Desch to amputate the million dollar leg and let her just be a dog once again. She is a much happier dog on 3 legs than she was on 4.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Leader Of The Pack - Hierarchy

Dogs are pack creatures, whether your pack is just a human and a dog, to a mighty pack like my friend Shelley has, 2 humans - 9 greyhounds - 1 lab & 2 cats, there is a pack hierarchy everyone follows. Us humans are supposed to be the leaders, I'm sure that is the case in most homes, then the creatures need to sort out their ranks.

In our home Old Fart like to believe he's the leader & for the sake of this blog post, he can be. This blog isn't about us humans anyway, it's about all things Calamity.

We have 5 greyhounds in our home & I don't think I've introduced them to you yet. Let me do that now.

Calamity, female, race name: Trix Calamity J, born 5/15/2001, not a lot you don't already know about her. She is the alpha of our pack. Not a bossy one by any means, but the boys never really cared one way or another who was the boss. Our nicknames for her are Doodle Bug, or Doodles.

Morgan, male, race name: Trix Morgan E, born 5/15/2001. Morgan is Calamity's "twin" brother. They are litter mates & share a resemblance. Both are blue brindle and white, although Morgan is still strikingly colored. Morgan and Calamity pick at each other like siblings constantly. They were "stirring the pot" when she broke her leg this last time. Morgan could really care less who is the boss. His nickname is Mo-Mo.

Trigger, male, race name Semper Fi, born 1/7/2002. Trigger is the omega, totally. He stays away from anything that might get him in the least bit of trouble. He is sweet & very loving. The Old Fart just had to have him after seeing his name in a racing program one evening. Old Fart once was in the Marines. So, I got Trigger for the Old Fart. Trigger is a mama's boy, my nickname for him is "Boo Boo".

The above are what we refer to as the "oldsters", even though they are not old.

When the track was closing, I brought 2 more greyhounds home, they are the young ones.

Munchkin, female, racing name WW Munchkinstick, born 10/3/2006. Munchkin was afraid of the Old Fart for weeks after she came home. He loved her instantly and did everything he could to win her trust & her heart. Now she is totally a daddy's girl! She cries at almost the exact minute he should be home from work & paces the house when he is gone looking for him. She loves him & he loves her. It's sickening sometimes. Munchkin is very tiny, only weighing 47 pounds. She would love to be the boss & has contested Calamity during her recuperation from her amputation. It's becoming a daily thing now and I have to step in and be the boss. I'm sure she'll try to contest me for that position some day. The little one thinks she's the big one! Her nickname is Munchie.

Kade, male, racing name: Super C Kade, born 5/24/2006. Kade is a big boy, I do mean big! He is the nephew of Morgan & Calamity out of their sister Trix Miss Kitty (Kitty) who is a brood bitch on a farm in Abilene. His whole litter came to the track to race & they held a special place in my heart. I made sure all of the litter mates that retired when the track closed when to an adoption group in St. Louis that I am fond of. That group placed one of his brothers that broke a leg and I always figure someone might want to have a litter mate. Kade is big and silly & sweet. You yell at him and he just smiles at you. A real smile, teeth & all. Kade is a "foster" here, or so Old Fart believes. If I found the "right" home for him, he could go though. Kade could care less about being the boss over anyone. Kade had no nickname.....well, none that can be posted here.

Now that you know our house kids, you'll be getting lots of stories about the fun things they do. There never is a dull moment here, I promise!!

A Celebration

The "kids" got me up early this morning for their first turn-out and breakfast. These dogs love their breakfast! We never fed breakfast until Calamity broke her leg last year. She gained 10 pounds in just over a month - YES 10 pounds! I knew she was gaining as lifting her in and out of the van was getting rough. We were going to VSEC every day back there for her dressing changes. This is when her wound would not close. This seems like forever ago. I cut back her food and added a can of green beans and decided to feed her twice daily to keep her metabolism moving in the right direction. It worked, she dropped the weight just as quickly as she put it on.

As she was eating, I thought to myself that she is getting thin, I may need to up her kibble. I'll decide what direction her feeding will go once I hear from VSEC. Oh yes, it is Friday, they should call today.

After turn out and breakfast, I go back to bed. These dogs get up early & it's so cold. Old Fart & I sleep in pretty late today, we stayed up pretty late last night.

When we get up I check my phone for any calls, I have had none. Old Fart goes to work and I think I should call, but I realize Phoenix is 2 hours behind us & decide to put it off.

Calamity comes running through the house taunting Morgan with his favorite red toy. She's feeling so good, she is becoming a bad girl again. I smile at her.

It's late, actually around 5:30PM when the phone rings. It's VSEC!! Beth is on the other end telling me that the report just came off the fax and she decided to call me herself. Dr. Desch hasn't even seen it yet. WOW - so tell me. She is excited and happy as she tells me they found NO osteo in her leg!!! I feel like a ton of bricks have been taken off my shoulders. I sob with joy. This is the best news I have heard. She will fax the report to Shelley so I can have a copy tomorrow & to our regular vet for her file.

I call Shelley, and tell her the news. She's happy and basically told me "I told you so". I have to laugh, she was never worried from the start that this was osteo. Then I call Jacquie, another friend that I share my life with. She's happy too. I try to call the Old Fart but he hates to talk on the phone & doesn't answer me. I text him the news.

Dr. Desch calls & he's thrilled too. We both agree that this the amputation was the best thing for her. She just will be a great, happy tripawd for as long as we have her.

For a celebration, we had Twinkies all around, the dogs were thrilled at this wonderful treat!! they have no idea what we celebrated, but they sure did love the Twinkies!

I don't think I have ever been so happy about anything in my life. My Doodle Bug will love a long life with a Mom who loves her dearly.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

University of Arizona - Blah!

Yesterday, once again I called VSEC to see about the histopathology results of Calamity's leg. The surgical coordinator had gone for the day, so I asked to speak to Beth.

Beth is the blood bank/donor coordinator and since Calamity (and my others) are blood donors, I sometimes turn to her to advocate for Calamity. Beth sometimes works for Dr. Heeb - the oncologist - so she understands the importance of getting the information on her leg also. She agrees to call the lab to see what the hold up is. Within a few minutes she calls back to tell me they are closed for Vetern's Day and she promises to call tomorrow. She does tell me the million dollar leg is at the University of Arizona. *Sigh* another day of waiting, but I know Beth will keep her word.

We talk about how Calamity is healing wonderfully & if there is no cancer, she can get back t donating. She feels guilty, but I remind her we did this so she can be a regular ole dog once again. Back to LIFE and back to LIVING! Yes, she can donate once again once all of this is over!

This afternoon, my phone finally rings and the called ID is VSEC. Well, we finally have some news! I answer the phone and Beth tells me that her & Dr. Desch have both called today and here is what she found out. They actually start at the good end of her leg and move towards the bad part. This is so they can get good margins. I thought they would start at the bad part and move out in either direction - WRONG! As of yet, they have not found any cancer in any of the sections they have looked at. At least someone has said what they are, or are not, finding. This is better than the silence. They are getting into the broken parts now and will have an answer on Friday. That is 2 days from now, 3 weeks post-amp.

I still don't know why they take so long on something that can make or break her life. I don't understand why they would not pull a small sample of the broken area for a biopsy first. I just don't understand how this all really works. If someone really is a "lab rat" and can explain this to me, please do. Maybe they don't have a Veterinarian School?

I just need to quit bitching and be hopeful for the good news on Friday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

When She Ran

Trix Calamity J raced at 3 tracks in her life. She broke her maiden at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, Florida on 5/3/2003 and raced there until 6/27/2003. Then she went to Tampa, Florida where she ran her first race, at that track, on Independence Day of 2003. She raced there until 11/3/2003. After that she and one of her littermates, Trix B Masterson came to The Woodlands Race Park, in Kansas City. This is where I met her, when I worked there.

She raced for Mike Stout Kennel where Adam Kupps was her trainer. Her first race was 2/8/2004 and her last race was 6/12/2005. I watched almost every race of hers either from the grandstands or from the escape. I was there to pick her up after almost every race and walked her back to her kennel. I loved her from the start. I visited her every day that I worked and a lot of the days that I didn't. I thought she was the most beautiful girl I have ever seen! I knew some day, she would come home to love with me & the Old Fart.

Calamity was the fastest on the rail, which means the 1, 2 or 3 position out of the box. In the latter positions, she had to struggle to cut across the field to get on the rail where she was the most comfortable running. This action would always loose time and position for her. It also put her and the entire field of racers at risk of tumbling & injury.

Now that she is a tripawd, I'm so glad I have her races on tapes! This girl loved to run!

Here is a video of a race of hers. It's not her best, but you'll be pleased at what you see.

PS: If you don't figure it out, she's the #8 dog ;-)

We Begin To Laugh

Calamity has been doing real well since my last post. She insists on going out with her pack, although she still stays a safe distance behind them. She comes back in with them. She's so much happier when she is with her pack.

She gets on & off the sofa all the time now, just like before, just like nothing has happened to her. She loves to be on the sofa - always has.

We still have her on a low dose of her pain medications as she still "peeps" with pain once in a while. There is no sense in her having any pain when we can control it.

Last night was the first night she wanted to go back to her nightly ritual. She comes up on the bed between us and "puts us to bed". That's what we call it anyway. She lays down & lets us rub her head until she is almost falling asleep then she either chooses to get off the bed & go elsewhere or she falls asleep at the foot of the bed. It's all about her, always. Last night she chose to fall asleep with us, at the foot of the bed.

Now Calamity, as most dogs, goes in circles to make a bed. Have any of you seen a tripawd move in a circle? The Old Fart & I started chuckling, then laughing at the sight. She didn't care, she was determined to "make her bed". Round & round she went, well kinda round & round. Finally she plopped down, sighed & went to sleep.

Life is getting back to normal here and it feels good.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Up She Comes

Last night proved to be a huge turning point in Calamity's healing. She loves to lay on the sofa by me and have her head rubbed. She loves her head rubbed more than anything in the world. Rub her ears, rub her head, rub her muzzle, rub her chin, rub her neck, just rub her!

Old Fart & I have 5 dogs beds laying on the living room floor now as well as a well padded crate for her to go into to lay where no one can step on her or bump into her, but last night that wasn't good enough for her. She stood at the doorway looking into the bedroom wanting a place to be quiet. I invited her to come sit by me on the sofa, figuring I would lift her up. She came over and "scouted" the area she wanted & just popped right up! No cries, no yipes, no whimpers. She snuggled down by me and lay her head on my leg. I rubbed her head and praised her for being such a brave girl.

This also gave me a great opportunity to have a good look at her incision, which is healing nicely. I ran my fingers across it lightly, feeling for anything that might strike me as odd, but found nothing.

When she decided it was time to get down, I spoke softly and calmly to her, asking her to go slow & take it easy. I swear she understand me as she slowly dropped her front leg down and lifted her back legs off the sofa and onto the floor. Ever so gently.

Once that she figured out how to get on the sofa, she was back for three more visits during the evening. This is how she has always operated, up, down, up, down all night. She's back!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Erector Sets Are Fun

I'll be filling in this blog with some of the interesting & funny things that have happened throughout the past year. All stories will somehow relate to Calamity, I swear. What does this have to do with erector sets, you ask? Let me tell you......we'll go back to a month before the fateful first night.

On October 27, 2007 my son, Matt was in a bad motorcycle accident. Old Fart & I were phoned very early that Sunday morning by Matt's girlfriend telling me that he was at KU Medical Center & they would not release any information to her because she was not next of kin. Sheesh....I called the hospital & yes, he was there.

The doctor got on the phone and spoke to me of his injuries. He was stable & going to be ok but his leg was in very bad shape. There was a chance he could loose it. He had an open fracture of his femur head and his knee had been "sheared off", it was only being held by the lateral collateral ligament. This accident happened around 2AM and he had already been to surgery once to set the fracture. I told him we would be at the hospital shortly. While getting ready to go the phone rings again. It's the hospital and they need to take Matt into surgery again to check the blood flow in his leg. They may also need to do a vein graft. I give my permission over the phone. I called my daughter to come also & we were on our way.

Matt had another surgery on Thursday to reset his leg by a doctor who specializes in only knees. He thinks he can get it positioned to heal a little better. He also wants to add some dissoluble screws to the broken cartilage. After surgery, he has even more metal on his external fixator!!

Matt needed a place to recuperate that he can move in, a level surface. I have the only ranch home, so it is decided he'll come to my home until they remove the external fixator. Kids always come back home sometime or another.

So, Matt is at my home that fateful night. When she screamed in the yard, he came to the door to help me. He brought me wraps & gauze & things I needed to stabilize her just to move her into the house. He brought me a change of clothes. He kept a sane mind while I went insane. He hobbled around in pain, doing all he could for us.

When Calamity came home, she went to him when she wanted to go out. We laughed a lot at this, my two little cripples. Matt would get on the floor and let her lay her head in his lap.

In the slideshow on the right side, there is a photo of Matt in his erector set with Calamity. They made an awesome pair for a while!

Labs Suck

Well Georgia spoke to the lab in Arizona, the one who has the million dollar leg of Calamity's. They told her they have to take more sections of the leg before they send a report. Sheesh!

I guess this means they didn't find anything on the first try. I guess this means she had the infection in the bone that the doctors believed she had. I hope this means there is no cancer party going on in her beautiful body. If it doesn't, someone is going to pay for making us wait over 2 weeks before getting her cancer treatments! Apparently these lab rats do not understand the need for speedy treatment.

Ok, yes, once again I melted down and Old Fart got pissed at the world. Doesn't change anything, we still must wait.

As for Calamity....she's doing fine. Her incision is itchy & she's defiant. When she scratches it & I tell her to stop, she just looks at me & keeps on scratching. She's a pistol!

A Day Of Freedoms


Today Calamity got her staples removed. I'm sure she feels free now. There are a couple of these weird gathered bubbly looking spots that they say will smooth out once the staples are no longer holding the skin tight.

She has some pretty runny poop so they told me to discontinue her cephalaxin for the last 3 doses she has left. This should stop the diarrhea.

They still have not received the histopathology report back from the lab in Arizona. They once again say that they feel her leg broke again from the infection, not osteosarcoma. But there is still that chance, however so small. I need to know. Dogs that have had amputations due to cancer are getting their first chemo treatments at this point, if she has cancer the cells are just having a party in her body. This frightens me. Georgia will call the lab to see where they are on it.

When we were walking out of VSEC, a standard poodle was walking in with his right front leg in a splint like the kind Calamity used to sport. His owner & I chatted a bit about our dogs, I told him Calamity's story, quite abbreviated. He told me his pet had been hit by a car, an open fracture also, plate & screws also. I walked a way, saying a prayer for that dog.....a BIG prayer. God please keep him safe & heal him quickly.

She has another good day & now gets to sleep where ever she chooses now that the staples are out. She choose to sleep in the bedroom with us like she used to.

Brighter Days Ahead


It’s been a few days since I posted anything about Calamity so thought I’d share her progress.

She’s been getting around a lot better & becoming more active.

I removed her second fentanyl patch on Saturday & reduced her tramadol to one tablet twice daily. She still gets one gabapentin in the morning and metacam in the evening. This seems to keep the edge off of the pain and she only has a few little yipes daily now. This are nothing like the gut wrenching cries she had before.

At 11 days post op-her meds schedule goes like this:
Breakfast: 1 gabapentin, 1 cephalaxin, 1 tramadol
Dinner: 1 tramadol, 1 cephalixin, 1 dose metacam, 1/2t GLC (her glucosomine)

We have a crate set up in the living room for her to go into with the door opened always so she can come & go at will. Yesterday & this morning, she has not wanted to even be in there, now I find the others taking turns laying in it!

Last night she "cockroached" for the first time since her surgery! A true sign, to me, that she is beginning to get back to her old self.

At bedtime last night, she fought the Old Fart & myself to not go into the crate room for the night! She played every trick she knew! We will keep her in there nightly until her staples come Out so she can not get hurt by the others while we sleep. She was sure a pistol, I tell ya!

Her staples come out Wednesday morning (she has 44 of them). I think that will make a big difference in a lot of her movement.

A friend told us to hang in there & take it one day at a time….we did. Some of the days were very hard & I cried many times. If anyone ever thinks this is a breeze, they are only kidding themselves, it’s tough & emotional, but it is a short time in the big picture of their lives.

Now things we are looking at for the future is how we will deal with her when/if she develops LS (as most greyhounds do). I have found a very good vet who advocates chiropractics, acupuncture & homeopathic medicine, I believe we will start taking Calamity to her to make sure she is getting the best care we can give her to insure she will have a wonderful life.

I’m so relieved we seem to be out of the woods.

Happy Halloween


This morning - WOW - what a difference than the past week. She got up without any pain and then outside - no pain! She went potty and walked the entire yard. This is the most she has walked since her surgery. I watched her and waited to see her rear up when her pain hit, but no. No morning pain at all!

Back inside, one of the young ones bumped into to her & she let out a yelp, but it was not the intense, rear-up pain that she has been having.

I’m excited at the good morning we have had. I hope today continues just like it has started.

Dinner Date


Today was a pretty quiet day. We think she's getting better step by step.

Old Fart has taken a little vacation, so we decide to go out to eat for a quick meal. I finally feel Calamity can stay alone for a short period of time. We go to the Pizza Shoppe which is a couple of blocks from the house. They make good pizza & are very quick. We have salads, my favorite pizza & a pitcher of beer. If feels good to be out and I'm sure it will make a difference in the stress she feels from me.

Later, she has a pretty bad spell with her "pain", rearing up 4 or 5 times in a couple of minutes. I have a meltdown. Old Fart gets mad at the world for his little girl hurting so bad. I think we both wonder if this was the right decision. We get her into her bedroom and we all go to bed.

Back To The Doctor


Calamity was put back on the patch today and given a morphene injection. The patch and tramadol seems to work best for her. These horrible pains started after the patch was removed, so we are going to go back to basics with her. The morphiene is to help tide her over until the patch kicks in.

Dr Desch feels this is her way of presenting phantom pain. When she has an "episode" she shrieks in pain, rears her body up on her rear legs & contorts her body in a strange shape. These only last a few seconds then she is ok. We all felt she just needed a little more pain relief for a while longer.

Overall, she is doing wonderful. She’s eating great (we’ve not had any eating issues), going outdoors to potty, wanting water and her treats. Her incision is looking real good and had quite a bit of visible healing. Her seromas have almost totally re-absorbed.

Tonight, I put all the other dogs away so she could just sit out by herself. I was passing out pig ears to the crated ones & found her behind me asking for one herself! She took her piggy ear, laid on one of our many pillows & happily ate her piggy’s ear.

Everything is actually going great except for her pain episodes which I’m sure will pass with some time.

She has done well most of the day, having a few of her "episodes" and they have not been as intense. She still seeks the comfort of her crate and pretty much stays there.
I’m trying to keep heat on her as much as I can.

Everyday really is better, it's just getting better very slowly.

A New Drug


After 2 days of these "phantom pain?" episodes, Shelley I decided to try gabapentin for nerve pain. She is having these episodes more frequently. Old Fart stays home with her while I drive to Shelley's to get the drug she has at her house.

She got her dose of gabapentin at 2PM today and I have kept her crated all day to help with this pain that only happens when she is standing. She has only had 2 of her "episodes" since the gabapentin was added, one pretty mild and the last one was what I’d call a normal one. But this is so much better than it had been. Whether the new drug or the crate rest is what helped…who knows?

Georgia wants her back in to see Dr Desch tomorrow morning, so he can see how she is himself. We may decide to put the fentanyl patch back on her. She did the best when her pain was managed by the patch & small doses of tramadol. Each dog is different and this is what seemed to help her the best.

Her incision looks marvelous! No swelling, very, very little bruising, basically no redness. The healing is happening outwardly.

I just hope we can find something that makes her comfortable…we’re all stressed out here.

Overall, I feel she had a good day, it was just good at the cost of being crated. She’s going to see Dr Desch tomorrow.

Bad Day


Calamity has just not had a good day today. Not sure if she is experiencing the "phantom pain" or what, but she will rear up on her hind legs, contort her body and shriek in pain. These episodes only last a few seconds, but they are very scary. You can tell the pain is almost more than she can bare.

She has tramadol on board and did so good with that yesterday. She’s taken tramadol before, so I do not think it is that. Lot's think the tramadol will mess with their minds. I take tramadol & don't find that with my experience. Everyone's different though, I know this.

When I take her out, she does not want to go in the yard, but stands at the gate like we are going somewhere. I thought maybe she needed to just "get away", so we walked to the end of the driveway to get the mail. She did not want to come back in the house. Not sure what that is all about.

She is eating good and peeing & pooping good.

We just seem to be on the uphill part of this roller coaster.

After Old Fart goes to work, I blocked the young ones & Trigger off from the living room & she is resting now with only her brother in the room with her & myself. I tried placing a bag of frozen corn at her chest area to see if that will help.

I lay down beside her & rub her head. She loves to have her head rubbed! Imagine this, she hates her belly rubbed! Don't touch this girl's belly. Occasionally, Old Fart can rest his hand there, not often & he is the only one who can.

We’ll just hang in here & know that tomorrow will be a better day.

Here are some photos we have taken of her:

Easy Like A Sunday Morning


Calamity is still moving quite slow and we are all ok with that. Today she gets her pretty pink "pull over" off and her patch can come off too. We'll do that at some point when she is up, no need to get her up just for that reason.

She is staying in the crate I have set up in the living room/kitchen area where she can be with all of us. We have the door fixed open and I have it well padded with extra crate pads a quilt & a fleece spread. I looks comfy.

We keep everything calm & quiet here so she can rest & heal. Even the others sense this.

Mid-afternoon we remove the bandages and take a few photos of her incision. Her seroma hangs from her chest like a little boobie. If I had to guess, there is probably a 1/2 cup of fluid in it. The redness & bruising seems not as bad as I thought it would be.

In the evening we remove the patch and wash her rear leg of whatever medication might remain and the adhesive.

She cries out in pain every now & then & my heart breaks for her. She sure doesn't deserve all the stuff that has happened to her the past year, that's for sure.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Time To Heal

She rested pretty good throughout the night, only getting up to go out to potty once. We went out alone, the others slept.

Today she is very restless and will not lay for more than a few minutes. I imagine she is having some pain. She still has her patch on and had a dose of deramaxx before she left the hospital. Wonder why they gave her deramaxx, it upsets her GI tract. She’s on cephalaxin (antibiotic) too. I give her a tramadol for the restlessness which I'm sure is pain.

We’re managing to keep the others out of her way. The young ones - 2 year olds - are the real pains, but those of you who know greyhounds know they don’t GET a brain until the reach 2!

Mid afternoon, I see her poop and there is a small amount of blood in it. Darn that deramaxx!! Shelley calls in a prescription of carafate for her, that will calm her gut. We'll get back on Metacam tonight.

As the day goes on, I notice a pool of blood at the base of her chest. This is a seroma and will be re-absorbed into her body with time. There is also one on her lower neck, smaller than a ping pong ball.

All in all, I thing the first day home has been ok.

Home Again


Georgia calls me very early, I am still in bed when I hear my phone ring. It rings 3 times before I hear the voice mail notification. I know it has to be VSEC, so I get out of bed & get the hounds out to potty & make their breakfast before I check the phone. Just a message asking me to call, so I do.

Georgia sounds THRILLED. She says that when her & Dr. Desch went to look in on her, she jumped up and shook her body. They were both excited to let me know. She can come home whenever I want to come get her.

Shelley is at work today, she said we'd go get her as soon as she gets off work, probably around 5:30. I can barely wait!

When we go get her, we speak to Beth. She is the coordinator for the blood donor program which Calamity, and my others, are part of. She says everyone has been spoiling her all day with pets & treats! Did I tell you that everyone there knows her & loves her like a part of family?

I pay our bill and we sit down to go over the instructions. Four sheets of all sorts of things! She is to remain quiet for 2 weeks. Staple removal in 2 weeks. Remove her bandage in 2 days. Remove her patch in 2 days, wash the area with soap and water thoroughly. Give the medications, as prescribed. Make sure she does not scratch, chew, bite her staples. Leash walking in the yard for potty. The list goes on & on.

She sports a hot pink wrap that resembles a tank top or some sort of a pull over. It matches her Mrs. Bones Skully collar . She looks so happy to be going home.

Shelley gently lifts her into the back of her Fit & I crawl in the back to assist her. She got up & down 3 times on the ride home & never cried a bit.

We get her home & the others smell her. They don't care much, they are used to that smell when she comes home now. We take her in the house. She wanted on the sofa & tried to get up by putting her leg up. Shelley lifted her so she could lay with her head on my lap - her favorite position - and stayed there for about an hour. She yelped a bit when I helped her down, to be expected.

The rest of the night was calm. She was happy to see the Old Fart when he came home.

Amputation Day


Today is the day. I'm so sad.

I don't go to see her in the morning. I want her calm for her surgery. I can go see her tonight. I call to remind them to ship her leg off for histopathology. I need to be sure this is not cancer. Ship her leg off, that sounds so crude to me. This is the leg that Old Fart & I have spent a fortune on. This leg represents a portion of Old Fart's retirement. And it's not so much the money, but the time & emotion and tears we have already shed.

Georgia calls me a around 10:30 to let me know they are prepping her for her amputation. It's too late to change my mind now. It has to be done.

Did I tell you it's been 11 months - to the day - since her first surgery on this beautiful leg. We had such high hopes that day. No sadness, no crying, just hopes for a bright future.

Around 3:30, I got word that she is out of surgery & resting now after a bit of crying. They told me to come on up to see her at dinnertime. Shelley (who is a vet) and I will go together as she is my support.

The Old Fart & I moved things around in the "dog room" to make a larger space for her when she comes home. We can baby gate that room off from the rest of the pack. I have a futon mattress we’ll throw on the floor for either of us to lay on. Calamity does not like to sleep with anyone, so I will just try to sleep close to her.

I have tramadol here, as well as metacam, rimadyl & many antibiotics. I’ll be good to go on whatever they want her on at home. They did say she will still have her patch on.
My biggest hope & prayer is that the histopathology comes back negative for osteo. I would have never put her through this if I knew it was osteo. We have lost 2 greyhounds in the past year to broken bones from cancer, one was hemangio that metted to the leg & the other was "the monster". I hate the monster.

We go to visit her after having some dinner ans she is groggy, as expected. I see her leg gone & I break down. She has her IV attached and is getting morphine & lidocaine through it. It keeps her somewhat sedated. She knows we are there & seems to get comfort from getting her head rubbed. They have her entire chest wrapped but you can see some of the incision. it's huge. On her blue wrap, they have written "Here's Woody" - "Here comes Woody" is what they call as the lure comes around the racetrack - Shelley & I think this is cute. We leave her to get the rest she needs.

Decisions, Decisions


I call in the morning and get to speak with Dr. Desch. He's a good guy, we like him.

I mention amputation. He says he can try to repair it again and he doesn't think the lytic spot is cancer. it's probably that damned infection that never wanted to heal. He says he can try with a plate & screws like the last time. But that will be a long heal like before with the infection in there won't it, I ask. He concurs. He could splint it and give her antibiotics until the bone heals & then repair it....another option for a long heal. He could do a bone graft. Again, how will that take if it isn't attached to healthy bone? It won't.

All I want is for her to be a happy, playful girl once again. I want her quality of life to be so free that I don't have to constantly ask her to settle down, always worried about when the next fracture will happen. I want her to run & play with her brother.

Dr. Desch agrees that only an amputation would give that all back to her. We are both sickened over this.

I hold her for a long time, he will not do the surgery today. He has too many other cases & he is the only surgeon there. It's ok, I need time to digest this. Time to come to grips with the fact that I have to make the decision to mutilate my beautiful girl. She is so beautiful.

I cry all the way home. I wish there was another way. I would do anything for her.

I go to visit her around 7PM to be there when she eats her dinner. I take her out to potty. I spend time holding her & crying my eyes out. I take my last look at her beautiful leg, what I can see of it. I rub her muscle. The strong muscle that helped propel her to may victories when she raced. I let her know that I am so sorry that we have to do this to her. I really want her to know that I want her to be free to run and play again. I know she will do that again as soon as she heals.

I go home to have another restless night.

Oh My God, Not Again!!!


I just got home from VSEC and I'm totally shocked & worn out.

Shelley had just dropped me off from a dinner with her & another friend. It was such a nice dinner with such good friends. It's dinnertime & the dogs are bouncing around. I let the "oldsters" out while I go to the crate room to let out the "youngsters". I hear Morgan & Calamity playing hard like they usually do, I yell for them to "knock it off". Then I hear it.....the scream.....I know that scream......

I carry her inside & call Shelley to get back here right away. She turns around & comes back. It seems like it takes her forever.

Calamity has broken her leg again! Same spot as before. Not really sure what we will do this time. Shelley was with me & we discussed amputation if it looks like a long rough heal like the last time. Dr. Layton was there & suggested a bone graft. The area above her "wrist" looks lytic, but we all think it's the bone infection that never really healed. Could be osteo though, not probably according to the opinions of the vets.

We had them take x-rays of her chest to be sure there was no osteo that had metted there & her lungs are clear as can be. That's good *sigh*

They have given her morphine and have put a fentanyl patch on her rear leg. They have splinted her broken leg and she sports a bright pink wrap to match her breast cancer collar . She is panting, mostly from the morphine. She knows this splint routine, she wants to come home with me.

I'll sleep on it & then discuss it with the Old Fart when he gets home from work tonight.

I'm just sick....I tried so hard to do everything needed to heal her & look what happened. I want to scream.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Germ Killers

It's been a while since I posted. Calamity has had another x-ray & all of the holes & gaps have bridged with new bone growth. We hope it heals solid by winter.

We are going off the antibiotics as there have been no little flare ups of the sores that tell us it's trying to get out.

She runs & plays & goes out with the others. She's about as normal as she will ever be.

And the Rest Of The Story Is

Calamity got her splint off on Thursday...we hope & pray forever!! I was so afraid to post with glee again, look what happened the last time! Her x-rays looked pretty good, with some new bone filling all the 7 screw holes and the gaps that had remained.

Once again she is starting to toe touch and use her foot a bit. She tried to run Friday & screamed when she used her bad leg....Old Fart & I both froze on the insides, but she was fine.
Hopefully, we are nearing the end of this horrible journey we have been on with her & she will be fine for the rest of her life!!

One good thing is that I won't worry (as much) about osteo developing at the site of the metal as it is now gone.

She will be on antibiotics for a while. Her dressing under the splint was covered with the ooze of the infection. Her body goes through this little cycle of bubbling it out, healing and over again. I'm sure when that stops for a while we can quit the antibiotics.

Just When You Think It's safe

Guess I should contain my glee in the future.......

On Monday, Calamity's leg was swollen from the "fingers" to the elbow, very large. Old Fart & I soaked it in warm water many times & Dr. Shelley recomended we get her on an antibiotic. By Tuesday morning, the extremity of the swelling had diminished but the area of the break was still huge. Off to VSEC she went.

Dr Layton did x-rays & determined that the appliance must come out now but that it was Dr Reily's call to make. He would be in on Wednesday to read the x-rays & make the decision.
He called this morning and agreed that the appliance is holding the bacteria and if it doesn't come out, she will just never heal completely. He said her ulna is totally healed but the radius is not what he would call "clinically healed" yet. Probably due to the bacteria party that is in her leg.
She will remain on antibiotics to clear up whatever they can until Tuesday, when she will have the plate & screws removed. The bottom screw (the one that has given her the most trouble) will be sent off to culture the bacteria so we can get her on the proper one (s) to kill the bug. She could be on them for 3 months.

She will be back in a splint, hopefully for only 6 weeks this time. With the appliance gone, and the bacteria getting the boot, maybe the bone will heal faster now. That is the goal anyway. Hopefully she will be out of a splint in time for Abilene!!!

Here we go again.

Back To Work

After all this time, Calamity is well enough to donate blood again. She goes in to give her pint this afternoon.

The bottom screw in her appliance still tries to rub out and she gets little sores at the site of the break. We deal with each of those individually, mostly just a little EMT Gel & a good wrap & they heal.

She runs & walks & jumps again and seems to know when she should lead with her good leg. She walks on all 4 legs for the most part now.

Healed - Kinda

It's been so long since the night Calamity shreeked in pain & fear when she shattered her little leg. Today we got the best news ever - her ulna & radius have finally bridged with new bone growth!!!! It's not thick, dense bone yet, but it's bone that has bridged the break. FINALLY!!!!!!

It's not a pretty leg any more & she doesn't use it a lot but that all doesn't matter to me. She does use it once in a while, quite a bit of toe touching & some weight bearing. More use will come with time, I believe. I think she still has some numbness/nerve damage also as she places her foot down twisted under.

She'll continue to come to the track with me & get in mag boxes and whirlpool baths. I know they don't hurt her & they may even help her!

Really though....she is declared healed!!! YAYYYY!!!!

Healing Slowly

Now that Calamity has been out of her splint for almost 2 weeks, she seems to be getting the hang of it. She still walks 3-legged for the most part but is begining to use the leg a bit. She has learned to jump on & off of the bed and sofa and always leads with her good leg.

When I take my bath, she knows we will soak her leg after and seems to actually like it, after the first time! I'm sure the warm water feels as good on her as it does on my knees!
I massage her leg when I get a chance, usually a couple of times a day and her little toes are moving good now!

I did put her in a mag box Saturday morning & that seems to do a lot of good! I'll get her in there more when I get back out to the track.

Let's Try To Walk

After 14 LONG weeks...yes 14 weeks......Calamity is finally out of a splint and can begin to use her little leg once again!!!!

For the next 3 weeks she is on a lot of restrictions, out on lead, crated when alone, no jumping, ect. She can have whirlpool baths for exercise and a trainer at the track has offered to do this for her.

She puts her foot down a little & does some "touches", otherwise, she's mostly 3-legged, but I know that will change as the weeks go by.

She goes back for another x-ray in 3 weeks.

She can have her dental with the boys on Monday.

She has some pretty bad "wounds" from the tape on her leg holding the splint on, they are big, open, oozing & bleeding, so she is wrapped for that but it will heal with time.

It's A New Year

Calamity got a splint change today. Her sutures from all 3 incisions were removed & everything looked real good. Her leg did not look as raw & sore as it did last Friday overall.

She has a pretty bad "crater" now on her elbow that was just a pretty raw spot at prior splint changes. Dr. Layton tried to be creative & pad the splint so it doesn't rub so bad.

The foot between her pads is pretty raw now too from all the shedding & stuff that had drained down there during the last 6 weeks. Abby & I cleaned her foot real well & pulled out the hair that was gunked all between her toes.

All in all, I really did see some improvement from all of the prior visits. I do believe she's healing!!

No More Dailys

YAYYY!! We don't go back until next Friday!!!

Her leg looks like shit & probably always will, but it seems to be healing enough to satisfy both of her doctors!!!

The tension releasing incisions were open just slightly but Dr Layton said they were ok as long as the appliance's incision was covered. She cleaned her little swollen leg of the caked on ooze and they clipped her nails on her broken foot. She was so good, as she always is.

Dr. Layton thinks that at the 6 week mark, Dr Reiley will put her in a soft cast so she can begin to use her ankle and I guess that will help the healing.

I think we're getting better!!!

Today, Some Good News

Calamity had her dressing change today and Dr Layton decided that they will wait until Friday to look again!!! Almost a full week!!! I am excited!!

Her tension releasing incisions are much longer than I thought they would be, but they seem to be doing the trick right now, keeping the skin closed over the plate & screws. Doesn't matter how many cuts they make, getting her to heal is the goal.

Her poor little leg has so many red, irritated, almost open sores on it in a lot of areas. Her elbow is just about to open so Dr Layton made a doughnut for that, she has a doughnut over her wound site and the top of that little pad on the back of her leg is peeling off, so there is a doughnut pad there too!! Her little leg is irritated all over where the adhesive tape stirups have been, they are no longer there at all as there is no where to put them anymore.

I hope this week gives her skin time to heal as well as the incisions & her bone.

I just know we will get through this :-)

Hmmmm What Number Is this Surgery?

Tomorrow Calamity goes back to surgery again to do the procedure that was aborted on the 12th. They will make the tension releasing incisions & close the skin over the screws that the skin has not granulated over in the past 10 days.

The product Dr Layton used was a medicinal "sugar" along with an antibiotic impregnanted gauze. It helped some, but not enough. It's time to close this to reduce the risk of bacteria getting under the plate, causing more issues in the healing.

They are actually going to x-ray her also instead of waiting the full 6 weeks. I'm anxious to see how much the bone has healed as there was a pretty big gap of bone that will have to fill in.

Other than the daily splint changes, her spirit is great!

Finally - A Good Day

Some absolutely wonderful news here......!!!

Calamity has always barked & stomped her foot emphatically when she wanted something.

The Old Fart had a snack when he came home last night & I guess she demanded him to share (which he never does)! Now today he is eating a sandwich & she's demanding a bite!!! Barking & stomping.

She always begs, but has not demanded since this started.

I also bought 2 new dog beds last of her favorite things. She was so excited & went from bed to bed in glee.

She also picked up a toy today & tossed it in the air.

I know now she is back to her old self. Now....let the healing begin!!!

These people Love Her

The surgical techs cut & colored a candy cane and a string of colored christmas lights out of co-flex so it sticks to her green colored splint & looks so cute!!!

She sports a festive holiday splint!

Those people really love her.

Just Kidding

They (Drs Layton & Reiley) took Calamity into surgery where they were going to make 2 small "tension releasing" incisions, where they could then pull the skin over the screws to close the wound. When they cut her splint off on the surgery table, they looked at her wound & decided it was begining to granulate at the edges (a good sign, meaning the antibiotics are finally working!) and making 2 more incisions might only create a new opening for a different bacteria to enter. So they decided on a different course of treatment.

Dr Layton (the soft tissue specialist) has had a lot of luck with a topical product & an antibiotic impregnanted gauze combination, so they opted for that course of treatment right now. She still needs daily dressing changes.

Dr Reiley also got another confirmation of a different bacteria growing on her culture, so added a sulfa drug to her antibiotic cocktail. The culture has grown all it can now & we are taking the appropriate antibiotics.

I saw the wound today at dressing time & the edges are actually looking much better than they have, but the screws are still visable well, the bottom 2 anyway. I'm not sure how they will deal with that situation in the future weeks, I'll ask Dr Reiley tomorrow as he is her orthopod. I'm sure the skin can not completely granulate over those screws.

All in all, the wound looks better & we feel better. It's still going to be a long heal & more procedures may need to be done, but I actually see heaing and don't feel like every day is "groundhog day" anymore. :-)

More Doctors To Heal

We now have a soft tissue specialist in the mix with her orthopedist, Dr. Candy Layton. She's a good one. We have had her before on another greyhound, Runz when he had LARYNGEAL PARALYSIS. She did his surgery & he lived happily another 2 years.

She will do surgery on Calamity along with Dr. Reiley on Calamity's incision that will not close.



Calamity is now off of the cephilaxin/cipro antibiotic combo and now on ampicillin as the initial report of the culture showed that is what she needed.

Her wound was opened even more yesterday and she has started licking it again today, so I imagine Dr Reiley will need to close it once again when he sees her tomorrow.

I hope the ampicillin takes hold of whatever it is that will not let her heal.

I just feel that as long as this wound will not close, we are still at stage 1 in her healing process.
Her spirit is slipping away & I keep thinking of things to bring the sparkle back in her eye. Yesterday morning she got to watch Morgan poop and that made her very happy! She would have been happier if she could have chased him down as he dropped his last turd!! LOL!! But just seeing him pooping seemed to make her happy. I think she misses her pack. I will try to take her out with them a couple times a day, but keeping a tight hold on her.

I know she misses running. She was out alone this morning, she peed and then pooped & trotted back to me with a sparkle in her eye & zest in her step. She'll be so happy when she can run again. I guess we never realize just how much running means to these greyhounds until we take it from them.

Calamity! Stop Licking!

The Old Fart called me at work to tell me Calamity will not stop licking her splint right over the break. This is one of the signs we were told to watch for so call to the vet's is now a visit to the vet. I get someone to do the last afternoon turn-out at the kennel and take her in so they can see what's up.

Upon opening the splint we all see a shiny screw top staring us in the face! The skin is compromised where the bone came out of her and having a difficult time healing. They must now go in & do a second surgery to try to close this up. There is also some pussy looking stuff present, so they will put a drain in to drain it & take a culture to see what type of bacteria we are dealing with. I can only imagine what is in the dirty soil of our backyard!

They take her into surgery, I meet some friends at a restruant/bar. We wait the couple of hours it takes them to repair her skin. I'm drained.

They call & say I can pick her up after she has a hour or so to wake up. We will know the rusults of the culture in a few days.

I get her, she's groggy & just wants to go home. I now have instructions to bring her back daily to check the drainage. When it slows down, they will pull the drain out.

Ahhhh To Be Home

Calamity is home. She's resting in the bedroom as she could not get comfortable in the crate The Old Fart set up in the living room.

When I went to pick her up she is sporting a nifty soft splint. Her leg is wrapped with cast padding and then a hard splint is applied to the back part of her leg to keep it stable. The entire thing is then held together with layers of vet wrap. She's hobbling today.

She is on 2 different antibiotics. I need to keep a good check on her temperature to keep ahead of any infections that may start. She did spike a bit of a temperature & my vet friend suggested I add a dose of Metacam, which is an NASID and should reduce the fever.

She is going outside on a lead to keep her calm & not try to run.

Let the healing begin!

Let's Fix it


I went to meet with the surgeon at 9AM. They brought Calamity to me & we went to an exam room to meet Dr. Reiley. H eplaced her x-rays on the lighted board & he talked about the 3 different ways he can repair her leg. He will not know what route he will take until he gets in there to see the condition of the bones. He still does not believe the bones have cancer in them. He said he will be able to tell when the screws go into the bone.

Calamity is ready for surgery & so is he. I spend a few more minutes with her & send her off to get her leg fixed. I drive home with tears in my eyes.

Calamity had been in surgery for about 4 hours. I called (at the 3.5 hour mark) & the sugery tech told me they had some trouble with the fracture & it should be another 30-40 minutes. She said she was doing very well with the anesthesia & was stable.

At 5:30 I got a call from Dr Reiley about Calamity's surgery. This morning, he had mapped out a few ways to fix her with what little bone he had left above the "wrist" to work with. He could not go the best route he had planned becuase what he though was an overlapping of the bone on the initial x-ray was actually yet another fracture (hairline type, I guess) so he did not have enough solid bone to place screws. So he went with plan b. This plan did allow him to place a plate & 7 screws to hold her together but instead of a soft cast, like he wanted her in, she will have to remain in a splint until she is healed and will need some pt after she heals.

He said it was a very tramatic fracture......I know he is an orthepedic doctor but I have to wonder how many tramatic fractures he sees compared to Dr Smith..LOL!!

She will have her sutures in for 2 weeks before her next check up and I will have to take her temp twice daily to watch for any infection along with 2 different types of antibiotics she will get daily.

She can come home tomorrow. Yayyy!! I miss her.

What To Give Thanks For?


I visited with Calamity twice today, the first visit was terrible & left me very upset. She was so "stoned" that she didn't know who I was. She was like a spook, looking for somewhere to dart to to get away from me. She was very dry & her tummy was gurgling very badly. They were trying to get her to eat something so they could give her oral antibiotics. She did not want to eat.

The evening visit was much better. She had come down from the dose of morphene (that had been give at 9AM) and knew who I was as soon as I walked in. She wanted me to take her home.

My best friend (who is also a vet), Shelley stopped on her way to the track and became her advocate, healthwise. Thank God Calamity has her Auntie Shelley looking out for her! Shelley took over & noticed that she needed her bowls elevated. As soon as that was accomplished, Calamity drank almost her whole pan of water! She acted like she wanted to eat but maybe her tummy was sick from the oral antibiotic, Shelley made 2 suggestions to the vet on duty, either place her catheter and give an injectable one or put something to calm her tummy on board so she will feel good enough to eat. An order for reglan was issued. Thank God for Shelley!!!

We took her out to go potty & she dropped & went as almost as soon as she hit the grass.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

The Shattered World


Tonight, while running in the backyard, our greyhound Calamity broke (shattered) her right front leg. It was an open fracture & very bloody & scarey. She stood in the middle of the yard shreiking in pain.

I carried her to the steps when I stablized it as best I could with what wraps I have on hand. I got her in the house where I began to make calls for someone to help get us to the emergency vet where she is a blood donor.

They wasted no time getting pain medications in her. Before they took her x-rays, I prayed it was not bone cancer as we had just lost one to that less than a month ago. They took x-rays & determined it is not osteo, but a very bad break. Her radius & ulna are shattered into many small pieces.

The fracture was splinted and she was on morphene with a fentanal patch, as well as antibiotics when we left.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so nothing will be done other than to keep her comfortable. A suegeon will see her on Friday & determine what can be done for her.