26 December 2006

Happy Holidays

Wookie really turned a corner in the last week. Suddenly people have to look twice to see if she is really missing a leg. She is just looking and feeling better all the way around these days. I have been a little slow in posting due to being both sick and extremely busy the last few days, but I have some great pics to put up when I get back to work on Friday.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart everyone who has helped with the financial side of this. At this point, all vet bills are paid and I have a little money in the bank for the next phase.

Be back later this week.

16 December 2006

She's getting soft

Well anyone who has met her, knows how bizarre this is. I told her to get in the kennel at the top of the mountain the other day, and instead of going into the empty one, she joined Maully in hers. Maybe she's just happy to be back in action, but she rarely goes near Maully, so it was a little bizarre.

09 December 2006

Great Week

Wookie just keeps on keeping on. We have been doing one ski run a day for the last 4 days or so, and she is just ecstatic to be up on the hill and hanging out with the team. The incision has almost totally healed and she gets a bit stronger each day. Yesterday we went for a long ski on slightly steeper terrain than we have been on. She dealt with it no problem, although she was down for the night, and is right back after it today. The plan right now, is to go in for a consult with the doctor who will do the chemo, and then make a plan for it. I will probably start updating once a week until we start the next phase. Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers.

01 December 2006

Quick Update

Work has been extremely busy with the new snow and getting more lifts ready to open, but here's a quick update. Wookie had the staples taken out on Wednesday. She was excited to go to the vet and jumped onto Dr. Schilling as soon as she came into the room. She was quite patient while we held her down to pull the staples. At this point, we are going to heal a few more days and then start talking to the Doctors about chemo options. I hope to get her back on the hill tomorrow for some exercise and socialization with the patrol. More soon.

26 November 2006

We're Back!!

Wookie was back on the slopes yesterday and was quite a hit. She was able to load and unload the ski lift without assistance and we went for a short ski, quite a bit slower and less intense than normal, but she was extremely happy to be out on the hill.

The incision is healing nicely and the stitches will come out in 7 days or so. Right now she's sleeping contently in the office. Have a good day.

24 November 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Wookie got reaquainted with Heeley yesterday. It was the first time they had seen each other since the surgery. There was a bit of tension, but mostly it went well. Wookie had a nice time hanging out in the sun at Dana's while she waited for the turkey.

We had a great dinner and Wookie, Heeley and Brody took turns licking the pans clean (will post a pic from home). During the night, Wookie and Heeley were back to their old ways growling and posturing at each other, made for a long stressful night. May have to head back home for a few to let Wookie continue healing in peace.

Today we went out for a short walk and she got into a bit of snow for the first time this year. She was excited, but tired quickly and was back to the office for a nap.

21 November 2006

Great News!!

Just a quick note from the office to let everyone know that the biopsy on Wookie's lymph node came back with no signs of tumor cells!!!!!!!!!!!

We are not out of the woods, but it is certainly an encouraging step in the right direction. We took off the pain med patch this morning and she's a little whiny, but none the worse for the wear. Next step is stitches out in another 10 days or so and then we'll consult with the vet doing chemo to determine our course of action. Thanks for the prayers and thoughts.

20 November 2006

Moving on

Wookie continues to improve each day. She is being spoiled rotten by everyone here at The Canyons with soup bones, treats and tons of affection. We go a little farther on our walks each day, and she seems to be adjusting well. Icy surfaces, soft snow, and metal grate stairs are the biggest challenges right now. She is eating and drinking water normally again, and has re-established her spot as Alpha dog here. She slept through the night the last two days and has gone back to her favorite chair in the office.

Perhaps the biggest sign that life is returning to normal for her is the way she protects her bone. Anyone that has ever been around her knows the warface - many a finger has been nipped trying to get her bone back.

Thanks again for all the kind words, donations, support and thoughts the last two weeks. We are getting along great and i'll keep the updates flowing.

19 November 2006

All is well

Another good day, she continues to amaze everyone who see's her. Took a short walk out in the snow today, she instantly rolled on her back and did the otter slide. Definitely have to put her back on the leash tomorrow. I will put up some new pics tomorrow.

18 November 2006

Great Day

A quick update for those keeping track. Wookie has accepted her fate and is getting on with life. Focusing on the important things like pizza, beer and exercise. She went out to Josh and Angies tonight with me and was back to her usual old antics. She is climbing stairs, getting on the counter and hamming it up like always. It was a long day opening the resort today, so I will provide a more detailed update tomorrow.

17 November 2006

Even longer night

Last night was awful. Despite the high level of multiple pain killers, she cried all night. This morning though, we took a step in the right direction. After a little coaxing she came out of the kennel and went outside under her own power. She ate a little, and drank some water. When it came time to go to work, I couldn't find her to put her in the kennel. She was outside waiting at the truck ready to go to work!! She is now resting comfortably in her chair in my office. I'll update more tonight.

Afternoon Update!!

She has done nothing except get stronger as the day has gone on!! She is barking at other dogs and happy to see all of her coworkers. We went for a check-in at the vet and they were all amazed to see how well she was doing. Im back at work putting finishing touches on a few things for opening tomorrow. Not sure if I'll post again tonight, but here she is enjoying a soup bone and hanging out in the office. Pray for her to get some rest tonight.

16 November 2006

long day

Well, Wookie is home from her amputation surgery. She is in a ton of pain and extremely out of it, but I know she's gonna be ok because she is giving me the warface and has bitten me twice.

To say she had a stressful day would be quite the understatement. She seemed to be in quite a bit of discomfort this morning, possibly due to her little fence jumping episode yesterday. We went to see Dr. Law first thing this morning to discuss the post surgery options and he wanted to see how the hardware in her leg had fared the last few weeks. As we cut the bandages away, she tried to bite us both a few times. Once they were off, she went to work cleaning all the junk that had seeped out since the first surgery. I got my first look at the hardware - if I had that crap in my leg, jumping fences would be the farthest thing from my mind. After rewrapping the leg, we were off to Hillside to check her in for surgery.

Dr. Schilling met us and again walked me through the process. I gave her Wook's leash and said my goodbye's. Wook promplty dropped to the ground and refused to go with Dr. Schilling. After some encouragement, I walked her back to the dog run in the surgery area. I have been going to this vet for 8-9 years and this was my first 'behind the scenes' look. Quite an impressive operation. After some coaxing we got her in and I left.

We'll skip the details about my scattered few hours at work, and get back to the dog. I called at 3:45 to check on her and Dr. Schilling came to the phone. She said the surgery took quite a bit longer than normal due to Wook's strength in the shoulder and chest, it just took extra time to cut through everything. She told me everything had gone well and Wook was recovering. I could come get her at 5:15.

The great news was, she put up her head and wagged her tail when I walked in. After an attempt at picking her up, we decided to sling her and take her to the truck on the gurney. It was heartbreaking, even the smallest movements caused my baby to cry like I've never experienced in my life. She has always been tough as nails. I can't imagine her pain level given all the pain meds she's on. We got her out to the truck and took her home. My brother met me at the door to help carry her in. We tucked her in, and left to let her rest. When I came home, she was gone!!! She had decided she didn't like the bed we made her and moved across the house to sit by the back door. After some coaxing and a few bites, I got her back into her bed, where she is fast asleep at my feet right now. In a few hours I need to give her another dose of intravenous pain meds and hope it takes her through the night.

Tomorrow we go back for a check up and to take the catheter out of her leg. Im glad she's strong, cause it's killing me. On a side note, the lymph nodes were removed and sent to the lab for testing - our first step in determining further treatment. Dr. Schilling was absolutley amazing today, she has so much concern for Wook's health and comfort.

Hoping for a good nights sleep and we'll start again tomorrow.


15 November 2006

Good day

Well, I had the day off work today, so Wookie and I have been doing our best to enjoy her last day with four legs. We started the morning with a conversation about what was going to happen in the next few days. As I drank my coffee and she soaked up the sun, she actually gave me the time of day for a few seconds

It appears no one gave her the memo that she is sick. I was out raking leaves and giving her a few minutes off leash (her first since the fracture) she decided to jump the fence and go say hi to the neighbors. I called her back, and her leg seemed no worse for the wear. I spent the morning raking leaves and trying to convince her to stop being a maniac.

Finally she found her Frisbee in the leaves and decided the new pruned and cleaned flower bed needed more attention.

We are going one step at a time, and now the next step is surgery tomorrow. I want to make sure and thank Dr. Law, Dr. Brown, Dr. Sorensen, and Dr. Matheson for everything they've done up to this point, and all the things left to occur.

I thank my mom and her cousin Danielle for help raising money to cover costs and all the support. As well as the rest of my family for the phone calls, emails, and prayers.

Last but not least, I have to thank Dana. Without her taking care of Wookie's sister Heeley, this would be even more challenging, and also for taking care of me.

Love you all, thanks so much.

14 November 2006

Here I go

Well, i've been thinking about starting a blog for awhile now, and I finally found an excuse.

My dog Wookie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma
last week. Wookie is a Level 'A' avalanche search and rescue dog. She started her career at The Canyons
in 1999, and has worked there ever since. I will be updating this each day for those of you who are interested in her progress.

The timeline so far:

10-28-2006 - Wookie shatters her leg near Horseshoe Canyon in the desert of central Utah, after an agonizing 5 hour drive to an animal ER in Moab, her leg is x-rayed, splinted and she gets some pain meds.

10-29-06 - Wookie gets back to SLC for examination by an animal orthopedic surgeon

10-30-06 - Wookie has surgery - no initial signs of cancer, but a biopsy is performed just to be sure. Early prognosis - the joint will be saved, but in all likely hood, her working days are over.

11-01-06 - Wookie comes home. After the effects of anesthesia wear off, she seems to be returning to normal.

11-06-06 - One day to the year Bailey (another Canyons avalanche dog) is diagnosed, Wookie's biopsy comes back positive for Osteosarcoma.

11-14-06 - After alot of research and soulsearching, I have decided to amputate the leg. Following surgery she will undergo chemotherapy. This is where we start. Surgery happens Thursday, I will update as much as I can from here.