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Jan 07 2013


2nd Visit to U.W. Madison for Hunter

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Hi everyone,

Well today is Hunter’s 2nd visit to U.W.  Madison for his participation in their oncology trial.  He’ll have his 2nd dose of double chemotherapy, a CBC, a Chemistry panel and a Urinalysis.  We’ll be sent home with more Palladia in pill form (to continue with his chemo at home) along with more Denosyl to protect his liver.  He has been able to continue his raw diet and all of his supplements to fight this thing!

Hunter celebrated his 7 month ampuversary on December 30th!

He is really doing quite well, hasn’t shown any symptoms and his weight is holding steady at 70 lbs.  Hunter has a GREAT appetite (don’t all labs!?)  and has been navigating the icy patches very well…. darn Wisconsin winters!

We put out some rugs for him on our front porch and driveway so he can feel confident coming and going during his potty runs.  I was really worried about our first winter with a Tripawd, but Hunter figured it out and doesn’t slip often.  We’ve been able take walks around the block and he’s had a few trips to the park.

This year, he had the best Christmas ever!  A good friend of ours loaded him up with tons of doggy presents to unwrap, which he loves to do!  And he even received his very own personal Barney.  We felt he earned his own and it has made him feel quite special since his monkey butt sister Hailey didn’t get one.

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We also had just the Best New Year’s Eve!  Hunter wore a headband and brought in the New Year with all of us at midnight!

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We feel that 2013 has to be a better year than 2012 was for us, and we are relishing each and every day with our Super Dog!  He makes us smile every time we see him and in return he goes through our legs for a butt scratch!

Happy New Year from our family to yours….  May we all be blessed with health and happiness.

 


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4 responses so far

Dec 14 2012


Day one of new treatment for Hunter

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The day after we received the news that Hunter had a small mass on his right lung we got a call from an intern at the U.W. Madison Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.  I had placed an email to them inquiring about getting Palladia for Hunter and the doctor was calling me to get Hunter into one of their oncology trials!   I was so happy I could have cried.

The trial pays for all of the chemotherapy medication including a liver protectant, and we will pay for all of the tests and exams (blood work, urinalysis, xrays…).

They have had great success with Palladia, so we picked the trial using that drug in combination with Lomustine and Denosyl.

We drove to Madison on Tuesday, December 11th and saw Dr. Kathleen Tsimbas.

( The teaching hospital is about a 1 hour and 15 minute drive for us. )

 

Both of these chemotherapy drugs are in pill form and we are giving Hunter his 1st treatment at home today.

Hunter goes in for a CBC and a physical in 7 days at our local vet, and another treatment and more tests every three weeks in Madison.  The trial is for 4 treatments and a total of 84 days.

He was in his usual tail wagging form at this new clinic and everyone just loved him!

I would like to send a BIG Thank You to everyone for all of your support and prayers for Hunter.  We believe that getting him into this oncology trial is our Christmas Miracle!  We are praying that this is successful for our special boy; our Super Dog!

 

4 responses so far

Dec 06 2012


Check up with some bad news

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Hi Everyone,

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to write any bad news on Hunter’s blog.

Yesterday we had his check up.  It has been 3 months since his last chemo treatment now.

He had a CBC, a Chemistry panel, and 5 chest xrays taken.

The positive:

Hunter’s blood work looked fantastic! And he is really the picture of health; even weighed in at 72 lbs. (up a pound since his last visit)  We’ve got a very happy lab with bright eyes and a bushy tail.  He is even glad to be at the clinic each and every time and wags his tail waiting at the door for Whitney (his oncology nurse) to come and get him!

The negative:

His chest xrays showed a small mass on his right lung…. and I was alone at this appointment!

We just thought we were going to get the “all clear” so hubby didn’t come along.  Even our oncologist didn’t think we’d see anything at this appointment.  A real surprise for all of us for sure.  Statistics showed that the average dog was to have 1 year without anything showing up, and 25 % of dogs would have 2 years.  Hunter was above average in all aspects of this journey so far, so we truly believed we had more time.

So, since Hunter is a lumpy dog, I did what I was sure my hubby would want me to do… rule out his lumps.  So his external lumps (2 on his right side, and 2 on his sternum) were shaved and painted with barium and off to the xray machine he went again.

Unfortunately, none of the lumps were what they were seeing on his lung.  I think the mass looks like the size of a M&M peanut candy….(the cursor is pointing to it)

 

So we are going to fight for Hunter again!

Please keep him in your prayers and keep everything crossed that this small mass is not going to cause him any problems ~ anytime soon!

 

 

 

3 responses so far

Nov 30 2012


6 Month Ampuversary today!

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HIP HIP HOORAY!

Today is Hunter’s 6 month ampuversary! He is happy and healthy and enjoying the labby life.

He has even been rather naughtly lately by playing keep away with pillows and gloves!  Just the other day he chewed up one of my favorite stuffed animals!  …. Guess I need to get him his own Barney!

Hunter has been playing more with his monkeybutt sister lately.  They sound like a couple of bear cubs when they roll around on the floor with open mouths and teeth showing, marking growly noises.  He also likes to suck on Hailey’s ears!  Hunter has been feeling great!

I took some pictures of him at the park on a very warm and windy Thanksgiving day…

   

His hair on his right hip is nearly all grown back now and his coat looks great!  Hunter’s eyes are bright.

We have the highest hopes in the world that our #1 doggy will be enjoying many more years with us.

His next check up is on December 5th.  He will have his blood work checked and new xrays taken.

Please cross your fingers and paws for our boy!

 

 

 

 

5 responses so far

Oct 30 2012


5 Month Ampuversary and doing well!

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Hi everyone,

It is Hunter’s 5 month ampuversary today!  He is doing well and enjoying the labby life.

I can’t believe it’s been 5 months already!  We are in such a good routine now with his diet and supplements.  There are days that I am reminded that he’s a tripawd, but most days he’s just our good ole dog.  Hunter has been such a model canine.  Loving, good at the vet and on outings, and accepting of all of the things that he’s had to go through lately.  His next check up is in early December.

Here are  a couple of pictures of him at the park recently… we ran into a nice lady with her 2 year old female yellow labs and he was thrilled!…

Yes, he wanted to hump them!

We as people can learn so much from our dogs.  They are so strong and happy.  They live for the moment… not for tomorrow or next year.  They don’t fret over things they can’t control.  Give them a bone and they’re in heaven.

 

Hunter & Hailey went to the pumpkin farm with me on Sunday:

Living in the Moment!

Happy Halloween everyone!

 

Wishing all tripawds and pawrents out there many sunny and happy days ahead!

Hunter, Hailey the monkey butt, & family

 

 

7 responses so far

Oct 13 2012


1st Pheasant Hunt of the Season!

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Hi everyone,

Just wanted to share the exciting day we had with Hunter, aka Super Dog, yesterday!

It was Hunter’s 1st pheasant hunt of the season and about 2 weeks shy of his 5 month ampuversary.

We had a beautiful and sunny 50 degree day.

He was excited the entire morning, seeing the truck get loaded and the guns pulled out.  Hunting vests, collars & whistles, and dog water bottles lined up on the kitchen floor.   He knew it was a hunting day and just knew he was going too!  We kept telling him the past week that he was going to “get some birdies!”…

As soon as we pulled into the driveway at the hunt club he started shaking.  His expression was like “I knew you’d hunt me this season…. I just knew you would!”…

We checked in, made sure we picked a field that had somewhat easier cover and terrain, and drove down to our spot for the morning.  When Hunter got out of the truck he waited patiently for his e-collar and his ID collar with the bell on it to be put on.  He waited for all of us to get dressed up in our orange vests and hats, load our pockets with water bottles, and for the guys to hoist the guns onto their shoulders.  Then off we went to hunt that first field.

Hunter hunted strong for the first 30 minutes and retrieved many birds!

 

 

We made sure to give him plenty of water the entire morning, but he looked a bit tired after that so I stayed with him while the guys hunted another field with our younger lab Hailey.

Hunter didn’t like to be left behind one bit!  He yelped and complained and tried to drag me into the field with him the entire time.  After about 10-15 minutes the guys were back and off Hunter went again.  He wanted all of the hunting he could get.

After another 30 minutes his hind end was dragging a bit and his tongue was all of the way out (the tongue thing is so him!) so we decided to pull him from the hunt.  I went back to the truck with him and waited until the guys finished up the fields.  But everytime a shot rang out Hunter would whine and complain ~ letting me know that he felt those were HIS retrieves!

He had a really successful first pheasant hunt and truly enjoyed his time out in the field.  Next time we’ll know his physical limits and either give him a longer break or just pull him from the hunt after 30 or 40 minutes.  It’s what he lives to do and we were so happy and proud to give him the chance to hunt again.  The friend we took with us on the hunt today said “you’d never know Hunter has only 3 legs”, and he commented that Hunter was the best hunting dog he’s ever had the priveledge to hunt with!

Here’s our Hunter, so proud of his work in the field:

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 responses so far

Sep 28 2012


6th Chemo treatment completed successfully!

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Hi everyone!

Hunter would like to let you all know that yesterday he successfully completed his 6th and final chemotherapy treatment!  He even brought in Thank You notes, pictures and cookies for his doctors and staff.

This is Hunter waiting for his nurse to come and get him…

Notice his tail wagging excessively!!

He was just a bit tired last night, but that may have just been from all of the excitement, praise, treats, and loving care he receives at the clinic each time he goes in.

We are very proud of him as this is a HUGE milestone in his journey towards beating Osteosarcoma!

As we were leaving the clinic, Whitney (his oncology nurse) gave Hunter his very own blanket!  It was from a family who lost their dog to cancer some time ago and who makes blankets to give to other cancer patients.  It’s a “Kozmo Kares” blanket!

Because Hunter loves being on our boat so much, he was given a pirate themed blanket.

Here are some pictures of Hunter yesterday…

What!  A new blankie just for me!?

I’ll just start chewing on it if you don’t mind!

Oh, you mind?  Well, then how do I look?

Hunter has been taking longer walks these days and has been to the park a few times.  Tromping up and down hills and through tall grass off leash has been his thing lately!  We even have two pheasant hunts scheduled for him in October as we are sure he doesn’t want to miss the season!

Hunter sleeping on the couch with his new blankie.

At this time we are not sure what additional steps we are taking in his fight to beat cancer, but we are definitely continuing with his supplements and his raw diet with veggies.  Plus of course our POSITIVE attitude!  We want Hunter in our lives for many, many more years.

We’ll keep you posted.

P.S. … Hunter’s 4 month Ampuversary is coming up this Sunday, Sept. 30th!  What a Super Dog!!

 

7 responses so far

Sep 07 2012


5th Round of Chemotherapy and some GREAT news!

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Hello everyone,

Hunter had his 5th round of chemo yesterday with chest xrays and blood work (his labs look great!).

To quote our oncologist…

“Based on our physical exam and chest x-rays, Hunter does not have evidence of cancer.”

To quote the radiologist…

“There is no evidence of nodular metastatic disease, the possible nodule previously described was not seen.”

WOOO HOOO!   We’re doing the happy dance here in southeastern Wisconsin!

Only one issue to mention…”The chest x-rays identified an enlargement of the pulmonary vessels as they exit the heart” ….however, since Hunter has no clinical signs of pulmonary hypertension, and his breed typically doesn’t present problems, we have been told not to worry about it.  Our oncologist says its a minor issue and doesn’t think Hunter is at risk.   They will look at the area again the next time they take Hunter’s chest xrays.

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We got back from a wonderfully relaxing family vacation in Lac du Flambeau, WI this Wednesday.

Hunter got walks, spent time fishing on our boat, and got to swim and plotch in a beautiful lake for 4 days.

I think it did him a world of good, and except for a little diarrhea due to the local water, he felt great (we switched to bottled water for our dogs and their symptoms cleared up).

Here are a couple of photos from our trip…

Captain Hunter is back!

 

One HAPPY lab!!

 

Fishing with “Dad” !

One foggy morning!

 

Lookin’ good Hunt!

Yes… that’s “Dad” out there on the boat!

 

We are staying positive and believe we will have many more wonderful memories with our “Super Dog”!

Each day with him is a gift and we give him lots of love, praise and of course…. treats!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 responses so far

Aug 30 2012


3 Month Ampuversary today!

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Today is Hunter’s 3 Month Ampuversary!

He is doing so well.  He is happy to see us when we get home, happy to take a walk with us each night, happy for his dinner and his frozen treat bones.  His tail thumps the floor when you just look at him.

I think he knows we are doing our very best to give him a long and happy life.  We are staying very positive and giving him lots of love and kisses and encouragement.

Here’s a photo of Hunter and “Dad” on the day we got to take him home.  He was just 8 weeks old then.

Now Hunter is 9 years, 1 month and 3 days old.  I told our vet that we’re throwing a huge party for him when he turns 10!  She just lit up hearing this.  We have a huge support system with our family, friends, vets, technicians and staff.

Hunter truly is loved by many!

This Saturday we are off to the North Woods of Wisconsin for some much needed R&R.  Hunter loves his time there and I’m sure a few days of fresh air, swimming, and fishing will do him a world of good!

 

Living life like a dog……

Give everyone you meet a warm welcome

Be loyal

Live life to the fullest

Go for a walk

Clean your plate

Breathe deeply

Take a nap whenever you like

Learn to get dirty

Shake it off

Good looks will get you anywhere

 

 

 

5 responses so far

Aug 13 2012


Happy times…

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We took Hunter, and his sister Hailey, on their first boat outing of the year yesterday.

Went to Moose Lake… a quiet, little, no access fee lake near our house.

Here are some photos from our afternoon…

 

 

Hunter’s favorite spot on our boat was always on the front with his ears flapping in the breeze as we were motoring around.

Yesterday, at first he headed for the back of the boat when we started moving.  But with some encouragement and some help with stabilization from me… he soon was back at the front of the boat, ears flapping happily!   Way to go Hunter!

 

 

6 responses so far

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