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Feelin’ Good

Posted by: | June 2, 2012 | 4 Comments |

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It has been a really good week for me.  Mom says that I am pretty much acting like my self again.  She is hoping that the doctor was wrong.  Next week we are going to go back and have the doctor do a couple more tests to look into a few more things, and check my weight.  Mom has been trying really hard to get me to eat.  I am usually pretty hungry these days, so it’s not hard, but I am picky. She is trying to get me to swallow these new pills (Tramadol and Prednisone) but each time I find them in my food and spit them out.  So she is not sure if it’s the medicine that is making me feel better, because she is not sure it is actually making it in there.  I have all sorts of sneaky ways to hide pills.  I have these big floppy jowls, so sometimes I just stick them in there and then go spit them out somewhere she won’t find them, like behind the couch.

She just brought me back some delicious wild boar grain-free cookies from the store.  They were so delicious I ate 6 of them.  We spent some time together outside where Mom went crazy taking a bunch more pictures of me.  Tomorrow we are going to meet up with Kelly, someone Mom met through Tripawds.  Kelly is a very talented pet photographer, and she offered to take some pictures of me.  Mom is really excited.  I am excited too, because we get to go for a ride in the Mobile Throne.  It will be nice to go for a ride to someplace other than the vet.  Of course, Mom says she will post Kelly’s pictures when they are done, but for now you will have to settle for Mom’s amateur pictures of me.

The Power of Three

 

Beauty and Grace

 

My Seeing Eye Nose

 

Feelin' Good Today

 

Behold the Great Dane

 

Jowls of Awesomeness

 


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Hey everypawdy, it’s Queen Nova.  I’ve been bugging Mom for weeks to get online and update everyone on what’s been going on in my life.  Actually, up until last weekend, my days were pretty much spent doing what I love to do the most… nap in various places around the house, and bark orders to my Lady-in-Waiting when I want stuff.  Lately I’ve been addicted to these delicious chicken meatball treats she bought me (don’t worry, they are not made in China).  I get very pushy until she gives me 3 treats, only then will I give her a break. I count them (I am a smart Queen). Sometimes I really have to bark loud to get her to do what I want… I think I need to send her to a “Service to the Queen” refresher course, don’t you think?

Anyway, last weekend I started to not feel very good.  I don’t know how to explain it, but things just didn’t seem right in my head.  Even though I am blind, I can usually find my way around the house and outside with no problems.  But last weekend was weird.  I felt like a zombie, and was forgetting how to do things.  Mom would try to talk to me, to help me, and my head hurt so bad I didn’t even want to listen to her.  I just wanted to sit and stare, and pant, and pace.  I was driving Mom nuts, because we both knew something was very wrong with me, but I could not explain the feeling to Mom.  But Mom knows me very well, and she could sense that something was not right.  It was like there was a different dog living inside of me.  We had a birthday party on Memorial Day, and a houseful of guests and I had no interest in saying hi to anyone.  I just lay in my bed the whole time.  Everyone was asking why I was not making the rounds giving kisses and sitting on laps.  I just didn’t feel like it.

Well on Tuesday Mom took me to the vet.  She was trying hard to assess my symptoms and her best guess was that somehow the pressure had come back in my eyes from my glaucoma.  So she called the ophthamologist for an appointment and they couldn’t get me in, so she decided to take me to the vet closer to our house, where we had just been a few days before for a routine visit.  By the time we got to the vet I felt just awful.  I didn’t want to do anything but hang my head low, pant, shake and shiver.  People in the waiting room were looking at me funny.  I just wanted to get out of there.  It was loud and there were yippy dogs yapping, cats meowing, I was going bananas.  They got me on the scale to get my weight and the humans got very confused.  They kept taking me off, and helping me back on over and over.  They didn’t believe the number on the scale, because it was 7 lbs less than it was when I was there last week to get my heartworm medication.  Mom was baffled, she told the Doctor that I had eaten every meal all weekend, except for the night before.  No one could figure out where those 7 lbs went.   Mom joked that she wished she could lose 7 lbs in a weekend.

In the exam room the Doctor did all sorts of tests on me to try to figure out what was wrong.  He quickly determined that there was nothing wrong with my eyes.  They were not red or inflamed and the pressure was fine.  My heart rate was up.  He kept saying how worried he was about my weight loss.  He told Mom that I was in pain (duh, you don’t need to go to vet school to figure that out, doofus) and that he was worried that my cancer had spread to other parts of my body.  He was also worried because many of the symptoms I had been having (like my change in personality and confusion) were also signs of a brain tumor.  When Mom was describing my symptoms, she was saying that sometimes I was acting like my human Grandma who has Alzheimer’s disease.  That’s a terrible disease, Grandma doesn’t even know who I am anymore.  The vet said that could be possible, but that the weight loss made that less likely, and more likely to be cancer of some sort.  ARGH.  Mom was way unhappy I could tell, I could feel her sadness in the air.  The Doctor offered to do some xrays of my chest and spleen, to check and see if anything had spread there, and also take some blood.  Mom said do whatever might help give us an answer.

They took me in for the xrays and I don’t know what came over me.  I got very angry with the vet techs, so I growled and lashed out to bite them.  That is so NOT me, I may be bossy, but I have never growled or bitten anything or anyone in my life.  The vet told Mom right away, telling her that he had never seen me behave that way.  I didn’t want to, like I said, I felt like a different dog and everything seemed unfamiliar.  They had to put a stupid muzzle on me.  Geesh.  It least I didn’t need something really humiliating like the Cone of Shame.  The pictures he took of my lovely, lanky body were, well, lovely of course!  My lungs were as clear as ever, nothing funky looking in my spleen, and they even pointed out my stomach tack I had way back when my stomach twisted.  There was a little bit of arthritis in my spine (I am a senior in my golden years, even a Queen can’t stay young forever), but everything, including my bloodwork looked great.  The head was the only thing left to look at, and xrays can’t look inside there.  Getting pictures of the brain is really, really expensive.  And if something was wrong in there, there would not be much they could do to fix it.  The humans talked about some pills that might help me with the pain and swelling in my brain, if that even was what it was or is.  We don’t really know for sure if there is cancer in there or not, and I am just fine with that.  I just want to get the pain to go away.

The next day I felt a lot better and showed my love to Mom the usual way, with tail wags, snuggles and kisses.  I demanded 2 dinners and treats right after.  We hung around outside taking pictures.  She was so happy to see me act more like myself and she is very hopeful that the Doctor was wrong.  She told me that she used to sometimes get migraines and that they hurt so bad that it felt like something horrible hammering in your head.  Of course, neither of us can see in there and know for sure what it is that was causing the pain.  But she promised me she would do everything she could to keep my head from hurting bad.  I know she will, she always has been there for me and done everything she can for me, even if she is a little slow on the treats sometime.  We are spending lots of snuggle time together communicating in our own special way.  She is not ready for me to leave this Earth (you humans never are), even though we both know we will be together again.  And I am not ready to leave yet either.  I have beaten cancer for 3 1/2 years and I am not going to let any stupid speed bump in my head stop me.  I am a Survivor, a Tripawd, a Warrior, a Queen! Kicking cancer’s butt is what I do best (well, aside from napping)!

I am looking forward to many, many more days here on Earth with my family and Tripawd friends.  Dog Save The Queen!

HRH Warrior Queen Nova of Tripawds

The Warrior Queen is Armed for Battle!

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I hope everyone is having a fun holiday, I know I am!  I am so excited tonight because I know that Santa is coming and I know that I have been very good this year. Geesh, I have done everything that Mom has told me to this year, plus I have beaten that stupid cancer for over 37 months, so I hope that means that Santa will be good to me.  Some of you old-timer Tripawds might remember the song that Mom wrote a few years ago in 2008 right after I had my amputation.  Well, guess what? This year I convinced her to update the song with a new verse!  And I wanted her to share it with those of you who haven’t heard it before.  So I invite you all to gather ’round tonight and join me and my family in a rousing rendition of my favorite Christmas song…. “Nova The Tripawd Dane Deer”

(sing to the tune of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”)

You know Trouble, and

Abby and,

Wyatt and Sammy…..

Comet and

Fortis and

Gayle and Gerry…..

But do you recall…. the biggest ol’  lazy-butt Tripawd of all??

 

Nova, the Tripawd Dane Deer,

Gets around on just 3 paws.

3 years of cancer-free living…

Is the best gift from Santa Claus!

 

Bone cancer and glaucoma are very painful,

Nova’d often hang her big head.

Even some jerk at the Doctor,

Thought she should go to Heaven instead.

 

Losing a leg is not so sad,

Nova would say it ain’t half bad.

Love surrounds her every day,

Lots of treats and snuggles coming her way….

 

She could have never done it,

If it weren’t for Jerry, Jim and Rene….

And all of the Spirit Tripawds,

To guide her along the way!

 

(Verse 2)

Nova, the Tripawd Dane Deer

Is also known as “The Queen”,

Sprawled out on her leather sofa “throne”,

She’s the laziest dog you’ve ever seen!

 

Her family gathers “round her,

Bearing treats and stuffies and cheese,

Surrounded by all of her favorite things,

The Queen is always quite pleased.

 

Even when she lost her sight,

And every day then looked like night.

But she kept her spirits bright,

For 3 years she’s continued to lead the fight!

 

All if the other Tripawds,

Cheer her on with a big “hooray”.

Nova, our Tripawd Dane Deer,

May you lead the way for many more days!

 

Merry Christmas, everypawdy!

 

Licks and Leans from Queen Nova of Tripawds… kickin’ cancer’s butt for over 37 months!

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Wow…. in just two short months, Queen Nova will be reaching her 3 YEAR AMPUVERSARY. I simply can’t believe that she has she had thrived this long, but I am so very thankful. At the end of September, on the 25th, there will be a “Paws of Hope” picnic at the Animal Cancer and Imaging Center here in Canton, MI, where Nova had her amputation and treatment nearly 3 years ago. We are so excited to attend so that we can give hope to others that are just starting their battles with osteosarcoma. We have had no health crises (with Nova at least) for so long, sometimes I forget she was even sick. The blindness has definitely slowed her down, but she continues to be happy and healthy.
Here are a few pictures of the Queen and her new “royal” collar, which was created by www.collarshop.org. She also has a hot pink zebra stripe collar, but has been wearing the royal one in honor of her latest ampuversary.

And here is a close up of her new collar:

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I can’t believe it’s been months since Mom has been on here to update everypawdy.  Geesh!  She sure let going back to school take up ALL of her time.  But she says that it’s almost over, she just has a big national exam to take on July 6th and then after that she will have all the time in the world to blog about me.  It’s about time!

Earlier this year I had a ciliary body ablation in my other bad eye, and even though the doctor told Mom the procedure only had a 50% success rate, I was in the lucky 50%.  WHOOO HOOOO!  Now I have no more pain in either of my eyes, and I don’t have to have all those stupid eyedrops put in my eyes all the time anymore.

The Queen is Happy and Healthy!

My health is excellent.  Mom takes me to the vet every few months for a checkup and bloodwork, and each and every time the results are the same.  “Her bloodwork was perfect, absolutely pristine!”  This is the same message the vet leaves on the answering machine every time.  But Mom still does a little happy dance each and every time she gets the good news.  She just loves the fact that we have beaten that stupid cancer month after month.  Long Live The Queen!

Summer is going great!  I especially love to sunbathe on my palace grounds.  Just because I am blind doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the sun.  My nose and ears are my eyes.  Using them I can see just fine, just like other dawgs.

So Many Reasons to Be Happy!

Today I spent a couple hours laying out in the sun, even though it was really, really hot outside.  Thankfully Mom is a very attentive lady-in-waiting, and she brought me a dish of ice cubes.  I really wanted her to hold each one while I licked it, but she was not too excited about doing that since she knows I like to take my time when I eat.

Lounging on the Palace Grounds

Hope I Don't Get Tiara Tan Lines!

My 32nd ampuversary is coming up this month on July 11th.  Mom told me today that she just ordered a REALLY special gift for me.  Hopefully it will come by then, but Mom said she wasn’t too sure it would.

Okay, Mom is bugging me to give her the computer back so she can study.  I’m going to go back out in the sun to nap again!

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Happy As Ever

Posted by: | March 13, 2011 | 5 Comments |

She’s kicked bone cancer’s butt now for over 28 months, hops around on 3 legs, and is totally blind in both eyes from glaucoma. But my 132-lb. big girl Nova is the happiest girl ever! If only we all had such pawsitive attitudes, huh?

Here’s a picture I snapped of Nova taken when I picked her up from her eye surgery a few weeks ago. Have you ever seen a human so happy after surgery???

Still Smiling!

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My Achin’ Eyeball!

Posted by: | February 26, 2011 | 8 Comments |

Today Mom and I headed off in the mobile throne to go to Michigan Veterinary Specialists, that really expensive place where Mom pays them the big bucks to poke my eyeballs.  I’ve been feeling terrible lately because of my stupid glaucoma.  I’d have to say that the pain from glaucoma is just as bad as the pain is from bone cancer. It’s a throbbing, stabbing pain, like having the worst migraine headache ever.  It’s been over two years since the last flare-up where I had to have Chemical Ciliary Body Ablation in my left eye.  It’s where they inject a medicine right into my eyeball to “kill” the eyeball so it stops the pressure from building in my eye.  When I originally had the process back then, they told Mom that it had about a 65% success rate.  Well, I totally worked.  Since then I have never had a single problem with pressure in that eye.

At the time, Doctors were not sure if I still had sight in my remaining (right) eye.  So Mom has had to continue to treat that eye with 3 types of eyedrops… Xalatan, Trusopt and Timolol. Xalatan is sooooo expensive and Mom practically has a heart attack every time she has to refill the prescription.  The ladies at Walmart Pharmacy always stop to question her, to make sure she is willing to spend that kind of money on a DOG.  Can you believe they would ask that?  This is the QUEEN here.  Of course Mom should spend that money, nothing but the best for the Queen you know.  When Mom says yes, go ahead and ring it up the lady says “Well I hope Nova has a JOB.”  Geesh… can you believe that?  This lady thinks I should be working like some common folk. Please.  There is no way I could fit in working with my busy nap schedule.

Anyway, the pressure in my right eye has been really bad and my eyeball started to bulge and look really yucky.  We headed off to the ophthomologist this this morning.  I really didn’t want to go, but I wanted the pain to stop too.

Ouch! I am in pain!

Here we are at Michigan Veterinary Specialists in Southfield, MI.  A really fancy-pants place, totally fit for a Queen.

Arriving at the dog eyeball repair shop

I was so nervous in the waiting room.  It has been well over a year since I have had to come here.

Waiting for the Doctor

Mom and I went into the exam room and the vet tech came in to do the usual eyeball tests.  The first is the Shirmer Tear Test, where they stick these stupid strips under my eyelids to measure tear production.  We lost a few in the process since I shook my head, but they finally got them to stay in long enough.

Don't I look ridiculous?

Next, was the Fluorescein Stain Test, where they put these fluorescent eyedrops in to highlight certain areas to look at in the dark.

Fluorescent eyedrops

Then they had to flush the excess out of my eyes.  Aren’t you impressed how patient I am?  I don’t know any other dogs who would allow someone to poke their eyeballs and then flush them out without putting up a big stink.  I’m a very good girl.

Flushing out the excess stain

Now they turned out the lights to look at the things that the dye colored in the dark.  Yeah, I know you can’t see anything in the picture because it’s dark.  This is what I have to deal with every day.  Mom was laughing because all of my eye goobers glowed yellow in the dark. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

In the dark

Next came the tonometry pen.  ACK!  I hate this thing.  They poke your eyeballs with it over and over and over until it beeps.  It tests the pressure in my eyeballs. My left eye was fine.  My right eye… not so much.  I heard Mom say OH CRAP, so I knew that the news was not good.  The pressure was out of control.

Eyeball poking and prodding with the Tonopen

Waiting to hear what the Doctor says

Still waiting....

STILL waiting...

Well, the Doctor finally came in and told Mom that the medication is just not working and that she needed to do something about the pain ASAP.  She gave Mom two options.  Either do another ablation in my right eye (65% success rate… it worked great in my other eye).  OR remove my eyeball altogether (much more expensive, and kinda creepy looking, if you ask me).  Either way, it meant surgery and anesthesia, which doesn’t make Mom too happy.

Mom decided to set up an appointment for me to have the ablation done this Tuesday. The anesthesia is Propofol, which means I only have to be under a really short time.  I had it last time and did fine. But of course Mom is still worried.  I will just be happy to get this pain under control.

If the ablation works then we will be able to eventually stop all the expensive eyedrops.  Mom is thrilled about that, because it has been really draining the royal treasury.  The vet gave Mom some info about a way to get Xalatan from Canada that is much cheaper.  So Mom was excited about that. But again, hopefully we will be able to stop the Xalatan soon anyway.

Well, wish me luck with my surgery on Tuesday.  Mom is going to be a basket case, so make sure you send her some licks and leans, okay?

For being such a good girl, Mom took me for a roast beef sandwich at Arbys.

Good girl

Mom wouldn't let me eat the bread, just the meat

Mmmmmmmm!

Still got a headache though!

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Hey, did you know that I turned 7 years old on January 26th?  Mom didn’t have a big party for me yet because she was stuck in school all day (can you believe MY birthday is not considered a national holiday around here? Geesh!) Seems like there were lots of reasons to celebrate on my birthday… like my Tripawds friends Trouble, Cemil and Cooper all had ampuversaries that day.  How cool is that?  It is so great to see other Tripawds kick cancer’s butt. Our ranks are growing!  WHOOO HOOOO!!!

Speaking of kicking cancer’s butt, Mom took me to the vet today to get a couple of things checked out.  One was a lump that appeared on my chest/stomach and some gross skin tag that dangles from the armpit of my Power Paw. She’s been squawking about these things for a few months now and finally got up the nerve to do something about it. Silly Mom was afraid that the lump on my chest was cancer, so she paid the Doctor to stick a needle in it (man, these humans love to give money to vets… she has already practically funded a new wing for the place between mine and Emmy’s bills). The vet called it “aspirating” but I think she just called it that to make it sound important so Mom would pay her lots of money. ANYWAY… the doctor said it was just FAT cells (watch it, lady, don’t be callin’ me FAT), or “lipoma” is the fancy word she used.

The skin tag unfortunately has got to stay.  There is a big honkin’ blood vessel feeding into it, which means I would have to have general anesthesia to take it off. Mom said no way is she going to risk anesthesia for “cosmetic” surgery, so I am stuck with this dangling turkey waddle thing in my armpit.  Oh well, even a Queen can’t be perfect!

Ok, here is something really, really cool that Mom made for me.  She’s a little embarrassed to share it because she thinks its kind of silly, but I told her to do it anyway. Things have been really sad around Tripawds the past week with our beloved Comet going to heaven unexpectedly. I told her that spirit Tripawd pawrents need a reason to smile, and pawrents of Tripawd Warriors on earth need to know there is HOPE. So Mom finally decided to try to make a slideshow on her new Mac, with music and everything! What a great birthday present for me! I think this video gives both smiles and hope. Now keep in mind, Mom is pretty lame at getting the music to flow just right, but I think you will forgive her.  It’s a very royal song played by a band named (what else?)… QUEEN.

Hope you enjoy the video!  Here it is…

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Back to the Blog

Posted by: | January 9, 2011 | 7 Comments |

Dang!  Can you believe my Mom?  She has been such a slacker and has not updated my blog in over 3 months!  Geesh!  Now if she was a Great Dane, I would totally excuse the laziness thing. But she’s a person, so she needs to do a little work now and then, dontcha think?  Sometimes I think about revoking her title as my Lady-in-Waiting.  Anyway, she is promising me that she will be updating the blog more often now that she has a new computer. I guess that old DELL-osoar was giving her such a hassle, it was a pain in the butt to post.  Well now that the Big Fat Guy in the Red Suit came at Christmas time (the same dude that brought me some great Pillow Pets, bully sticks and beef trachea) brought her this big thing on her desk called an iMac. I am afraid she might love this thing more than me!  She sits there looking at it all the time.  But the good news is that she is on Tripawds more. See?

Mom Has a New Computer

Hey, would you look at that? Our buddy Jerry came up on the page, not me.  What’s up with that? Oh well, maybe the next time Mom logs on I will be up there on the top.  I made Mom promise to post more pictures and updates about me, especially since I have some BIG days coming up this month.  First, my 26-month ampuversary will be this Tuesday, January 11th. And at the end of January, I will be celebrating my 7th BIRTHDAY. Whooo hoooo!  I think I might celebrate my birthday AWAKE this year (unlike my 6th birthday, which I amused you all by sleeping through.

I had a really good Christmas.  I got to see Santa again this year, for the 3rd Christmas since my amputation.  I think Mom already posted about that on the forum back in December.  Each year since my surgery, Mom has taken me to the Santa booth run by a local Vet’s office during a winter festival in my town.  The first year the people there were all amazed to see a big dog like me getting around on 3 legs.  But you could tell they were a little sad, I could just tell (with those special powers that us dogs have) that they thought that I would be in Heaven by the next Christmas. So when Mom took me back the next year (2009), these same people (who doubted my ability to beat the cancer) were even MORE happy to see me. And this past Christmas, 2010, Mom took me back there for the THIRD time, and these people were doing all these silly happy dances (like we do when Mom’s cooking steak or something) and calling me things like the “Miracle Dog” (totally forgetting royal protocol of addressing me as Queen, but that’s ok). I guess people get a little crazy when you have kicked cancer’s butt for so long.

Here’s a picture, in case you didn’t see it.

Let’s see.  Back in November, we went too Grand Rapids for another gathering of Midwest Tripawds, to celebrate my 2-year ampuversary with Rocky, Boo and Gerry, whose Mom drove all the way from Wisconsin just to celebrate with me.  That was pawesome.  Mom says she already posted pictures of that on the forum, so I will trust that she did.

Here I am lounging at Christmas:

Lounging

And supervising on Christmas Day:

In My Christmas Collar

Ok, it’s time for Mom to go because she needs to feed me and Emmy dinner.  I’ve been really hungry lately and do not like to wait.

Licks, leans, and beef trachea for all!

Queen Nova of Tripawds (aka the Miracle Dog)

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Portrait of the Queen

Posted by: | September 26, 2010 | 8 Comments |

Mom just got this great portrait of me and my sister Emmy, which was taken by Rocky’s Mom at the Michigan Tripawd Pawty the other day.  Although I think I look beautiful in ALL of my pictures, Mom thinks this one totally captures the “Spirit of Nova”.  Now, since I can’t see with my eyes, I can’t see it exactly the way she sees it.  But you all know that I see just fine with my ears and my nose, and according to Mom, that is exactly what this pawesome picture illustrates.

The Queen Sees All with Her Ears and Nose

 

Thanks Rocky’s Mom for sharing this!  You’ve made my Mom a very happy Mom.

Queen Nova of Tripawds

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