August Update

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It seems Heidi can’t have too many un-eventful months in a row. We discovered a lump on her back on evening. We know that her lungs will most likely be where the cancer shows up next, but this is Heidi & she doesn’t ever stick with the norm. 🙂

We had our vet appointment today to get the lump looked at. They are not sure exactly what it is. They use a needle to get a sample and saw no cancer cells at the moment. Due to her history of Osteo., they are sending the sample off to a pathologist. We should hear back from them in a few weeks. We will definately keep you updated.

Other than the lump (which doesn’t seem to bother her), Heidi is doing great. She has had a lot of energy lately and has been very playful! I think she is enjoying the mild summer we are having here.

We will be keeping good thoughts and prayers going for her test results. We will post an update as soon as we hear something!
<3 <3

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Osteo Diagnosis – 1 year later

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One year ago this month, Heidi was diagnosed with Osteoscarcoma. The vet said that because of her young age and how quickly the tumor was growing, she would guess she had 4-6 months to live. (She wouldn’t live to see her 2nd birthday.) At the time, our family was in the process of moving out of the country. We were faced with some tough decisions. Do we put her down now or right before we leave? Do we attempt to transport her? If we do move her, will she die in transit? These were our options, as we could not afford chemo & were told chemo wasn’t really a good option for her. According to the vet, chemo might extend her life to a full year.
We took a wait and see stance. We put her on as much pain medication as we could and did eveything to keep her eating. Despite her pain, she remained a happy girl. Her tail never stopped wagging.
Her second birthday came and went, and we decided to move her across “the pond”. (We didn’t have the heart to put down such a happy puppy.) She made the trip and her tail was wagging as they took her off the plane. We got her registered at the vet and her tumor-stricken leg was removed a month after she got here.
One year post diagnosis (& 4 months post-amputation), she is enjoying her tripawd life (tail still wagging)! She still has osteoscarcoma and take her in every few months for chest x-rays to see if it’s spread. We know she is living on borrowed time, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying every precious day we get to have her. She is a ray of light in our life and inspires us with her strength & happy demeanor.
We want her short life to have meaning, so we are curently in the process of getting her Canine Good Citizenship certified and into the Red Cross’s Pets and Wounded Warriors project. Who better to help wounded warriors than a Tripawd!

AFN Video Link

Here is the link to the interview I gave AFN during a recent Pet Show Spectacular sponsored by AAFES! Click the first link below and the video should be on the right side of the screen. Enjoy!

For those who have a facebook account, you can check out the video here!!/video/video.php?v=184968431557349&oid=132003660176193&comments

AFN Interview

Today, our military community held a pet spectacular.  They had an agility course and different competitions (most obiedent, most unique, best outfit, etc.)  We deicided to take Heidi to celebrate her 3rd anniversary of being a Tripawd!

Needless to say, Heidi got a lot of attention.  People were very interested in her story.  She loved the attention and getting to meet so many new people and dogs.  AFN (Armed Forces Network) was there shooting some footage for the local updates.  They were very taken with Heidi and asked for an interview.  They asked a lot of questions, and of course I mentioned as well as National Canine Cancer Foundation!

I will be e-mailed before it airs, and will definately post a link to the video!  Oh yeah, and I was sporting my Tripawds Rule! t-shirt I ordered from cafe press!

We had a great day getting the word out about tripawd dogs!

Underarmour Compression Shirt

When I went to pick up Heidi from the vet after her amputation, she recommended putting a t-shirt on Heidi instead of using a “cone of shame”.  Since Heidi is a big girl (95lbs @ the time), I did not have any dog shirts.  (I don’t think any owner of a GSD owns a dog shirt.)

Once home, I used one of my own t-shirts.  It worked okay, but there were issues.  It was loose, so one of her back legs whould get caught up in it and she would be unable to get up.  It was also a pain to deal with when it was time for her warm compresses.

About a week after her surgery, I had to run some errands.  While in a store, I saw Underarmour’s compression shirts (for women).  Because it was the compression shirt, I figured I would not have the issues with the loose-ness I had with traditional t-shirts.  The issue I did have was with the sleeves.  (Heidi had her front left leg removed)

To fix the sleeves required some sewing.  Now, I am not the best sewer in the world.  In fact, I can barely sew a straight seam, but I gave it my best shot.  First, I turned the shirt inside-out.  Next, I sewed BOTH sleeves shut.  Then, I measured the distance from Heidi’s collar to her only front leg.  I took this measurement to the shirt, starting from the shirt collar.  I believe her measurement was 10″.  I measured 10″ down from the shirt collar and cut an opening big enough for her leg to fit thru.  I then hemmed the opening with a zig-zag stitch on my machine.

I found that Heidi liked the compression shirt a lot better.  It moved with her, hugged her body and the material breathed.  (When buying the shirt, I suggest a woman’s shirt.  To determine the size you need, measure the dog’s chest (behind the front leg) and get the size that corresponds to the measurement on the price tag.)  I also found that the compression shirt helped to keep her post-surgery swelling down and helped hold her warm compresses in place.

We made Heidi wear the shirts until most of her hair had grown back.  She never seemed to mind them.  I know these shirts can be pricey (I paid $25 each, and they were on sale!), but you only need 2 (one to wear & one to wash) and I found them to be worth the money after a little doggy alteration.


My name is Heidi and I was born on 1 Jan 2009. I was the only puppy in my litter, and I was conceived via invetro fertilization. I came from the same breeder as my mate, but we have different parents. Shortly after my owner brought me home, we discovered that I have megaesophagus. After an exploratory surgery, my vets determined that it could not be fixed. As i have grown, my mega-e has gotten “better”. In June of 2010, I had a lump show up on my front left leg. After x-rays and a bone biopsy, I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer in dogs). My vets gave me 4-6 months to live. I am happy to say that I am still going strong 10 1/2 months after my diagnosis. I had my leg amputated in March of 2011, and I haven’t felt this good since before my diagnosis! If you have any questions about my conditions, please feel free to ask me. I want to help as many dogs as I can! 🙂