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Jan 08

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Well today was surgery day.  Got off work early to get him to the vet by 7:30am and said goodbye for 2 days.  He was soooo stubborn for the vet tech, we sat in the car and watched for a few minutes as he put up a good fight heading toward the back room.

We all (and by all i mean close to 50 people) had a party for Teo last week.  We served pork shoulder and front limb elk, not to mention Powder Hound beer and some Three Leg Dog wine.  It’s amazing the names of products if you look for them!  Teo enjoyed one of the two piggy shoulder bones and we saved the second for a post surgery day to come.

We got a call from the vet around 1:30pm this afternoon and she said he did great!  It all went smooth, they removed the scapula and all and inserted a site catheter for pain meds.

He may be ready to come home tomorrow but I’m hoping they want to keep him a second night so he can keep the pain pump in and stay that much more comfortable for a little bit longer.

As you can see, he’s adjusted pretty well to 3 paws and we all have high hopes of a swift return to a pseudo normal life.  He’ll never be my big day 5000′ vertical ski dog again but with some good PT and a little luck his powder days are not over.



one last chicken dance before the big day.


He’s positive there is something under there.


Always ready to strike a pose.

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Dec 18

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Such a great saying, it came to me via a bottle cap off a Powder Hound beer.  And is speaks to Teo’s attitude thus far in life…. through the wood eating phase, elk poo eating phase, elk poo rolling phase, the “your not wearing boots, I’m running though snow” phase…. and now the tripawd phase after his gazelle-esque leap in front of that car.

Went to see the K9 PT today for a baseline evaluation.  He’s compensated well , as the videos show, and is set up well for recovery from surgery.  I learned some stretches, massages and Teo got some exercises to do.  Doggy sit-ups, push-ups and core workout!?!

Date for the amputation is set for Jan 8th and we’re having a party for Teo on the 4th.  Pork Shoulder and Front Limb Elk steaks…. if we can’t laugh then how are we going to get on with life?  Already the jokes are starting … “hey Teo, do you get 25% off on dog wear?” and more from my friends.

Life goes on, Teo gets stronger and I strive to just keep up

Bounding Retrieve

Teo sporting his TriPawd scarf


Dec 12


Click on the teo1 above to see a short clip of him totally ignoring me for the ball!


If you are reading this, you are surely a pet owner who has an idea what your pet in crisis is like.  And you hopefully know when that pet’s spirit has returned.  Teo is back and not letting the gimpy leg hold him back one bit.

We have had significant snow fall in the last week, a real challenge for young Teo as he learns the hop.  I give him credit, he’s made it happen with a style all his own.   And to his credit, he found a squeaky ball the cat knocked off a shelf.  To say he was enthusiastic would be the understatement of the year.  He went crazy, and when I started tossing it in the back yard…. oh my, my boy is back!  For all the frowny faces around the house for a week, they sure evaporated once the ball was in play.

So now we wait, for things to chill out, muscles to build and others to evaporate, and we prepare for surgery in a few weeks and a new life that the humans around here seem to take harder than the k9.

Dec 10

Over the weekend Teo was doing well, feeling his oats with the tripawd hop and loving life hanging out in the back yard laying in the snow.  Upon a recommendation I started giving him a massage once or twice a day when he was calm and laying down to help keep his muscles loose.  Sunday morning his bad leg bones seemed very prominent, like he had no muscle there.  Not knowing if he had displaced something in a snow ball fall of glory, combined with 2 nights very fit-full sleep on his part,  I moved up his vet visit to today.

Teo has shown very minimal signs of increased sensation and absolutely no movement. His bone prominence is indeed severe  muscle atrophy.  So his official recommended care plan is amputation.  Not unexpected.

We’ll schedule it at about 4 weeks post injury just to be sure there are not signs of marked improvement.  He’s a very active dog and I honestly think the best quality of life is to shed the dead weight and move forward.

Dec 07

I’ll cut right to the chase – Teo tried to follow me up the stairs last night when I went to brush my teeth.  Earlier in the day I caught him with one paw up on the first tread, and promptly put up the baby gate.  Later in the day, the cat knocked down the gate and I was cleaning so I forgot to put it back up.  So, I start brushing teeth and I hear the clear and distinct sound of paws on wood.  He had made it up 6 or 7 stair and was making the move for more.  With visions of broken limbs and a head first slide down to the bottom racing through my mind I got to him before he could turn around and I carried him down.  And the baby gate is back up.

While this adventure barely meets the criteria of near miss (he had no intention of going down, it was bed time and his bed used to be upstairs), it was a perfect illustration of Teo’s desire to do what he pleases.  After a few growls and groans, we aren’t using the sheet sling to get him outside – “I’ll do it on my own!”.  And he has decided its time to greet everyone at the door with the standard plea for rubs and much tail wagging.  He has re-kindled his extreme love for his elk femur and squeaky toys and short of chasing the cat, I’d say he’s acting very normally.

Today more of the same.  Snow rolling, a little sage field exploration to mark more drop zones and a strong protest to going back inside.  He’s gonna be just fine any way this all plays out.

Dec 06

Day 3 according to the medication chart.

Teo and I spent all day just lounging around yesterday, I was the researcher, he the mouth breather; the drugs must be treating him well.

He’s getting the hang of the hop and continues to proclaim his independence for brief moments.  I help him out to the backyard, remove the sheet sling and he awkwardly gets his business done.  Teo has always been the dog that won’t shit on the trail; he would bound off several hundred yards, find a cozy sage plant with a view and take his moment to contemplate all that is good in life.  He never used the backyard for his business, I trained him that way, so now we are establishing new drop zones much closer to the back door.  He still gets to smell the sage and the view isn’t too bad if you turn the right way.  He also spent some time just laying in the snow in the yard, I think the cold felt good and he does love lounging in the sun outside.

Our recent snow fall is helping and hurting.  The snow makes it easy to drag his bad leg, I still haven’t found a way to sling it up where it stays put, and his brace from should be here tomorrow.  We’ll see if it catches on stuff or actually protects the bad paw.  I admit the irony of spending money to preserve a leg that is likely gone by the 1st of the year but as a medical professional I’m following the vet’s orders very strictly.  However, the snow also means he needs to work the good front leg that much harder to get a good wrist flick.  The reality is snow is only going to get deeper so lets figure this out.

The original title here was Mountain Town Hopping – since we live in a small ski resort town and my notorious bounder is now a hopper.  After giving it a second thought prompted by Admin, I saw how the mighty Google might mislead searchers.

Team effort!

Dec 05

2 nights ago young Teo made the unfortunate choice of playing chicken with a car; I think they both lost.  After a rough night at the Vet he was released with no broken bones or internal injuries; except for a that pesky Brachial Plexus Avulsion.  As I’m learning, the next few weeks are just the inevitable lead up to an amputation unless something drastic changes.

So, after a good first night home and normal food ins and waste outs, we start our new life.   Who knows what will happen.