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My Newfy Rufus

End of the journey

Posted by jillyd on September 17, 2017

Rufus’s journey has come to an end.  He stopped eating and was very lethargic so we took him in and the osteosarcoma had spread into his chest.  We got another 10 days or so with him but in the end, it was the kindest thing to do.  He got to have one last doggy play date with his friend Subaka although there wasn’t too much playing on his behalf.

He lost his appetite for doggy food so he got treated like a king and ate chopped steak, potatoes, carrots, and broccoli twice a day.

On Friday the 15th September, we took him in.  He was excited to go for a ride.  He managed to get up and get into the truck with our help, but he didn’t want to get out at the other end.  We lifted him into a cart the vets have and his last journey was being wheeled in like the spoiled dog he was.  Here’s the last photo I have of my beautiful boy, two days before he was gone.

Rufus was the doggy love of my life and I will miss him every day.  The last 5 years were wonderful and he left us way too early, but we have memories and lots of photos to remember him by.  Rest in peace Rufus; love mummy, daddy, and big brother Chewy.

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Now if only Rufus’s fur would grow back!

Posted by jillyd on June 1, 2017

Tomorrow will be 3 months since Rufus’s surgery.  He’s doing great although he can’t go very far, it isn’t like we can hike for miles any more but he’s always as anxious as ever to get into the back of the truck and go for a ride and a hop.  He still wants to try to jump both in and out of the back of my big truck but we make him use the ramp.  He has a monthly check-up at the vets but there are no more symptoms yet as far as coughing or anything that would lead us to believe the cancer has metastasized.

We took him out to a local pond last week and he can still swim which is one of his great loves.  Try to ignore the panic in my voice in the video!  Adam took him out a few days later and said he just kept swimming out, about 1/4 of the way across the pond before turning back.  I’m sure he was panicked too.

We’re planning a road trip around the 4th July so he’ll be able to enjoy some camping, swimming, and as much exercise as he can stand.

Now all he needs is his fur to grow back.  He got some kind of rash (razor burn?) and the fur just refuses to come back in that area.  It’s back all around his scar and the rash has cleared up so we’re hoping it’ll grow soon.  I think he’s embarrassed by it.  Here he is enjoying some warm spring weather.


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Three+ weeks since surgery

Posted by jillyd on March 26, 2017

Adam and I went to discuss chemo last week with our vet and have decided it isn’t something we want to pursue.  Rufus seems perfectly happy (as happy as he can be with a missing front leg anyway) and as everything is so slow moving in his case, we are optimistic that any spread of the disease will also be slow moving.  Here he is this morning hanging out with Chewy.  The snow has finally melted.

We took him out for a walk this morning, the link below is a video.  He gets tired pretty quickly but that is a lot of weight to put on a single front leg.  We’re starting slow and hopefully he’ll build up some stamina so we can go further.

Lastly, here’s my favorite photo of him when he was just a boy!

Jill and Rufus.

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Two Weeks Post-Surgery

Posted by jillyd on March 15, 2017

Rufus has been doing great the past few weeks although he’s had a few bouts of depression, presumably because he wants to get out of the house (and yard) and get a bit of exercise.  He had his second follow-up appointment yesterday, 12 days after his surgery, and the majority of his staples were removed.  The vet said we could give him more exercise now, just no running quite yet.

We got the call this morning on the results from his removed leg.  They found osteosarcoma “deep in the bone”.  The recommended courses of action are either (a) do nothing, or (b) look into chemo.  I haven’t discussed it yet with my husband but at the very least, we’ll go talk to one of the other vets in our veterinary office who is more knowledgeable on chemo.  The vet who performed the surgery said the average life span is 3-6 months without chemo, maybe up to a year with, but of course that’s on a case-by-case basis.

Looking at this site, I’m a lot more optimistic.  When Rufus first had issues and we researched osteosarcoma, we read that it was a super aggressive form of cancer.  The fact that it was 6 weeks between his first appointment and his amputation and even then there were no signs of lysis in his leg bone makes me hopeful that it’s a very slow moving case.  There was nothing obvious in his pre-surgery chest x-ray so again, this gives me hope.

It was Rufus’s birthday yesterday by the way, 5 years old.  Here’s a photo when he was about 10 or 11 weeks old right after I’d got him:

Wish us all luck!

Jill, Adam, Rufus, and brother Chewy.

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Three days post-surgery

Posted by jillyd on March 6, 2017

Saturday, late afternoon, we got Rufus down the newly built ramp for the first time since he came home.  It was a struggle keeping up with him as he moves so fast and the sling we’ve been using isn’t the most convenient when you have two people trying to help.  He got down the ramp fine and peed for what felt like about half an hour then he lay down for a while.  He tried getting into the deeper snow in our yard but we stopped him, we didn’t want to make things harder for him.  He came back in and then zonked out for the night.  Adam and I slept in our spare bedroom on the main floor so we could hear if he was having any issues, but not a peep all night.

Yesterday morning we got up and he had his daily Dentastix but he didn’t want to go outside.  A friend came by early afternoon so we got Rufus to come outside with us, this time just using a collar and leash instead of the sling, and he made it down the ramp with no problems whatsoever.  I can’t believe how well he’s doing considering the surgery was only on Thursday.  He hopped around the yard, peed for another half hour, lay down for a while, tried “running” when our other dog decided to bark at a crow and chase after it (I didn’t grab his leash in time to stop him), then he came to sit by us while we enjoyed the first sunshine we’ve seen in quite a while.  Here he is with Adam and our friend Ginger.

This morning we took him out and he managed to go poo for the first time although only a small one.  I know that’s a major accomplishment for humans after surgery so however small is a good sign.  I couldn’t upload the video on here as it was too big but here he is on Sunday hopping around the yard.


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