Taking it easy on Day 2 at home

We learned from yesterday. Sort of. It was such a gorgeous, sunny, cool summer day, that when Mark came back from errands, and Whistler hopped up to greet him, we tried going out in the front. Whissie got “stuck” again, even though he’s hopping around the house and our enclosed back yard more-or-less fine. This time, though, Mark was supporting him with a big half-folded towel under his chest to hold him up. And we didn’t leave the tiny front yard to go down the street, once it was clear that he was too spooked to go walking in the “real outdoors” rather than in a safe backyard.

So he decided this was a better idea for enjoying the great outdoors instead:

Greyhound with amputated right front leg, in blue compression bandage, napping on his left side on the grass in a small enclosed yard.
Taking a nap outdoors

That’s our tiny backyard. He can do his business in the corner behind the end of the house. But on the little patch of grass in the middle, he often would just hang out in the sun. He decided that was exactly what he wanted to do today.

There’s some edema (swelling and redness) there on his chest and belly below the area of the bandage. That’s supposedly expected. We’ll keep an eye on it, but Dra. Amoedo did tell us that it would happen.

The getting “stuck”, a few steps away from the front door,  is clearly something psychological, after seeing it happen today right on the front lawn. It’s certainly self-protective and mental/emotional, because he gets around just fine (for values of “fine” appropriate to 4  days after having a leg cut off) within our small house, in our small back yard, in Doctor Mariana’s bigger house, in her much bigger back yard. Whistler now seems to know that he’s not quite ready for a walk yet. That’s good, because it means he’ll be better about staying in the house or the back yard, till he’s stronger. Taking the long nap outdoors, in the “safe” backyard, was thus a healthy adaptation of his need to be outside.

What he doesn’t yet know is that he can’t get up on the bed or sofa! He knows it’s higher than it seemed before, but he doesn’t quite know that he’s not ready to try. So we need to watch him carefully in the house. None of this “I’m going to take a long shower” while the other person decides to take a nap or go out.

Now that yesterday’s US holiday is over, your PayPal donations were able to reach our US bank accounts (there’s allegedly a 2-5 day transfer delay, but our bank gets it usually in 2 days, and that’s even if there’s a holiday) – so thanks to you we were able to get all the pain and antibiotic meds he needs for the next week, and pay the surgeon’s fee, without having the “Can we get away with not paying the electric bill and human health care?” Thank you for helping us help him! Saving up for this chemotherapy which starts in about 3 more weeks. Unclear yet exactly which drugs will be best, and how often, how many, treatments.

Right now our focus is on keeping him from injury, trying to make him happy even though his world is temporarily limited, and getting him healed up from the major surgery. The compression bandages come off after the weekend. Stitches come out about a week after that, so there’s another vet procedure for that.

Most of all, we have to keep on keeping positive and believing this was right for him. He had a tough night last night, with a lot of whimpering and whining where neither we nor he knew if he needed food, potty, fresh air, cuddling, standing, lying down, or walking around. Nobody got much sleep. We’ll see how tonight goes.

Thanks again for following along with Whistler’s recovery challenge. We appreciate your thoughts, prayers, and all your support of any type. Have pets? Give them extra hugs today from us!

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Whistler the Hound

Whistler is the family pet of Mark Mercer and Lisa Marie Mercer. At only 7 years old, he is fighting the terrible and deadly disease, osteosarcoma. That's a fast-growing and painful bone cancer - in his once-strong right front shoulder. We aren't giving up on our greyt doggie, because he isn't giving up on us. Though he started limping badly again, with increased pain medication in early January 2015, he came back to his old normal personality, and began hopping around fine. But the leg will kill him if it doesn't come off, and otherwise he would only have days to at most weeks left. On January 16 2015 he is scheduled for amputation surgery. A difficult race is ahead, with rehab and chemotherapy, with emotional and financial stress. But he's worth it. (Because dogs don't type as well as cats do, posts from "Whistler the Hound" are interpreted by his people, Mark Mercer and Lisa Mercer.)