... the three-legged wonder dog
We’re dog people.
Ella, our golden retriever, travels with us, is our mascot and is frequently featured in our photo shoots.
Her cousin, by family quirk, is a Flat-Coated Retriever, Zeus.
Here’s the quick snapshot of how Zeus ended up with us. He is a purebred Flat-Coat, born in Portugal, (which means English is his second language—which also explains a lot), raised in Gibraltar (yes, that big rock that is also a country marking the entrance to the Mediterranean), has an international passport and is a damn good dog that my son has multi-country raised.
Do you remember the Winnie-the-Pooh character, Tigger? …the bouncy, always happy, full of energy, tiger. That’s our Zeus. Sometimes, with just a little too much gusto.
Now at 7 years old, he remains a puppy at heart.
We got the horrible news that an aggressive form of cancer had set in his front right elbow joint. The first sign however wasn’t the cancer, it was a freak accident where Zeus rolled his ankle on gravel at a dog park. He started limping and we had him checked out.
One Vet said arthritis, however a specialist diagnosed Histiocytic Sarcoma. These are very aggressive tumors that can become very invasive (destroy normal surrounding tissues) as well as have a high rate of metastasis (spreading to other areas of the body).
A lot of tough decisions…
Why is it that pets become so dang close and become integral to our lives? I guess it’s that unconditional love, plus they rarely bring problems…just always happy to see you.
The Vets did an ultrasound to assess whether it had spread…fingers crossed. For the moment it was isolated in his leg.
My son made the decision to amputate the leg and give him a shot at a longer life. The Vet did a great job, and put Zeus on a form of chemotherapy…but here comes the tough part.
You really can’t explain to a dog that he’s going to wake up from surgery without a leg.
It took a few days, but Zeus was trying to walk with 3 legs. A little pitiful, he kept falling…but always managed to get back up and keep trying.
And was always happy to have the support of my son and greet anyone with a big wet dog kiss. After about 2 weeks he became more comfortable and got a little “pep” in his step.
But he sure was a “sad sack” that first month. Wouldn’t play with toys, lots of challenges and just clearly frustrated, but got lots of good care and TLC.
I thought, maybe a good life lesson for us humans:
- Make the best of it, keep the attitude positive…even when you keep falling down, there is a “Tigger” in each of us.
- Get back up, get stronger and don’t quit.
- Greet everyone with warmth. (although not necessarily that wet dog kiss thing).
We’re not sure how much longer the wonder dog will be with us.
But that big pooch is back to bouncing, like Tigger, but on one front leg with as much enthusiasm as ever…maybe not the same intensity or energy…but the raw “joy of life” is ever present.
Feb 18, 2020
The Leap Year 29 Favorites about Key West.
Feb 13, 2020
The Key West President
Dec 04, 2019
Secrets in Caring for Linens
Nov 04, 2019
Oct 29, 2019
Mile 0 Fest
Oct 20, 2019
Team: Lure for a Cure
Sep 04, 2019
Our Top 7 Spots to Enjoy a Cold Beer
Aug 09, 2019
Five Steps to Building the Perfect Rum Bar
Jul 21, 2019
Jun 30, 2019
And the Oscar Goes to….
Jun 19, 2019
"A Sunny Place for Shady People"
Jun 10, 2019
The Old Man and a Sea
Jun 07, 2019
Blame it on the “Amazon20” Discount Code…
Feb 16, 2019
Best Mojito in Key West…Seriously.
Feb 01, 2019
The Key West Songwriters Festival
Nov 22, 2018
Come on down!
Sep 26, 2018
…the rest of the story.
Sep 03, 2018
A jeep, a beach, a pooch and…
Jul 30, 2018
Apr 20, 2018
Conch Republic Independence...Backstory
Apr 13, 2018
The Key West Songwriters Festival
Mar 26, 2018
...better than no breath at all.
Mar 16, 2018
Toasts for St. Paddy’s Day…
Feb 19, 2018
Whew…this didn’t end well.
Dec 31, 2017
Numbers & Your Super Power
Dec 23, 2017
Dec 12, 2017
Let’s put the Rum in Pa-Rum Pum Pum Pum
Nov 22, 2017
Key West Get-A-Way
Nov 17, 2017
Put a Key West twist on your Thanksgiving Stuffing!
Nov 08, 2017
The 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month…
Oct 23, 2017
Celebrate National American Beer Day, The Best Way
Oct 06, 2017
The Last Slice of Old Key West
Sep 14, 2017
Florida Keys-Verified Relief Organizations to Support
Sep 10, 2017
Irma, Harvey…and “One Human Family”
Aug 23, 2017
...found a new dive bar
Aug 03, 2017
The Zen of Surf Fishing
Jun 30, 2017
Why let summer end?
Jun 14, 2017
The Perfect Gift, For Even the Most Particular Dad
May 24, 2017
Our Favorite Schooner…
May 16, 2017
…our pup is off to school.
Mar 18, 2017
Mar 03, 2017
Nov 05, 2016
A Lesson in Valor…Thank You Ron.
Oct 05, 2016
It’s a tremendous team…
Sep 23, 2016
Our man behind the curtain...
Sep 15, 2016
Presidents Day Jump to Key West
Aug 18, 2016
… a “Band of Brothers” (and a few sisters)
Jul 01, 2016
It’s Gonna Get Rough
May 31, 2016
…found your sailboat, and a few “cudas”.