We are still here!

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We have been dealing with a family tragedy for the last 6 months.  My dad was diagnosed with stage IV cancer two days before Thanksgiving.  He passed mid January after an arduous battle involving chemo, radiation, multiple surgeries and finally hospice.

Sarge was an eternal support, and often my Dad would say that “If Sarge can beat cancer, so can I!”  It will be 2 years in June since Sarge was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma.

Being in the medical field, I know all the to well the horrible battles I have seen patients with cancer fight, but to watch your loved ones go through the process is something I could wish on no one.

Sarge, as most precious pets, has sensed the pain in our family and would go to visit dad.  Sarge was always so gentle with dad.  My dad was always the toughest, strongest man I knew, but towards the end was in too much pain and too weak to even walk.  Sarge would just sit by him and lean his head into his lap.

Now, Sarge is my daily comfort.  There has not been a single day that I have not laid on the floor with him, buried my face into his side and cried.  He senses my need for his comfort and has become more of a “Velcro dog” than  normal.  Our fur-babies have definite radar for not only our physical being but also our emotions.  They have an innate ability to “get us” like no human could even understand.  Without long talks, expressive words or explanation, they just get it, with an intuitive nature that is surreal.

There is no way to appropriately repay this precious boy for all he does for this family, but toys are his favorite! Sarge LOVES his toys, and he could pick out any toy his doggy heart desired.  He gets free roam to shop and choose his toy.  He is not quick with this process and will make very careful selections of his toy-to-be.  He tends to choose the loudest squeaky toy, or ones that talk, much to his dads chagrin. This bunny did not squeak, but it talked like bugs bunny, and every-time he would squeeze it, it would say “Ahhh, Somebody loves you!” and make the Bugs Bunny sound.  Yep, his dad LOVES this one too!

Easter Sarge

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Author: c1nicolei

Sarge has been the the love of my life since we rescued him in 2007. He was thought to be a carcass on the side of the road in our community park. As I walked over to look at the pitiful dead dog, I soon realized he was still breathing, barely. We rushed him to the vet and although severely malnourished and in a terrible state, with TLC he miraculously pulled through. Snap shot ahead to 6/2014, we decide to go outside to play fetch, he was so excited and full of energy, doing his typical bouncy boxer pelvic shuffle. He took a nasty tumble and the sounds that followed was nothing short of heart piercing. My heart stopped, because I knew it was bad, very bad. I am a PA, not a veterinarian, but I knew instantly the leg was broken badly. I splinted him and rushed him to the vet. What initially was going to be an orthopedic surgery to repair a broken radius and ulna, quickly turned into, "Your dog sustained a pathological cancer, we think he has osteosarcoma". I could not even hear what I was being told. How could this seemingly happy, healthy, FULL of life dog have CANCER?? The BX confirmed my worst fears. This whole process took over a week. In that time I researched every aspect of canine osteosarcoma I could find and I had already made up my mind, we were going to fight this, not for me, but I knew he was not done living!!! Making the decision to amputate was not one taken lightly. We ensured there were no macro mets and that his blood work looked stable. I also decided if we amputated we would also do chemo. Sarge had his leg amputated 2 days ago and I am amazed at his hour by hour improvement. We start chemo in 2 weeks. I will keep everyone updated and love reading stories on here that give me hope that he will be able to be a happy, pain free normal Sarge!!! This is when we joined TRIPAWDS! What a wonderful, reassuring supportive community! I love you TRIPAWDS!

7 thoughts on “We are still here!”

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I love how he looked to Sarge as an inspiration. Yes, he totally did. Sarge is a true inspiration to everyone.
    Sarge is there for you to help you during this sad time. I am so glad that he has been there for you and is still enjoying life and getting to pick out his own toys.
    I can’t believe its almost 2 years. Yes, I remember you joining and coming into chat. This boy is kicking butt. Keep going Sarge. Show that ugly disease who is boss.

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  2. Aw, Sarge, what a sweet boy! They really do sense what we need when we need it, don’t they? I’m sorry about the loss of your dad.

  3. Sorry for the loss of your dad….but how awesome that Sarge was such a comfort, for all of you. Nitro is coming up on his 2 year ampuversary in June also; I’ve always felt we were bonded in this journey, going through it at the same time. Glad to hear he’s still doing well and bring joy to your life. I am amazed daily with Nitro’s strength and dignity – he is my Heart Dog – and it sounds like Sarge is yours.

    Paula and Nitro

  4. For Sarge ro be such a comfort and an inspiration for your Dad has to warm your heart. The journey you were in with your dad was a rough one. The years and years of great memories will help push some of the grief aside.
    Maybe the next time you snuggle with Sarge and the tears flow as you think of your dad, maybe you can think about how wonderful it was that Sarge gave your dad so much happiness everytime he petted him. He smiled everytime he petted him. He felt empowered. Let your dad do that for you through Sarge.

    Sarge is a TRUE HERO around here! He inspires every new person starting this journey. Sarge has blpwn statistics out of the water!! He has proven they don’t mean squat!

    Seeing how happy Sarge is with his toys just has me grinning ear to ear! He is so joyful! So “in the moment” just enjoying the bliss of being Sarge…loved and happy and soaking up all the spoiling you can give!!

    Next shopling trip for Sarge, jave him pick oit three…yes THREE toys! One from your dad, one from you and one from all his fans in the Tripawd Family!!! 🙂

    Keep on rockin’ sweet ha dsome boy! We’re all cheering for you 🙂

    Lots of love!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  5. Ohhh my gosh I am very, very sorry to hear about your Dad. I cannot even imagine the anguish and heartache you are feeling. All my heart goes out to you, I know this is a difficult journey and I feel for you so much. How sweet that you have Sarge to lean on, to cuddle with and dry your tears. He is such an earth angel.

    Thank you for updating, I know sharing news like this is not fun, but what IS fun and SO pawesome is knowing that Sarge is still rockin and hoppin and having a good life with you. He’s such a hero!

    With all our condolences,
    Rene, Jim, Wyatt Ray, Spirit Jerry & the Tripawds Nation

  6. Hello! I’m not sure if you’re actively checking this site but I am just starting to read your story. My 10 year old boxer was given the same diagnosis yesterday and now I am scrambling to find answers and determine the best course of action for my best bud. I’m going to be reading all of your entries. Thank you so much for posting this! I’m already starting to feel so much better and more confident in the possibility of an amputation. Thank you!!

    1. Velvet,

      So sorry I am just now getting to approve your comment. Boxers are truly a special breed, but of course I never met a dog I didn’t like. :o). Sarge is still going strong and loving his “hoppy” life as a tripawd.

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