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Homecoming…

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Hey Everyone! 

I’m finally home and I feel so much better! When mum came to pick me up I hopped right out of my crate and was so excited to see her! The vet said they couldn’t have been happier with the ampawtation and I only have a few days of meds. My staples can come out in 10 days and for now I just need a little more rest. I got to keep my shoulder too cause I can still feel that part.. I think mum was surprised!

And guess what!? I hopped around the yard when I got home and went up the stairs all by myself! All 8 of them!!! I’m real tired so I’m gonna take a nap now…I’m so glad to be home!

Thank you for your wishes everyone… bigs kisses!


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Xander Says….

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

Xander wanted me to pass on his thanks and big slobbry kisses to everyone today for the encouragement and well wishes!

He settled in nicely at the vet’s this morning, save for a few “just where do you think you’re going’s” when he was left in the crate. He has his blanket with him so it will smell like home when he wakes up later today…

The support here has made such an incredible difference in the attitude going into this change for me and in turn for my boy…  thank you so much… all of you! And from Xander… woof woof, bark bark Grr HOWL!!

Mum got a call from the vet and they’ve rescheduled my ampawtation for tomorrow!  Mum’s gonna drop me off at the vet in the morning …I’ve always liked them… the give me scrubs on my head and treats and tell me I’m Handsome!!

I’m gonna get a good night’s sleep tonight and lossa cuddles with mum.. and whenI get home I’ll rest up and then get mum to take lossa pictures!

See ya soon!!!!

Mixup!

So I think people are crazy!  Mum told me last night that there was a mixup with the vet lady and they had me booked for my ampawtation YESTERDAY! I could be on my way to recovery if humans knew how to communicate like us dogs!  Mum said they’re trying to get me in tomorrow but we won’t know till later… poo!

Just Keep Runnin!!

I’m such a good runner now! I’ve had lots of practice, and I’m sure I’ll get used to it again once I have my ampawtation…. mom says I’m pawfect either way 🙂

Look at me run!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32hz2i5cz4w

There have been many things that I want to do for, and provide for, my best friend – one of those things is freedom.

My first Rotti, Shadow, when I lived at home always roamed free. There were acres and acres to explore and everyone knew him so there was never a thought about any danger to him. The worst thing that ever happened was a run in with a porcupine.. oh, and one with a skunk but that was just more of a nuisance based on his eau de nature for a few days.

My mom’s dog Braden, an Australian Sheppard, roamed free to but in a different way. My grandfather had purchased a PetSafe remote system that plugged in and created a radius signal. It’s a portable and fantastic system so I thought it to be perfect for Xander. He could have free reign of my big yard, and could be outside playing even if I wasn’t.

The collar worked perfectly, until the day the batteries died. Now, the batteries had died before of course, but it was always something I was conscious of so they were changed regularly. This time was a little too late.

Xander had NEVER gone to the road before, but today was going to be different. Remembrance day morning we were getting ready to go to the 11:00a.m. ceremonies and Xander was outside playing when a car drove in the driveway. I went to the window to peek out and an older gentleman stepped out of the car, all the while looking towards the front yard, but there was no Xander there greeting him. Without stopping to put shoes on I went out the door – his reaction was to point to the front yard and say “your dog…”.

I flew down the steps and down the driveway to the front of the house. The sight that greeted me was Xander, laying on the lawn, half propped up on his left side. As soon as our eyes met he flopped over. When I reached him I hit my knees and struggled to think what to do next, my mind was racing with “no, no no no no!!”… the gentleman and his wife, who were still in the driveway were apologizing and asking if there was anything they could do. All I could do was thank them for taking the time to stop

The next thing I knew I was screaming for my friend, who was in the house, to help. I started gently running my hands over him to see if I could tell if anything was broken. He didn’t move, he didn’t flinch, he didn’t make a sound- just laid there, still breathing, with his eyes wide. I realized then there was blood on my hands from a gash in his chin. She arrived by his side with his blanket and the phone, attempting to call the on call vet. We covered him with the blanked andI laid against his back, begging him to stay with me. Once we determined which office was open we gently rolled him onto the blanket and hoisted him into the car. I sat in the back with him against my leg.

The next couple hours seemed to drag, and at the same time fly by between getting him stabilized, the IV in, checking for damage, doses of medication and Xrays. There were times that I had to hold his face and holler his name for him to focus on me just for a moment – he was in sock. Medication was administered to make sure it was only shock and there wasn’t swelling in his head because his pupils were not dilating properly.

As he came out of shock he started to cry more when he had to be positioned for Xrays. It was heart breaking, but the tech and the vet were so fantastic.

The verdict was that there were no broken bones (which is why he’s lovingly called Xander “Tank”), but that the force of the blow when he was hit had separated his lung from the chest wall and there was air leaking from his lung. Some of the air was drained at that time, but it was determined that he would need 24hr care.

We packed him up with a little more pain med and drove the almost 2 hours to the closest 24 hr facility. The verdict there was the same, but that all the air would not be drained because the air pressure was keeping his damaged lung from bleeding too much – his xrays were riddled with obvious contusions.

After a day or so of trying to hang around we were forced to go home and leave him because visiting was too stressful on him. He would get too excited, and after one visit more air needed to be drained.

Before leaving, I was advised of what has ultimately led us to where we are today. Neurological/ deep pain testing showed that he had no use of his right foreleg. When the car struck Xander on the left, his right leg was pushed out sideways, causing Brachial Plexus avulsion. The hope was that the nerves were simply swollen – worst case was they were too damaged, or severed… in which case, ampawtation would be in the future.

Xander came home on Monday evening, November 16th. In the weeks following his homecoming his recovery was amazing. Within 4 days he was cleared from any further issues with his lung. He was climbing and descending the stairs immediately with the help of a sling, his personality began to emerge again… and in the 2nd week he decided I was being too slow and “ran” up the stairs on his own.. by the third week he was hopping around the living room playing with his toys.. and by the fourth week he had feeling in his shoulder down to his elbow. Sadly, the feeling did not progress beyond an inch or so below the elbow. Video of how well he does to come!

I realized that ampawtation was the only answer when he started damaging his own foot. He began chewing on his dew claw.. and before a cone could be put in place he had the side of that small toe open. Through bathing it in salt water and daily care the “toe” has healed, though the nail is gone and only a bump where the toe was remains.  Xander had been doing so well that he hadn’t worn his collar in weeks. One day last week however, I cam home to the first claw missing, as well as the black pad on his toe. Xander now has a muzzle for when I cannot be with him.

He doesn’t seem to mind it though – it’s a little big because it’s only for chewing, and when I tell him it’s bed time he comes to me for the muzzle and then hops down the hall to his bed.

Now we count the days. One week from tomorrow Xander will have his ampawtation.. then the last round of healing will begin. Based on the stories I have read here that have been shared by so many brave pawrents and kids,  Xander is lucky. He is on the home stretch.. the last bit of fight before he can return to some normalcy. For those of you out there that your journey only begins with ampawtation, I commend you… the strength required, the confiedence in your tripaw and yourself to make it through day by day is astounding. 

Opie’s post about living day by day is perfect. Xander doesn’t worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow, or what happened yesterday… only what happens now. I would love to be more of the person my dog thinks I am, and be as strong as he is.  His question is not “how am I ever going to make it on three paws”.. it’s gonna be “can I have my toys now!?”

Thank you for sharing in the rest of Xander’s story… more will come with video and pictures of his progress!!!

A little about me…

My Yard

My name is Xander.. Xander Graves, and I’m a goober, clown, nut, tank, Spontanious Brutness, dancin queen, sock theif, Oaf, handsom, gorgeous boy… or so mom says. I love being everywhere mom is – like walking in the back woods, lounging on the deck, or going to watch football practice (the car is the BEST part)! I don’t get to ride in the front seat of the car anymore because I’m too big, which sometimes I don’t understand because I still fit perfectly on mom’s lap… really!

My mom didn’t know it, but from the moment I came home I was going to make it my personal mission to keeping her on her toes. My run in with the car wasn’t part of that plan, but things change, and now I get even more attention than before!  I don’t really know why though… it’s just that my leg doesn’t work so well so they’re going to take it off for me, I haven’t used it in a couple months so I won’t miss it 🙂

I can still run really well too, especially in the snow. Mom says it’s because of my big football muscles, but I still get tired pretty easy. Once I have my ampawtation I’ll have to learn some new balance but I’ll have lots of help!

The day I came home....

In the beginning….

Xander Vom Eishenblick (Graves) was born on June 1st, 2008, in Memramcook NB under the care of Vom Eishenblick Rottweilers. Even before he was born I traveled to see his mom Lizzy and to visit his breeder, then followed all the new pictures that were posted on their website, and finally, on July 26th I brought my boy home.. all 15lb of him!

Bringing him home at the end of July has a larger meaning than just coming home… as does his accident later on. My brother Brad, who is passed, would have been 31 yrs old on July 28th. Bradford was struck by a truck in front of our home in November 1984, the same home that I own today.

Xander has always been a handful. He has so much energy and drive that he always needs to be doing something to keep busy… whether that was tormenting the cat(s), showing his toys who’s boss, or sniffing and exploring outdoors.

Xander grew quickly, as a Rotti will, and was soon tearing around the yard occasionally tumbling over his huge yet uncertain paws, napping in the shade of the cedar tree, and “helping” me with the flowers. Helping of course meaning that I pull up the weeds, HE pulls up the flowers. :o)

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