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Dakota's Transformation

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Dakota's Transformation

She is HOME

November 15th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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We picked our baby girl up from the vet this afternoon and it nearly broke my heart. She seems to be doing alright, more vocal than usual, and seems frustrated, but luckily she doesn’t seem to be in too much pain. Our second dog Moose has been extremely delicate, giving her no more than a kiss on the nose and all the space she wants on their bed.

We tried to help her out to go to the bathroom, but she just sits down in the grass. I guess we will have to play that part by ear. I’d write more but I am exhausted.

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Surgery Day

November 14th, 2017 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

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Today at 7:30am my newly minted husband and I dropped half of my heart off at the Vet. They called around 1 and said that everything went well!

I am nervous to go pick her up. They want to keep her overnight because they say she is resting comfortably and that there is no need to move her quite yet. I hope that’s not a bad sign. Is there anything you all would recommend bringing when I go and get her?



Loosing my “blog virginity”

September 22nd, 2017 · 11 Comments · Uncategorized


My name is Kristin and I discovered this site doing research for my dog Dakota. Dakota is an 8 year old Australian Shepherd/Plott Hound mix who came into my life during my senior year of college. She is the first dog I have ever owned and I am convinced that she is the BEST dog I will ever own (shhhhh don’t tell Moose, my other pup.)

I got Dakota (against my parents advice and wishes) because I was really struggling emotionally towards the end of my college experience. I was unsure what I wanted to do after graduation, plagued with anxiety about my relationship, and terrified that my parents were going to make me move home. Sometimes, it was all I could do to get up and eat breakfast before going back to bed. I hoped that having a dog would FORCE me to live my life! Happily, it did!!!!

I met Dakota at a shelter in Boulder valley Colorado. She was laying in her kennel just staring at me with ears the size of satellite dishes, one up and one down. I knew I had to have her. She is smart, headstrong and independent (just like me,) LOVES running on the beach, hassling smaller dogs (I’m still working on that one) chasing toys and wrestling. Most of all, she loves to snuggle and have her belly rubbed. She is a little headstrong, she challenges me, and makes me so happy! Essentially, she is a pretty normal dog.

Two years ago, my then boyfriend now fiance noticed a lump growing on her left front leg. We took her to one vet who told us how hard his life was, how little money he made and how lucky we were to be going into human medicine (????) before saying nonchalantly “that’s a lipoma, don’t worry about it.” We were cautiously relieved. I took her to another vet for a second opinion, and this time, they did a fine needle aspirate. Cancer. I was terrified. The vet told us that we could excise the tumor easily and that it would be a minor surgery that would likely cure her. Her tumor was a soft tissue sarcoma with a low metastatic potential and he was confident that removal would be the end of her cancer story. On new year’s eve of 2015, we dropped her off for her surgery. When I went to pick her up, my heart broke for her. She had the silly cone on and a 6 inch laceration on her foreleg, and as soon as she saw me she started crying and howling. It probably looked a lot worse than it was, but I felt so badly for her!!!!! The wound healed slowly, but after about 2 months she was back to her normal self and we thought we had dodged a bullet.

This July we noticed that another lump had popped up in almost the exact same spot as the last tumor. We were filled with a sense of dread and frustration knowing that most likely, her cancer had returned. We took her back to her vet to confirm and scheduled another mass excision. On the day of the surgery, the vet called me about 30 minutes after I had dropped her off to inform me that he could not proceed. He told me that the tumor was larger than he thought with tendrils extending nearly down into her foot. I knew what that meant almost immediately (as a second year medical student, I have a little bit of insight….but just a little) and asked “are you going to take the whole leg?”

After much deliberation over our options (chemo/radiation, attempt a mass excision, amputation) we decided to go with the amputation. Her surgery is scheduled for November 14th, 3 days after my wedding. This blog will serve as my place to vent, release some of my anxiety and pose questions to the larger community. To be honest, I’m not sure anyone is even going to read this, but here goes nothing.

Any recommendations for beds? Car ramps? Harnesses? Leashes? I’m really scared and I want to do the best I can to help this be an easy transition for her.

Thanks in advance.
K and D



Hello Tripawds!

September 22nd, 2017 · No Comments · Uncategorized

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