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Odin's Journey


Post-Op On Our Own


June 25th, 2017 Posted 2:37 am

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The week started over and my husband was back to work. I stay home with our daughter Monday-Wednesday, so it was up to me to manage her, Odin and our two other dogs. Odin has three fur siblings total; Freya is our 4 year old husky/mal mix and foster fail, Tyr (pronounced tier) is our 3 year old shar-pei and then we have Rocket who is our 12 year old cat.

Freya can be hell on wheels, but thankfully she is extremely respectful of Odin. It was interesting watching them interact. The two younger dogs were very cautious around Odin, making sure he had enough space and didn’t steal his bed from him. For once they were being good, they enjoyed lying next to Odin and I during icing time.

I went into work that Monday morning to get Odin some Tramadol and a cone since we began licking. The Tramadol really helped take the edge off for him. I iced him 3 times a day and the bruising began to fade. His pain was managed, but he wasn’t quite himself. He was quiet, stoic. He’d give a little wiggle when I walked in or spoke to him, but over all he seemed depressed. Almost as if he was giving up.

That night I laid in bed staring at the ceiling due to the guilt creeping back up as I listened to him run into things with his cone. Was he just sedate from the pain meds or was he truly giving up? Why couldn’t I seem to understand what he needed? I felt like I had failed him.

Tuesday was the same as usual. He laid in one spot all day other than when he went outside, we iced and slept. Wednesday I opened the doors to our screened in porch so the other 2 dogs could be in there or on the deck with me while I scrubbed chairs for an upcoming grad party. Odin was lying in the den staring at the wall. After scrubbing for a while I heard a noise and looked up. Odin was standing in the porch looking out at me through the screen. I couldn’t believe he had gotten up to come out on the porch. He sat down after a few minutes and rested, watching as I cleaned.

Once the chairs were done I went into the porch and sat on the floor with him. We watched the birds, enjoyed the breeze coming through the opened windows and watched as the other two knuckleheads wrestled out on the deck. He finally seemed to pep up a little.

Later that night my mom showed up. She stays with us Wednesday and Thursday nights since she babysits when I’m at work. Apparently Grandma is exactly what Odin needed. For the first time in 4 days I watched him get up and do that famous rottweiler butt wiggle where it looks like they’re about to fall over. He was so happy to see her. Although, he tired quickly but my mom got on the floor with him so that they could still give hugs and kisses. I’m convinced Grandma is the only person on Earth he loves almost as much as he loves me.

It was as if she cured him. At this point the only way for Odin was up. He finished his tramadol, the swelling and bruising was gone, he wasn’t depressed anymore and was becoming more agile. He even enjoyed celebrating Freya’s birthday on Thursday.

This morning I came downstairs to take him out to potty but found that he had some how pulled his cone off then vomited. So he spent the day resting again. When I came home from work he was so excited to see me. My big guy is finally starting to come back to me.

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June 23rd, 2017 Posted 8:10 pm

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Odin laid on the floor of his run, completely out of it. I stared at him and found peace that, even though he was one limb less and completely high, he wasn’t hurting. My co worker and I loaded him onto a stretcher, carried him out the back door of the clinic and put him in my car. His surgery had been done so late in the day that he had no time to come out of it. The car ride home was silent as my mind went blank. I was completely numb from the entire day. All I wanted was a beer and to go to bed.

I pulled into my driveway to find my husband and mom waiting for us. My husband and I carried Odin in and transfered him from the stretcher to his bed. Then the flood gates opened. Tears poured out of my eyes as I held his head in my lap. “I’m so sorry” I whispered over and over into his ear. He just closed his eyes and sighed relief that he was home.

After bathing my 7 month old daughter and putting her to bed I went to the closest Walgreens. I loaded up on Lidocaine patches and candy bars. The clerk looked at my purchases, then at me. “These will definitely make you feel better” he said. Before I thought about it I blurted “The patches aren’t for me. My dog got his leg amputated today, but the candy bars are for me.” The clerk just stared at me like he didn’t know what to say. I guess he wasn’t expecting my reply. But who would?

When I got home I applied the patches after taking him outside which proved to be a challenge. He kept looking at his incision as if he was wondering where his leg was. He wouldn’t go potty so I brought him back inside. I tried to help him get comfortable but something happened and he yelped. My heart sank. I apologized several times as I adjusted his back end so he wasn’t lying on the bad side. I hugged him tight and told him I loved him then let him go as I went upstairs to bed.

The next day went smoothly for he just rested on his bed. Day two did not goes as smoothly. As I got ready for Father’s Day I heard a large thump, Odin crying and my husband making up new swear words. Odin had slipped on his way outside and fell. I sprinted through the house and helped pick him up. A few hours later bruising appeared all the way up his abdomen. The guilt was overwhelming.

I did this to him.

Later that evening I laid in bed unable to sleep. The anxiety was heavy in my chest and the guilt took over my mind. I opened my best friend Google to look up what else I could possibly do for him on top of the pain meds, ice packs, bedding and non slip surfaces. The first thing to come up? Tripawds. I spent the next hour reading and exploring. I couldn’t believe that the way I felt was normal and that other people felt like I did. I had no idea what kind of emotional toll this amputation was going to take on me.

I needed help.


Odin’s Story


June 22nd, 2017 Posted 6:30 pm

My little Odin came to me at 9 weeks old. He was an anniversary present from my boyfriend for our 1 year. I cried my little girly eyeballs out. This puppy was all mine. I finally got my rottweiler. A few weeks later my boyfriend used Odin to propose to me. How could I say no? 😋

A few years went by and shortly before our wedding Odin tore both of his ACLs at the same time. That injury came with a hefty bill, but for our wedding instead of buying the typical gifts, people donated to Odin’s cause and we were able to afford to fix both knees. Things were looking up for my little Viking King.

Later that year Odin was diagnosed with hip displaysia. At only 3 years old he had already had back to back TTA surgeries and now this? What gives? The same day I was delivered the news about his hips, I received a letter in the mail from my home insurance telling me to get rid of him or they were cancelling us……..BYE. I promptly fired them and found a new company.

Odin then went on another 3 years just being a dog. We supplemented and managed his pain. We’re located in Minnesota and winters can be pretty unforgiving up here so when he began limping this last January I chalked it up to slipping on ice and just pulling a muscle. Rimadyl and bed rest it was……but it didn’t get better.

I hauled him into work with me (I’m a CVT) and did a series of xrays that showed nothing. His specialty surgeon examined him and decided it was a reaction to the hardware from his previous TTA. We went in to explore, took the hardware out and found he had torn his meniscus. Great, we know what happened so ON TO RECOVERY!!……but it didn’t get better.

I took him to a rehab center two weeks post op to assess his pain and re calculate his pain meds. Another x-ray showed a rather large mass that wasn’t there two weeks ago. There was no way we could have missed it in surgery. An ultrasound followed to confirm something wasn’t right. We changed up his meds and scheduled a fine needle aspirate……but it didn’t get better.

The cytology confirmed my worst fear. Cancerous cells were present suggesting he had soft tissue sarcoma. So we biopsied it, no conclusion. I scheduled him for a more in depth biopsy and the surgeon confirmed to me that the mass in his leg was more than a soft tissue sarcoma. She said we needed to take the leg.

I wasn’t ready for this. He was supposed to just have a simple biopsy, not lose his leg. After some deliberation I made the decision.

As he was slowly falling asleep from his sedation med I gave him a pep talk, told him I loved him and that I’d see him when he woke up……and I walked away.

I moved through appointments as if nothing was happening in the other room. I cared for client’s pets as mine was losing his limb. My chest was heavy, I couldn’t stop sweating. Finally he was done. I walked into the surgery suite and there it was, the leg was on a tray. But to me, it wasn’t his leg. I can’t explain it. We cut into it and sent off samples from the mass in hopes of getting some answers. I wrapped the limb up and disposed of it.

I walked into Odin’s run and saw him lying there, without his leg.


What had I done…..

(To be continued)


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June 19th, 2017 Posted 9:56 pm

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