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Odin's Journey


X Ray Day

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Odin’s cough wasn’t getting better so I decided to bring him in to work with me Friday morning. His surgeon was going to be there doing an orthopedic procedure on another dog so it was good timing. I got ready for the day and went out to load up the car before bringing him out. I came back inside to find blood on the floor. Immediately I yelled “WHO IS BLEEDING”. My mom rushed over to help me assess all 3 dogs. Freya has a little blood splatter on her face but it wasn’t her own blood. I looked at Odin and he had a trickle of blood coming out of his nose. I panicked. I said a few choice words as my mom tried to calm me down. She told me he had made a snarfing sound about 10 seconds before I came back in from the garage. He was still wiggling and extremely excited to be coming with me.

I loaded him up after assuring my mom I was okay. By the time I hit the highway tears started falling as my adrenaline came down. I stopped at Starbucks knowing I needed a caffeine fix before taking on this already hellish day. As I waited in line I thought to myself “If this ends up being his final day on earth with me he is going to enjoy Starbucks too”. I got him a pup cup and we both sat in the back of my SUV with the hatch door open, taking in the crisp morning air, enjoying our morning treats together. There was blood streaked across the hatch door and on the windows from his nose.

We pulled into the parking lot of my clinic 15 minutes before my shift started. I knew I’d need a little extra time to get him inside, pull myself together and brief my co workers on the events of the morning. Once everything was said and done, Odin went into his kennel that he has come to know well. It was business as usual for the first two hours of the day. I was in assisting the surgeon with the procedure as my boss and other co worker took x rays of Odin’s chest. From what I heard, he was a very good patient. Once the procedure was over I got the dog off the table and into recovery. My boss and the surgeon were looking at the xrays when I came back into the treatment area.

Back in June when the amputation happened we took a shot of his chest to confirm that the cancer hadn’t spread.

As you can see, he was clear.

The xrays that we took Friday told another story….

Odin had developed aspiration pneumonia. From what, we are not sure. He could have aspirated during a vomiting episode. Towards the lower part of his lungs (upper right of the picture) there was some concern that the cancer had spread. I sent his rads to a radiologist at the University of Minnesota for a consultation. Now all we could do was draw some blood and hope for good news.

So we decided to go through some charts

And raid the toy basket in the lobby

It was finally time for our lunch break so I loaded him up to take him home. He was greeted by plenty of sniffs and kisses from his pack. His nose had finally stopped leaking blood at this point. I had a sandwich with my mom and little girl, kissed the pups goodbye then headed on back to work with hopes that the consultation would be back.

The consult was sitting in the emails waiting for me. I opened it, held my breath and read the results. The radiologist confirmed that Odin has pneumonia and suggested starting some antibiotics ASAP……I can work with this. No big deal! But there was another note….

“Multiple pulmonary nodules, consistent with pulmonary metastatic disease, presumably from the reported chondrosarcoma”

My chest tightened, my throat felt like it was closing. I made up new swear words in my head. I broke out into a sweat.

It has spread.

My year and half has turned into a few months.

His blood work confirmed infection, but it also backed up the metastasis as well. I came home that night and delivered the news to my mom and my husband. We are all devastated, but we know our Odin is a fighter. He wasn’t interested in eating his dinner but took his medications with no protest, like the good boy he is then snuggled into his bed for the night.

(He may have cancer, but that doesn’t stop him from digging in the trash and then doing a very bad job at not looking guilty)

I was terrified I would find him dead this morning as I descended the stairs, but he was waiting for me at the baby gate, wagging that little butt of his and a smile on his face. There was blood on his blankets and some on the floor in the kitchen. He ate his breakfast, took his meds, gave me a kiss good bye and I headed into work. I came home at 1 to his happy face again as well as the other 2 goofballs. He spent a lot of today just resting in the kitchen, his coughing is still present but he doesn’t let it stop him.

I plan to soak up as much time with him as I can, but I am also preparing myself for that fateful day. I feel very lost. I want to reach out to people but I can’t find the words. I’m exhausted, I’m sad, I’m angry, I’m hurting. Why does he have to go through this? Hasn’t he been through enough? I mean honestly…..give the guy a break. I want to contact his breeder and rip him a part for not breeding responsibly (not that it would have prevented the cancer, but maybe his orthopedic issues). I want to place blame because maybe that will make me feel better about the fact that I’ve been watching my best friend deteriorate and there is only so much I can do about it. The worst part of all of this is that he just looks at me with love in his eyes. He probably feels awful, but I’m more important than anything else to him. He has dedicated his life to me and I can’t save him. I’ve done everything I can. I want to tell him I’m so sorry, but he won’t understand because in his eyes I can do no wrong.

Why can’t I just be more like him? So forgiving. So trustful. So happy even though he is sick. Why can’t I be more like my dog?

What do I do now?

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This entry was posted on Sunday, August 13th, 2017 at 3:08 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “X Ray Day”

  1. Petra
    5:28 am on August 13th, 2017      Reply

    Odin my darling beautiful boy! I’m crying tears of sorrow for you! I think what your feeling is perfectly okay! I would probably have kicked a few things by now, but you are being so strong for your boy! God, I’m sorry!
    Of course you are going to love him to pieces and give him enough kisses to get to the moon and back… I also know, it will never be enough!
    Thank you for sharing Odin’s results with us, I’m sure it wasn’t easy to sound so positive!
    I know it is no consolation to you, but I hope and pray that our Stewie boy will be with us for another year and a half… I also know that I will feel like you do right now and feel that the universe has cheated me greatly!
    Your love and your bond is strong, hold on tight to that and Odin will help you through his journey.
    God bless you guys and please give Odin a massive hug from Petra and Stewie!❤️🐾❤️

  2. misterrustybucket
    1:25 pm on August 16th, 2017      Reply

    Oh Odin! I just love the picture of him raiding the toy box at work. He is just smiling and looks very proud of his new friend. That’s the blessing about dogs and also the killer, right? You know the results of his x-ray and are trying desperately to process your emotions but your big beautiful boy is just happy to be with you and have a new toy. I think that’s what is important to focus on right now. He isn’t sad and isn’t feeling cheated he is just his sweet and happy self. Let him be a comfort to you. I am so sorry that you got this news. You will do everything you can to keep him happy and healthy. You will take great care of him every day and you will love him forever and there is not one thing sad or regrettable about that. Thank you for the update we will be thinking of you and Odin and sending big hugs.
    ❤️ Amy & Rusty

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