10 years ago today I was waiting for the call from the surgeon to let me know that Maggie was alright. A week earlier my vet had looked at the lump in Mag’s knee and said the word…amputation.
Referrals, consultations, second opinions. Surgeons and oncologists. Input from family and friends. “It’s just a dog”, “It costs how much?!?”, “I wouldn’t do that to my dog”. Aspirations of tumor and lymph nodes, abdominal ultrasounds, bone marrow biopsy. Surgery? Radiation? Chemotherapy?
One of my clearest memories from the weeks after Maggie’s amputation was sitting on my back deck watching Mag. She was miserable and I was sure I had made a big mistake. There was on one for me to talk to (Jerry had is amputation a couple months after Mag) and the feelings of fear and uncertainty were almost unbearable.
Mag beat the odds, really she blew them away. Her 6 to 9 month prognosis was a distant memory when I finally ran across Tripawds three years after her surgery. I found an entire community of people who had gone through, or were going through what I had with Maggie. So many heartbreaking stories of battles lost, but just as many stories of strength, hope and resiliency.
I remember a conversation in the forums once about people feeling guilty because their pups beat the odds when so many did not. I never felt guilty about Mag, but thankful and grateful. I didn’t feel like I owed anything because of Mag’s longevity, but I felt like I needed to honor her- after all that stubborn little pug taught me so much about dealing with adversity and how to find something good in every bad situation. Lessons that I have used over and over in the years since she crossed the Bridge in 2010.
Whenever I read a post from a new member that says they are scared and worried because their dog is struggling after amputation I flash back to that September afternoon in 2006 when I was so scared, so sure I had made a mistake. I would have given almost anything to have someone to calm my fears, to assure me things would work out, to teach me how to Be. More.Dog.
So I’m still here, because of Maggie and the lessons she taught me. And because I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this alone.