Maggie was a little black pug born in 1999. On September 7, 2006 she lost her left rear leg to a mast cell tumor. Because of lymph node involvement Maggie went through a 6 month chemo regimen. She was given 6 to 9 months after her amp, but she beat mast cell cancer! In the winter of 2010 things started to slide; in the course of about 2 months she had 2 MCTs removed, was diagnosed with incontinence and kidney failure, and then the big blow- oral melanoma. She lived her carefree tri-pug life until she crossed over on June 2, 2010.
Maggie attended her first tripawd party yesterday and had a great time. At her age her idea of fun is to smell new smells, lay in the sun, and have people tell her how cute she is while petting her. She got lots of all three yesterday.
Mag was a bit nervous after we dropped her little sister off with my parents, usually the only place she goes without Tani is to the vet. Maybe next time I’ll bring Tani too- she is not too good around big dogs, but maybe Cemil can convince her that not all big dogs are evil and need to be attacked!
We got to meet four other tripawds, and lots of other dogs and people at a really cool dog park on a spectacular fall day in California. We met Travis Ray who is a German Shepard pup looking for a home. He is very calm and composed and did really well around all the dogs. We also met Caira Sue who made us tired just watching her run. Shelby was there with her little red wagon. She is a beautiful little Golden Retriever who was also tiring to watch. We also saw Cemil who we met last week. He is much more our speed, but he is so big that all Mag can see are feet (unless he is laying down).
It was fun to meet everyone and enjoy a nice afternoon watching the doggies play or lay.
Maggie scored a cool tripawds bandanna too, but it is a bit too big for her to wear. So after an exhausting day she did the next best thing to wearing it- she fell asleep on it!
I spent part of the afternoon building a small stair unit to make it easier for Maggie’s younger sister Tani to get up on the bed. I don’t think it will work for Mag, still a bit too steep. Tani has diligently ignored it since I put it by the bed, insisting on getting up on the chest, then the bed like always. Usually later in the evening Tani won’t try anymore because the arthritis in her back bothers her, so I’m hoping she will try it tonight. Most likely it will sit there unused and I will forget about it and when I get up to use the bathroom tonight I will wreck and the girls will be treated to words I’m glad they can’t repeat!
While I was building I was thinking about some of the accomodations I have made over the years for the pug girls. Of course since Maggie became a tri-pug many of them center around her. I had to lower the dog door so she could just step through (and yes it still has the temporary patch with wood and duct tape, it has only been three years!). When I built my deck I made the one step up tri-pug hight and width. The step also has a piece of carpet for traction. I just built a paver walkway through some loose rock so Mag can get to the far side of the yard. Where ever there is tile in the house the throw rugs aren’t more than about 4 feet apart. I have stroller for her- which brings a a laugh to almost everyone we meet on the street. There are many more tri-pug accomodations- including some that didn’t work. I tried to raise her food dish- but she didn’t like it. She is pretty low to the ground so it’s OK. I put a ramp on the side of my bed- no way would she use that.
Then I was thinking about the stuff I do just because I have the pugs. They spend a lot of time with my parents- so their house is equipped with toys, beds, leashes, and a supply of food and dishes. I have a crew cab truck (4 or 5 seater), but the back seat is always folded down for the girls. Here is the one that cracks me up- the number of dog beds I have in my house. Now keep in mind that I live in a small two bedroom house, about 1400 ft2, and the girls sleep with me at night. I have SIX dog beds in my house, five of which they can sleep in together!
I like to pretend I am the one in charge around here, but I’m not sure the evidence supports it…
On Saturday Cemil and his mom were nice enough to meet us near his house so I could see how Maggie would act around a large dog. First off- we definitely chose a BIG dog. Having pugs you forget what it is like not to have to bend over to pet your dog. Years ago I had a Newfoundland that was as tall as I was when he stood on his back legs, but I think still shorter than Cemil. I’ve been contemplating taking Mag to meet with the other N.CA. tripawds but in the pictures I’ve seen they are all pretty big dogs (compared to pugs). Mag used to be good with all dogs, but with her little sister’s influence, and the contributing factors of her age and her tri-ness she has been very snappy with the big (or even medium sized) dogs we meet around our neighborhood. The meet went very well- Maggie didn’t snap once at Cemil. Of course even though he is huge he is very calm which is a big help. They pretty much ignored each other after some preliminary hellos, and one big investigation together of a smell in the grass. So depending on my schedule I may try and take Maggie to the next meet up. I feel bad leaving her sister Tani with my dad, but Tani is an idiot around any dog bigger than she is. And the first part of the drive always makes Maggie nervous. Usually the only place she goes without Tani is to the vet.
Thank you to Mary and Cemil for the ‘test drive’. Maybe I will see you at the next meet up.
Maggie found a new way to come downstairs the other day at my parents house. Actually her little sister Tani instigated it. Tani gets very excited at suppertime and tends to run without looking where she is going, and doesn’t care if she has to run over something to get to the kitchen. Mag likes to sit at the top of the stairs and wait for my dad to go down with her. She goes down by herself, but I think she wants to make sure my dad is coming. She tends to sit with her butt on the top step and her front paws on the second step. Since she is pretty little that means she is leaning down stairs. Tani zipped by to chase her toy down stairs and pushed Mag off the step. I guess she rolled down the steps (about 7 carpeted steps), hit the tile at the bottom of the steps on her side, and slid into the closet door. Of course my dad was stunned- but Mag popped up and headed for the kitchen just like she meant to do that! I kept an eye on her for a couple of days but there seems to be no harm done.
It makes me think back to when she first lost her leg, and how easily discouraged she would get when she fell or got knocked over, even many weeks past the amputation when most or all of the pain had gone away. She would just sit there and had to be coaxed to get up again. Maggie has never been good with any change in her routine, and she really had a hard time at the beginning. I talked to other people who would say- ‘my dog was her old self in a couple of weeks- didn’t even slow her down…’. Now when she wipes out she just gets up and keeps on going. Of course I would prefer she not barrel roll down the stairs, we don’t have any limbs to spare!