I've been taking Raven, my dog with osteosarcoma who had her left rear leg amputated a month ago, out with the senior dogs for her morning walks, as she's been nervous around the young dogs. Friday morning I stupidly forgot to shut the gate to the potty yard when I took her back in, and went to get the youngsters for THEIR longer and more vigorous walk.
Raven trotted out to join us and, for a couple of minutes, bounced around and played with Rebel and Kyrie. When they started to roughhouse, she came and stood by me, and I put a dog bed from the car down on the ground. She lay next to me but watched them the whole time as they ran, and I could tell she was thinking about it.
She's run a number of times, but alone. That was the first time she's done anything but freeze when someone tried to play with her.
This morning, I took a chance and we all went out on one big walk together. She ran with Rebel, albeit only for a minute or so. She then came on the entire walk with us, and at the end of it - raced with Kyrie for the dog door.
Veterinary oncologist Dr. Greg Ogilvie asked me to videotape Raven running and playing so he can show it to his patients who think amputating a dog's leg is cruel or impossible for big dogs. As soon as the shaved area on her hip has grown back in a bit more, I'm going to do that, and will post it here as well. But for now, this is a photo my friend Gina Spadafori took of her this weekend in my front garden.
If you have come across this post because you're searching for information on osteosarcoma and amputation in dogs, I hope you won't let your own natural reluctance to have your dog's leg removed stop you from doing what is best for the dog. Before she even had her stitches out, Raven was running and using the stairs. I don't know how our battle with osteosarcoma will turn out, but the amputation part of it has been a huge success.