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the kids

ABOUT US

Well we are a small family of 3, unless you count the dogs we have in which case I do so that would make us a family of 11. We live in the middle of nowhere. We spend a great deal of time outdoors and even have a small beef hobby farm, if you could call it that since we don’t have many and the ones we do have are more like pets, which drives my Husband crazy because every animal we have is spoiled to death….even the cows will come down to the very edge of the pen to let us know they’d like some more grain. If it were up to me I’d bring home every stray dog I find, which luckily for my Husband I found their owners, although we have had to keep some for a few days. This drives him even more crazy. He was working away this summer and it’s fair to say he was shocked when he returned home, I believe his words to me were, “uhmm wife you could lay off the food with the hounds they’ll never be able to run” of course my response like always is, “they liked it”. Pretty sure he is not always that amused by my lack of caring what he thinks when it comes to the animals, especially the dogs. Hey I figure I am the one who takes care of them the most so I will do as I see fit, this includes letting each of the 5 outside hound dogs (Peepants, Connor, Rueger, Tigger and Moncho) come in to play for a bit weekly, mind you these hunting hound dogs are not really very good while inside, they tend to get into all sorts of naughtiness. I have to remind him that the reason they are running like freaks and banking off of every piece of furniture we have is because they are happy….again he’s not amused. Oh but don’t let him fool you, he loves it although he won’t admit it. We have the 3 inside dogs (Bandit~he acts as the pack leader/babysitter of them all, Wally~he is the baby of the bunch at only a year old and Josie Rose) they spend much time outside but Bandit he can usually always be found where I am, outside or inside. I don’t like the cold much so on very cold winter days Bandit and I can be found holding the house down, Matt calls us the houseplants durning those days. We all have a very good life and are very blessed. As a Mom I am grateful everyday for our Son, our dogs, our family & friends and just our life in general!

US…me and my husband and our son:)

 

 

MORE ABOUT BANDIT

Bandit was born on February 25, 2001 and 5 weeks later I brought him home. I took him everywhere I went and I mean everywhere so when he was around 6 months and I went on a little getaway for 4 days, he freaked out and literally torn the house apart the 1st day….again the Husband was not amused but I justified it as being okay because it was the first time I was gone. The 2nd day Matt left him in the house thinking he wouldn’t do it again since he pretty much had destroyed everything possible already only to come home later that day and call me to say things were even worse and to get my butt home and take care of my dog….I justified Bandit’s naughtiness again by telling Matt, Bandit just misses me. Matt on the other hand justified his reason for moving the 6′ x 9′ kennel in the heated garage for Bandit to stay in so he could go to work tomorrow and not come home to a huge mess left by a naughty dog by telling me “it’s either that or he can sit outside”.  The 3rd day came and I again received another phone call from the Husband, “you need to get home right now, your dog destroyed the kennel and the garage” at this point I am thinking well did he forget to close the kennel or for that matter put the dog in the kennel but I didn’t want to ask. I was thinking there’s no way a puppy could destroy a kennel. Well I packed up and headed for home knowing Bandit had put his Dad through enough since Matt is one of the most laid back, kind men ever and I had never heard him so stressed before. I couldn’t even believe it when I walked in the garage Bandit had actually bitten through the cross fence stuff and there were actual holes pulled apart big enough for 2 dogs to fit threw. This was only the beginning of Bandit’s many naughty little fits when I would go anywhere with him but thank goodness he out grew that by the time he was just over a year but not before he destroyed my brand new furniture that I only had for 3 days. Our Vet said Bandit suffers from separation anxiety and to this day he still has moments of this like if I bring him someone he is not used to and were to leave him even for an hour but thankfully he is good in our house. Bandit is very much a leader and likes to of course walk in front of all the other dogs and be the first one threw the door or in the back of the truck, etc. He also is very nuturing and loving. Every couple years we’ll have a new calf that isn’t doing well and we’ll have to bring it in the garage to get it back to good health and he is right there the entire time. He licks them to death, lays close enough to them that he almost lays on them, naps with them and he loves to help me mix up the milk just waiting for me to turn around so he can get his head stuck in the pail before I pour it into the bottles. He is always keeping an eye on the other dogs especially little Wally. If I am yelling or looking around the yard for another dog he is just in a panic until we who we’re looking for, then once we do it’s like you can actually watch him calm right down. Bandit is always awesome at hide and seek although I must admit he does kinda go into that whole “separation anxiety mode” if I am the one doing the hiding but he likes to play, happy wagging his tail as fast as possible. 

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Two of my very favorite things about Bandit are:

How everytime I talk to him he will look right at me and cock his head back and fourth from side to side…as if he’s taking it all in….it makes me smile everytime….adorable & funny….I so love that about him!

The other is how he is that “one” dog that a person has once in their lifetime. That “one” dog that you know deep in your heart there will never be  that type of bond with any other. Don’t get me wrong I love all my other dogs dearly and I am close to them all, especially little Wally too but with Bandit it is just different, it’s like a whole different level. He’s been through alot with our family and knows each of us so well. He knows when I am sad, scared, nervous, happy or mad without a single word being said and his actions are always based off of my emotions. It is still unbelievable to me at times how smart he is. He is the definition of loyalty!

And how we ended up here is still hard to believe…..it’s been beyond difficult in so many ways! If you read below you’ll see how this all kind of went down and how Bandit and I learned of his cancer. At this point we are still in the figuring it all out stage and trying to do the best we can emotionally. I will be improving on that part because I know I need to for him. Physically I too feel worse than he does, heck you probably would never guess anything was wrong with him. He is happy and playful since we have gotten rid of the lymes, antiplasma and low blood platelet count….now if we could just get rid of the cancer we’d be doing awesome! It might be an uphill battle but it’s one that I will never let him walk alone! Today 09-28-09 while Bandit, Wally and I went for a walk there was a full rainbow and all I could think was that maybe it was there for him to shine some good luck his way…..I am praying it was anyways!

October 2, 2008 I had noticed that his front outer toe was swollen along the side of it and it didn’t seem to bother him but over time it began to swell bigger (toe area) and it also swelled a little right behind his large pad. At this point it was time to see the Vet since it wasn’t going away and it did seem to cause trouble for him by now. He couldn’t get up the stairs well and if we went for a walk he’d have a slight limp to his leg the following day. I did take him into the vet for it and they gave him antibiotics thinking maybe he had something in there that was causing it. With the first set of antibiotics I did notice it didn’t bother him as much and the swelling went down only slightly so they gave him another cycle to take, eventually we decided to remove his toe, the meds weren’t working. Although behind his big pad was swollen the Vet thought it would go down after time and more antibiotics. We had went back to the Vet several more times since, questioning why is it still swollen behind the big pad area and they said it might be infection due to the toe removal and we of course tried more meds. In August I took Bandit into the Vet again because he began to act kinda crabby which is totally not like him, that was a give away to me that he had lymes again and also I was needing to get more answers on his paw being I was unsatisfied with previous visits regarding this. I packed him and our other dogs up, had them all tested to confirm that yes all my dogs have lymes and antiplasma, brought them all home and began treatment. Well out of all the dogs Bandit is the one who had antiplasma, lymes and a low blood platelet. They’ve added a new Vet there now and I thought I would ask her about his paw. She said they would need to draw fluid from it, take an xray and send it to the lab. She didn’t want to do it that day because he was not feeling well already considering he tested positive for everything but heartworm. They also couldn’t take a sample of the tissue because of the low blood platelet count, they wouldn’t be able to control the bleeding. I would need to what for at least a month before anything further could be done. Well it’s pushing a month and I called on Monday 9-21-09 to get him in that morning. As I walked threw the door with him at my side nervous as he always is, I could barely talk as my eyes filled with tears. I told her that I just need to know what it is and I am done with meds, it’s time. I told my Dad that in my heart I know it’s cancer however I needed someone to confirm this. It’s like you want to know but yet you don’t. I walked him back to the dog run and kissed him on the head, telling him I will be back soon. They put him under so they could get Xrays to confirm it wasn’t bone cancer and to take a needle sample of the mass on the bottom of his paw. I went to pick him up later that day and of course as soon he heard my voice out in front he began to cry and howl, everyone laughs because they all think for him being a 130 pounds he’s the biggest baby they’ve worked on. He of course was not feeling well and threw up in my car twice on the way home and also for another 3 hours as he laid in the front yard with his pillow and blanket until he was ready to come in. This swollen mass is not rock hard by no means but almost feels kinda soft  it is more round in shape but lays very tight to the back of the cords/bones in the back paw again right behind the large pad. Over the last month it has begun to slightly grow alittle toward the area where his toe used to be. On Wednesday 09-23-09 the Vet called with results from the smear needle sample they had taken. Of course these results are never 100% because they need an actual tissue sample of the mass itself but with Bandit having low platelets that isn’t possible right now. She said that the pathologist’s results show Spindle Cell Soft Tissue Tumor as I sat on the phone with her all I remember thinking was, how do handle this and what do we need to do. She told me many different options to consider and talk over with my Husband and together we can come up with a plan. I on the other hand cried my eyes out, freaked out, became mad and back to crying again. The next morning as I sat with Bandit on our front porch I decided that I will look into all the options on the table and schedule a consultation with them for guidance. I know that a Vet has a better idea as to what direction this should go in but no one knows Bandit better than I do, so I have to take every option they throw at us and weigh it against what I think Bandit would want or how this would effect him emtionally and physically. This is harder than I ever thought and I honestly wake up in the morning and think to myself is this real. Well today is Friday 9-25-09 and we had our consultation with 2 of the main Vets of course this never goes as you hope because I am hoping for a miracle! They’ll first do a cbc test, which will tell me if his blood platelets are okay to even consider taking a larger tissue sample but then again I wonder should I let them. I am scared that once they cut into the mass it will spread like wild fire. Then again if I don’t let them take a sample I can’t get the 100% acurate results which would help us to know what kind of Spindle Cell we are fighting. The biggest question I wanted to know was could we remove the leg and find out by ultra sound or Xrays if it has spread. They said that they don’t believe it has spread and removal of the leg would probably be the best option but they are hesitant to do that. I was crushed because the only thing that I believe would save him if we find out it forsure hasn’t spread was the removal of the leg. They said that he is just too big at 130 pounds it isn’t the best option because they don’t think with him being 8 1/2 years old that his other front leg could support his body weight. I sat there just at a loss, holding back the tears, I am just looking for some hope and reason to believe it will be okay and I am getting nothing! I know that they aren’t trying to make it worse for me or Bandit, it is in their professional opinion that removal would be very difficult for a dog of his size and age. They said that they are aware that this dog means the world to me and should I decide that I want them to remove the leg they will do it but they don’t want to. They also said that it is what would most likely save him however what happens when stress fractures occur or that other front leg gives out. That is what brought me here, I watched the videos and read about the other dogs and I wonder why can’t that be my dog, he is strong and I don’t believe he wants to die or let me let him die. I hoping that maybe any of you that read this could help Bandit and I. Please give us some advice. Have any of you had a German Shepherd of this size and age undergo a front leg removal and if so was it for the best. My very biggest fear is that I don’t do it or if I do, does the survival time I bought him take away the quality and dignity of his life? I think the next step after we get the cbc test back will be to have the ulta sound done to determine if anything has spread. I am praying! If that all comes back okay then I am left to make the decision about removal of the limb. The one I really need answers from would be him and of course all he does when I talk to him is cock his head back and forth from side to side….which is adorable:)


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