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Bandit’s Life ~ hope & chance

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Today we decided that it’s time to remove the leg.  As uncertain as our Vets our in doing so because he is so big, they worry about stress fractures or breaks in the good leg and because like any cancer it may have or  may not have spread…the X-rays were clear but that doesn’t mean that a cell couldn’t have between now and then found it’s way somewhere else we have decided we’ll chance it all! At this point all I know is what I feel in my heart and my heart tells me that I can’t let the chronic pain he’s feeling in his paw and being drugged up on meds day and night take away the quality of the life he has left. If we leave it the way it is all we’ll do is watch him suffer and continue to drug him. Yes amputating his leg is going to be devasting and will come with pain as well but not nearly the amount of pain that he is in now or what would be in store for him in another month or two. When I had spoken to the Vets at the UW Madison Vet Hospital all 3 said to amputate because the pain he’ll be in will be unreal and that this was the best chance we had at saving his life. I don’t know what the future holds all I know is….he’d rather be out of pain on only 3 legs than suffering daily on 4! Yes it might spread, yes it may already have but I now realize that it’s time. I will be calling them in the morning to set up a consult for amputation, if they hesitant in this, so be it I will go elsewhere. I know this dog better than most people know the back of their hand and I am here to tell you that when I walk by him or go to lay by him and he instantly put his hurt paw on me or holds it in my face he’s trying to tell me something. I look at him, holding it in my hand and say the same thing everytime, “I am sorry Band, I know it  hurts and I’ll get it figured out”.  As I sit here tonight thinking about the decision I am calling tomorrow to make I find myself  thinking, asking many questions and looking for more answers:  I am not a selfish person and I would lay him to rest if I believed in my heart it was time but I know it’s not, I know that the Xrays don’t show 100% if it has spread but if it has I know the signs and I will deal with that at that time, the only chance we have to save him is to remove his leg and I think if I could ask him, “Bandit you have this one and only shot at a chance to survive, do you want to do it” I honestly think he would, I know that his way of life will change and I know that there will be some hurdles but at least those hurdles aren’t going to be chronic pain 24/7 from a paw. As uncertain as I feel at times with this decision I also feel a sense of relief and peace within my heart…nobody gave me a how to book on dealing and making decisions for your best friend with cancer, so all I can do is read, talk to people in my shoes, listen to my heart, listen to him and read into his eyes. The other day I was standing in the kitchen pouring a cup of coffee and looked over to see him standing there on 3 legs, the hurt paw shaking pulled up tight to his chest, with a toy in his mouth, wagging his tail. God I love this dog and I love his strength, determination and the sparkle of his eyes! I wiped the tears from my cheek, smiled, set down my coffee and headed into the living room to play.


Holding onto Hope for a Chance: If the future holds days without pain and one less leg, a chance that the cancer could spread or return, a chance that he could develope a stress fractor, a little less running or should I say a little less hopping being he’ll be on 3, his head still going from side to side as I speak to him as if he’s taking in every word like always…God I love that about him, a few extra naps, a wag of his tail and a sparkle in his eye…what more could I ask for!

Like everything in life…it’s all about chance but if I do nothing the future holds chronic pain that will only worsen, drugged out days, him placing his paw on me as if he needs to show me what hurts, more naps but restless ones because he can’t get comfotable, no wag of the tail or light in his eyes and the whimpering cries….we’ll take the chance! We’ll hold onto hope that no matter how much time is laid before him we gave it all: love, friendship, laughter, smiles and we spared him some major pain along the way, to make it easier for him.

Whenever the day does come were I must lay my faithful best friend to rest without a doubt I will know, I will know by the touch he gives me and the way he looks at me but until then we will live with cancer but will stop letting it consume our lives! We all need to smile, laugh, play and be happy and just breathe again! I hope Bandit knows that I love him and I did my best and I hope it’s enough!



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~ by band09 on October 14, 2009 .

8 Responses to “Bandit’s Life ~ hope & chance”

  1.   jakesmom Says:

    I KNOW that Bandit knows that you love him! You finally made a decision, a very hard one, but we have all made that same agonizing decision.

    Be prepared for the first week post-op. When we brought Jake home from the vet, seeing him all drugged up and missing his leg… it was devastating. I found myself thinking… “what have we done?” But those thoughts quickly went away after I saw him hop outside to go pee, hop to his food bowel to eat (he LOVES food!), wag his tail and smile… We took a chance because we love him.

    Jake is almost 1 month post amputation, and he does better and better each day. He is still not back to himself, but he probably never will be. But he hops around (like a bunny… his new nickname!) plays with his toys, he has been swimming in our pool (he turns into a puppy again!), he plays with us and his brother Wolfie… We love him so much! You can check out Jake’s progress on his blog at

    As you said, we don’t know if the cancer already started to spread before the surgery, although his chest x-rays were clear, or how long Jake has left… but even if it is a few more months, and he is happy and not in any pain… that’s all that matters!

    Let us know once you have Bandit’s surgery scheduled, and keep us posted every step of the way. We are all here for you, and each other.

    Sending a big hug to you and Bandit!!!

    Jake’s Mom

  2.   jakesmom Says:

    By the way, the pictures of Bandit are beautiful! I have had german shepherds all my life, and they always make my heart melt!

  3.   admin Says:

    Bandit is indeed beautiful! Bless you for doing everything your are for him, and best wishes for a speedy complete recovery. We look forward to following his progress.

  4.   band09 Says:

    Bandit says thank you, he hears how handsome he is alot from his Mom telling him that everyday : ) We’ll be sure to keep everyone posted as to how his recovery is going, I’m sure we’ll have many questions along the way. Still feeling a sense of peace with the decision to go ahead with the limb removal….so that’s a good thing! As far as the harness goes I read some blogs regarding that and since he’s so big I will be purchasing the AST support suit today and will also get a ruffware harness for future use when things get a bit easier. Thank you to everyone…we can’t say that enough! Luv, Misty & Bandit

  5.   wyattraydawg Says:

    Don’t worry Ma, Bandit will be just fine! We GSDs always overcome.

    Keep us posted OK? Sending lots of pawsitive love your way.

  6.   tootsweets Says:

    I love the pictures of Bandit! I know that it is such a difficult decision to make… but you need to just decide what you think is best and go with it! My dog Toto had his leg amputated almost a month ago. Before the amputation he was no longer jumping on the couch, playing, or cuddling with the other dogs (his favorite thing!). That broke my heart. Now he is doing all of those things. He is out of pain and he is happy. Best wishes to you and Bandit!
    Kristin and Toto

  7.   band09 Says:

    Thank you all for taking the time to write to us, as I’m sure you know from reading my blog I am confused but finding some direction. As for Bandit well his paw hurts alot and although I have scheduled the amputation for tomorrow morning I find myself just wandering around the house today unable to get much done, wondering once again am I making the right decision…I know it’s the right decision because the pain is not going to go away it will only get worse or spread but it’s just hard not to question things. I am just very nervous and anxiety filled:( Bandit on the other hand is outside with Wally and Rose (our little Goldens) watching to see if anything wiggles that they can chase after. I just pray that after the surgery he will once again be outside hopping around chasing after things and he’ll be happy. I know no one knows what the future holds but I don’t want him to be sad, unable to do the things he’s always done or be angry, that would just break my heart and leave me feeling as if I failed him. Please say a prayer that his surgery goes well and we’ll be keeping you posted as to how he’s doing. Thanks again! Luv, Misty & Bandit

  8.   jakesmom Says:

    Misty, I will be thinking of you and Bandit tomorrow. I hope that he gets through his surgery with flying colors!

    You should really think about posting to the forums. Alot more tripawd folks are there everday (more than the blogs), and you will be able to get alot more support, and questions answered quickly. You know you’re going to have ALOT of questions and concerns once you bring Bandit home from his surgery. I know that I sure did!

    Take care dear… and sweet dreams to Bandit on the night before his surgery…

    Jake’s Mom

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