Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sad, Sad Day

This week the Red Dog had a reminder of the intense emotions that helped start this blog when she found out her long-distance friend Koya passed away in Texas after a traumatic intestinal blockage and unsuccessful (although heroic) surgical attempt to save him. She knows her friends Yukon, Spike and Lexi, as well as her beloved Amy and Steve will miss him terribly. He was a lucky, lucky boy to be a part of such a wonderful pack for the past year.

She sends extra special Red Dog mojo to Yukon, as he had mast cell-removal surgery the next day...thank goodness he's doing well! Be sure to send some good vibes to Amy and Steve...they need them!'s a picture of big Yukie right after he awoke from surgery:

She also sends love to her Golden friend Cooper in Atlanta, who is facing his own cancer battle. While the doctors say his treatment options are limited, his parents Lee and Sarah are doing everything they can to support his sweet and lovable self so that he can stay around for a long while. Be sure to keep them in your prayers. Here's Coop thinking some of those patented "deep thoughts" Goldens are so famous for:

Finally, she sends more of the same to her favorite dock-jumping dog Tiki down in Georgia, who had a growth removed from her jowl on December 10th. The pathology report confirmed cancer, but her mom Leslie reports the veterinarians are confident they got all of it. Here she is toting a lovely parrot...Mmmmmm:

The Red Dog urges you to remember to love the ones you love well and often, because none of us are guaranteed a minute more than the one we are experiencing right now...WOOF!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Vernal Equinox

As our fellow dogs and dog walkers know, we are fast approaching the shortest day of the year. This leads us to one unavoidable conclusion: WE NEED MORE DAYLIGHT!! The Red Dog encounters many things on her walks, none of which are good to meet in the dark. These include, but are not limited to, skunks, raccoons, entire flocks of Canadian geese, other dogs and Pink, the feral cat. She thinks, perhaps, that Mr. Man might want to invest in one of those headlamp thingies...or floodlights for the entire neighborhood. That's the only way she sees him getting his rear end out the door before sunrise, and she's got some walking to do! (Feel free to leave suggestions for him in the comments section below)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Let it Snow

New Coats for the Boys

Although a nice thought for Snoopy and Mr. Man, a new coat for the Red Dog is NOT in the works. She wouldn't be caught dead in one of those silly things. She does think they look kind of snappy on her men, though. Woof!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Red Dog's Thanks

The Red Dog is thankful for her people being home, the yummy smells (and hopefully flavors, too) coming from the kitchen and the love of all her friends. It has been a topsy-turvy year, but the people she loves and who love her have made it all worthwhile. Blessing to you all and BIG WOOFS for the tasty bird that just came out of the oven!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Red Dog Sunny Side Up

Where, you may be asking, has the Red Dog been? Her answer is simple: basking her red self in the unseasonably beautiful afternoon sun. The simple things in life give her the most pleasure, yet those are the very things we often miss. Take a minute to close your eyes, turn your face to the sky and soak it in. Who knows when you'll get to do it again. Woof!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Howl-o-ween Spooktacular

For those of you lucky enough to witness the sugared-up extravaganza last night, these videos will bring back sweet memories of a fun time had by that is until most of you actually attempted to trick-or-treat in that horrific mix of cold and rain while the rest of us hung in the dry with Shiva and friends. For the rest of you, behold the ridiculous display of affection given to the Red Dog by her favorite vertically-challenged friends while their adults hit the chow line and enjoyed the super spread put-on by Shiva's Mom. Thanks to everyone who came and brought was great fun...thank God it won't happen again until next year!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fun in the Autumn Sun

As mentioned in our previous post, the autumn weather in our corner of the world is stupendous. What follows is documentary evidence of Shiva, Katy and Joey enjoying our new fenced yard and the surrounding spectacular fall scenery. Later enjoy a brief appearance by Snoopy and a glamorous ball-fetching session with Daisy, the beautiful Black Dog. She especially enjoys her close-up, don't you think? As an aside, note the circular brown dead spots in the grass around the 2:15 mark...this is from Shiva's single chemotherapy treatment last June. Yuck!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Wonderful Time

Few words can adequately describe the glory of fall weather in Eastern Tennessee. Between the all-too-frequent raindrops come days of such dazzling and painful beauty that you wish time would stand still and the frozen moment would stretch out to eternity. Yesterday was just such a day as the Red Dog and a few of her friends hung-out in their new fenced front yard while I raked and Shiva's Mom cleaned. No speeches were made, no special events were was an otherwise ordinary day in a supremely extraordinary setting. (Note to self: the surefire recipe to getting distasteful tasks done is equal parts perfect weather and the love of dogs. Many, many dogs.) Now it's back to work with the memories fresh and perfect to carry me on through the week. Think of all we'd miss without dogs.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thirty-three Years of Retail Glory

Last Saturday the Red Dog was on-hand as her favorite retail establishment celebrated its thirty-third year in business. It was a tremendous opportunity for her to mingle with her adoring public as well as recruit throngs of new followers. Due to our forward-thinking (and shameless self-promotion) we happened to capture much of the fun on video for your viewing pleasure. Grab your motion-sickness bags and hang-on as Shiva takes you on a dizzying ride through retail glory as only she can!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Red Dog Family Fun

Family time is the best time for the Red Dog, and today she was graced by a visit from her cousin Desi who gave her the full attention and love she so richly deserves. Shiva is glad she finally visited her because it's not like she's getting any younger here! Woof!

Btw...note the daredevil camera work early in the's Shiva's Mom's first attempt at guerilla filmmaking...leave comments below.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Although we understand conceptually that some of you might tire of seeing a multitude of videos showing a three-legged Red Dog frolicking in the surf of Folly Beach, we find comfort in the relative certainty that such a notion is as foreign to you dear readers as it is to us; therefore, we are proud to present to you several vignettes from the joyous event we fondly call "Follypalooza."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Red Dog's Folly

While many of you were vainly attempting to stay dry over the weekend, the Red Dog was busy expanding her sphere of influence and simultaneously sampling the delights of a new beach (to her) called Folly Beach. She enjoyed it immensely (thanks Aunt Dian) and hopes to visit again soon...after another trip to the Cape, of course! She also wanted to share with her cyber-friends her new beach friends Maddie and Montana. They are five-and-a-half-year-old sisters who get to play on that awesome expanse of sand every morning...lucky girls! Lots more videos were taken but Mr. Man says we can't share them all at once due to some stupid bandwidth thing...whatever. Stay tuned and until then enjoy the lovely sights and sounds of the Red Dog and friends on Folly Beach!

Silly Beach Fun

Behold what transpires when Joey the Tennessee Cattle Hound (our own "special" breed) meets-up with the dreaded surf-foam at Folly Beach:

What a silly boy...Katy wasn't scared, that's for sure!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Most Auspicious Day

As the days grow shorter and the world moves into the Red Dog's favorite time of the year, she would like to pause to thank all of her friends and people for the good stuff and love that they all have sent her way. Few days pass by without someone asking about her or sending her their loving thoughts and words. This really gets the Red Dog's juices makes her hop with excitement (watch the videos, you'll see). Right now she is angling for another trip to the beach, and of course her first choice always will be the Cape. This, however, is negotiable as Shiva will go anywhere her people go as long as she's not left behind! She also is pestering Mr. Man to post more of his wonderful videos because that's how the world can see how happy AND magnificent the Red Dog really is. Finally, she thinks she's got this hijacking of Mr. Man's facebook page thing down, so those of her followers who have one too need to send friend requests...she'll make sure they get accepted! WOOF!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Family Fun With the Red Dog

Not a day goes by that the Red Dog doesn't love her family, and it's a really great day when she is able to love one of her "little ones." She wants all of you to remember to love your people every day too!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Deep Thoughts (from the Red Dog's desk)

The Red Dog has been thinking a lot lately about the meaning of life (at least according to her) and she thinks people are pretty stupid not to get's so simple that it makes her a little crazy. All they have to do is be nice and live each day like it's their last...after all, it might be. She doesn't understand why they go on power-trips or get all caught-up with those big cars and flashy things because none of that stuff can pet her head like one of her people can. Take a walk along the river in the morning sunshine...stink-roll in the fresh-cut grass on a summer afternoon...lay on the couch next to your favorite person while watching mindless daytime television...splash in the surf at the Cape with the people you love most. These are the things that really matter, the things that make you feel warm on the inside, the things that make you feel joy and love. The Red Dog gets it, so why can't we?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

That's Using Her Noodle!

More summer fun in the sun with the Red Dog and friends:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Retail Glory

What, you may ask, exactly does a "Glorious Retail Experience" look like? Well, you are indeed in luck as our intrepid camera team was on the scene as the Red Dog visited some of her very favorite subjects at one of her very favorite stores: Agri Feed! You will marvel at the variety of supplies as well as the friendliness of the staff throughout this most marvelous establishment. Bask in the reflected glow that is Shiva, the Red Dog as she dances through the aisles and into your hearts!

Hello Again

While the Red Dog is busy gallivanting about the neighborhood enjoying her summer, she has not forgotten about you, her dear bloggy friends. She thinks of you often and encourages Mr. Man to write stuff about her to you. One of her most favorite experiences in life is hanging-out with her little friends, especially her "cousin" Olivia. On a recent visit, Miss Olivia was kind enough to allow Shiva's Mom to video her with Shiva. Much fun was had by all and you can see the love the two share here:

The Red Dog has many more videos for you to see, and hopefully one day soon her parents actually may post them on her blog...what a novel concept! Meanwhile, she is planning a glorious retail experience at Agri Feed and hopes to see her friend Amy there too!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rest in Peace, Sweet Tenny

Yesterday fifteen-year-old Tennyson, one of the sweetest tripawds ever, made his final journey over the Rainbow Bridge. Shiva's Mom was with Tenny and his mom Stephanie at the end, and his passing was very peaceful thanks to their comforting presence and the gentle hands of Dr. Bea Moody. Tenny lived a grand life, touching all those he met with his loving nature and zest for living. He truly exemplified all the best of what a dog can be, and he did all of this on three legs! In fact, he was THE up-close-and-personal three-legged inspiration to the Red Dog as she recovered from her own amputation surgery. While Tenny lost his leg in his first year and grew-up as a tripawd, Shiva had to learn to adapt to this new way of being at age nine...Tenny's continuing effervescent style despite his advanced age acted as a shining beacon of hope to her and her parents. We all are grateful and humbled to have know this most sweet boy. He leaves behind (but not really) his little brother Suttree and his mom Stephanie, one of the all-time most wonderful doggie-mommies we ever have had the pleasure of knowing. Here is a small video tribute of him taken less than three weeks ago. He will be missed.

Good-night, sweet Prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Blog Alert! New Blog Alert!

WoooooHoooooo! The Red Dog is very happy to announce that her new Weim-loving friends in North Carolina have decided to join the blogosphere with an entry here and here. Their hearts bleed "dog-luv" through-and-through, and their efforts on the part of rescues are to be commended. Please join their sites as followers and buy lots of stuff...the Red Dog commands you. WOOF!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Day

Yesterday passed quietly, reverently and with gratitude as we marked three months since Shiva's surgery. Special thanks to all of you who have helped us make the first three months of "bonus time" an incredible and awesome experience. We have memories that will last a lifetime and an extremely happy and spoiled dog to boot. BIG WOOFS to Spirit Jerry, his people and Dr. Pam at Tripawds for both the moral support and nutritional advice as we wade through the mass of information available out there. You guys have paved the way for the rest of us and most certainly ROCK! The same goes for Dr. Mitch and his wonderful staff, Brenda Rasch for the extra-special and good mojo and Wendy Jackson for taking the title of Chief Dream Maker and running with it by sharing her slice of paradise with the rest of the world. This, along with the love and support of family and friends, has changed our lives forever. We, and most importantly the Red Dog, thank you and look forward to many more Happy Days. WOOF!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another Special Announcement

Due to an overwhelming case of "you've got to be kidding me!" over this, the Red Dog has taken it upon herself to announce that she is now Supreme Leader and Queen of All Digital Media. Since this is quite an undertaking, she has decided to enlist the help of all of you in order to ensure her success. She thinks two million Twitter followers should do the trick, so get've got some recruiting to do! WOOF!

A Surprise Revealed

After much secrecy (and monumental effort) the Red Dog's people are ready to show you what's been keeping them so busy:

The Red Dog REALLY wants one of these (this one belongs to niece Elizabeth, btw) because they're much more fun and way tastier than pink pigs. Bring one to her now! WOOF!!

Special Report from Red Dog World Headquarters

The Red Dog would like to take a moment to let everyone know that her parents have been very busy and, thus, have been neglecting their blogging duties. This, combined with the Red Dog's new addiction to Twitter, has resulted in the paucity of posts you have seen (or not) over the last week or two. Please note that she will be applying "the Dog Bite Principle" to their rear ends if they do not get back on the blog-wagon soon. Stay tuned here and if you're lucky you might see more than you bargained for...WOOF!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kudos to Wendy at the Cape Escape!

The Red Dog hereby proclaims Cape San Blas, Florida to be the Best Vacation Location EVER and Wendy Jackson at the Cape Escape to be the Official Provider of Accommodations and Chief Dream Maker! SUPER BIG WOOFS!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Red Dog is on Twitter!

Check her out at
She's waiting for you...WOOF!

Another Perfect Sunset

The Red Dog and her people enjoy the ending of their latest "best day EVER" at the Cape!

Monday, July 20, 2009

1,000 Words

Special thanks to Don Hicks for the photos. He, his lovely wife Melinda and his two awesome labs Bailey and Hazel added much joy to our trip, that's for sure. Check out his work at

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sunset on the Cape

If you've ever been to the beach right after a front moves through, you will understand why we posted this video. The air is moist, but not too warm. The wind is fresh, but not too intense. And most impressively, the colors of the sky are heavenly. This was shot around 8:45 pm this evening and we hope you have at least a taste of the beauty and serenity we've experienced on this all-too-short vacation to Cape San Blas, Florida. We've made memories we'll never forget, met some of the most wonderful people who we now consider friends and given the Red Dog a trip of a lifetime. Enjoy!

Moment of Zen

Shiva and her mom on a rainy beach morning...

A Glorious Time Was Had by All

If you take nothing else from the videos of Shiva's trip to the beach, take this: she had a blast!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Red Dog Surf Safari

Check out the Red Dog as she hits the surf with old and new friends...everyone here is so nice and they all seem to love Shiva. This really is a dog-lover's paradise! The snappy life jacket by Ruff Wear was a fortuitous investment, no?

This cinematic masterpiece captures the Red Dog and her new friends as she gets to live the doggie dream of LEASH-FREE play on the beach. This, of course, never would have happened in a million years if she still had that fourth leg. We may be her slaves but we're not stupid!

Notice her Quixotic quest to stop each wave with a strategically-placed bite...can't wait for the digestive results of all that salt water...that should be fun!

To borrow from a celluloid classic, "Red Dogs love water like a sailor loves rum...why is that, Captain Ron?"
"Nobody knows."

Pink Pig Mothership Discovered!

A peek inside the Red Dog's "vacation day", including a basking Red Dog wallowing in a sea of pork, documentary evidence of the existence of a porcine "mothership" and poor grammar on the part of Mr. Man (note to self: "All is well but life is good", not the other way around). Now we're off to pick-up some lunch and then back to the condo - and the blessed A/C - for a nap!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wiped Out!

Check out the Red Dog as she lays, spent, on the beach after her first three-legged foray into the bath-water-warm surf of the cape...ahhhhh!

The Red Dog Has Landed!

And she is pooped (so are we)! We had a lovely 10 hour drive (which may be a slight overdose of the car ride principle) and now are going to stroll the beach, have a cocktail (two of us, anyway) and sleep for about a day. TTFN!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bye Bye, Sweet Baboo

The Red Dog says "farewell" tonight to her sled-dog FFAD (Friend From A Distance) Elsa, aka "My Sweet Baboo", as she and her parents Bob and Madeline will be moving to Chicago while the Red Dog and her people are at the beach. These are good people (two and four-legged ) and the Windy City is lucky to have them. WOOF!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Too Good to Miss!

While we are getting ready for bed, the Red Dog insists that we post a lovely little video of her BFF Kate...truly one of the sweetest (and most beautiful) doggies on the planet!

Some Updatey Stuff

The first update is to remind her followers that the Red Dog embarks on her journey here tomorrow and she is SO excited that she most likely won't be able to sleep more than 8 or 9 hours tonight. Whatever will she do? Thank God she can sleep in the car on the ride. All joking aside, this is a much-needed trip both for her and her parents as they have been running pretty much non-stop since before her surgery at the beginning of May. She will, however, insist on Mr. Man updating her adoring public on her whereabouts and activities at least periodically throughout the trip. Perhaps he can squeeze it in between naps!

Another update of some import is the discovery that Ajax (Kitty Snax, King of the Wild Frontier) is not exactly a rocket scientist, as the following video will attest:

Finally, Shiva sincerely wants both to thank you for being her followers and to urge you to begin proselytizing shamelessly on her behalf as she accelerates her quest for global fame. Surely it can't be far behind with the help of all of you. She also has some extra-special woofs for her friends (you KNOW who you are) she sees while on her morning make it that much more fun!

Remember to visit our friends at Tripawds to keeps up with what's new in the three-legged dog world and be sure to check back here over the next few days to check-in with the Red Dog as she makes her way down south to the sandy and salty climes of subtropical Florida...she'll be sure to have enough in the blender for you!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Bravura Performance

The Red Dog wants to send MASSIVE WOOFS out to her favorite "silver man" Yukon (best boy & Top Weim of Aunt Amy and Uncle Steve) as he sailed through his cancer surgery yesterday with flying colors. Even though he's way down there in Texas, the Red Dog knows he can feel her good vibes and positive thoughts. Here's hoping that he heals quickly and that nasty stuff is gone from his body for good!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Good Day Sunshine!

Although she hasn't posted much lately, the Red Dog has been busy living life as only she can. On this lovely summer day, she (along with Shiva's Mom) took her usual walk along the Tennessee River taking in the rays of the morning sun. Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves to remember how lucky we are to live in such a profoundly beautiful place. This can be hard for those without opposable thumbs, but we do our best. (We're talking about the pinching ourselves part, in case you're a little slow on the uptake over there.) Rest assured there is more to come as the Red Dog has been busy!

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Little Bit of Summer of Shiva for You All

Lest you think we've forgotten about all of the Red Dog's followers and fans out there, think again. What follows is evidence of Shiva's aquatic progress (and of Mr. Man's hideous lack of a tan...I mean, really, could a human be any more pale?) as she goes through her paces in Aunt Rita's pool. We are amazed at the seemingly insatiable appetite in cyberspace for a partially-clad Red Dog splashing about like a three-legged (or would it be one-legged?) Esther Williams. Who knew?

Notice how at times she now seems to have a small outboard motor strapped to her backside as she plows through the water. Amazing, no?

The Red Dog also has allowed the broadening of the application of the car ride principle now to include both Katy and Joey in her evening "treatments". This has caused much mirth among neighbors as the human heads in the car now are outnumbered three to two. Snoopy and Daisy continue to be required to have separate appointments, however. This therapy has greatly improved the overall well-being of the canine population in Shiva's "queen-dom" and is fervently recommended to all who share their lives with dogs. Incidentally, proper technique must include very slow speeds (blind, head-below-the-steering-wheel, blue-haired Palm Beach slow) and open windows for maximum sniff-ability and bark-at-everyone-walking-by-on-foot-ability. You will know when you have achieved the optimum dosage levels.

On a more serious note, the Red Dog continues to build her walking and running stamina as she prepares for her trip to doggie beach paradise. She now heads down to the river every morning with Mr. Man, Shiva's Mom, Katy and Joey in tow so she can visualize her open water swimming technique (and sniff the goose poop...yum!) and say 'hi' to any humans lucky enough to cross her path. Both her attitude and fortitude are AWESOME! We count ourselves lucky to know her every day...she is a blessing. Now sit back and enjoy the Summer of Shiva...WOOF!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hot New Man

The Red Dog wants everyone to see her handsome new crush Gibson, the world's tallest dog and recent addition to the ranks of tripawds! What a hunk!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Long Time, No Woof

So we were thinking this evening, the Red Dog and I, about how our pace of blog posts has slowed down and we wondered "why?"...and we realized that we have been living life and it's getting in the way of this cyberspace stuff. What to do? Get busy living or get busy dying, one of our favorite movie characters would say. And we will continue doing so. It's not that we don't want to share our activities with our friends, it's just that sometimes we don't want to take the time from the waking hours we have. We DO have more videos to share and we HAVE purchased a notebook computer so we can take our Flip video on the road to send daily updates from the beach...but we have learned along the way that there is no substitute for getting out there and doing. So please be patient, wag more, bark less and know that the Red Dog is busy LIVING! WOOF!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Big Woofs!

The Red Dog would like to send BIG WOOFS out to one of her followers (Jenny N) for having that baby! Awesome job!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rolling Right Along

The Red Dog would like to update her legion of followers and fans on her amazing progress...she now is taking longer daily walks with increasing endurance. She also is enjoying her growing fame among her neighbors and the attention and love they have bestowed upon her. She sends a special "WOOF" to Laurel and the love of her life.

Today she is going back to Agri Feed for another fantastic retail experience. There also will be swimming on the horizon, she is certain. Perhaps her people will see fit to make more videos of her in the pool for your viewing pleasure. She will work on this for you.

Finally, she is hoping that all of you will think of her when she goes to this place in a few weeks for some three-legged fun in the sun...special thanks to Wendy for being so nice. The Red Dog cannot wait! WOOF!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grillin' with Snoop-Dog

Never before seen on film, our very own Snoopy (aka Snoop-Dog, Nooper, Noopie-Noo, Snapper McGee, Preacher Man & Pooplesworth) puts on a show of dental dexterity sure to please even the hardest of hardcore "Cribs" fans!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Pirate's Life for Us!

As you can see, the pirate ship so generously provided by Aunt Amy is a huge hit with our little black-and-white friends. This should provide hours of endless amusement for them and an equal amount of annoyance for the Red Dog!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hooray and Hallelujah!

The Red Dog and her people are pooped after a very long day, but they wanted everyone to know that the Red Dog's bloodwork and chest x-rays were PERFECT! See you tomorrow...WOOF!

The Red Dog Has Been Busy

The Red Dog is sorry for her recent absence...she has been busy enjoying the rigorous application of the car ride principle. This has taken up much of her time, but she assures her loyal followers that she will return to her duties later today. Right now she must go to the vet for some routine bloodwork, Honda for a quick service on her royal carriage and then on to Agri feed for a resupply of her most tasty food...and a glorious retail experience! The Red Dog has proof to share of the kitties' love of their new pirate ship (courtesy of Aunt Amy) and the glory of her new harness!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Note From the Red Dog

The Red Dog would like Mr. Man to quit being so melodramatic...she is fine and getting better every day. She further wants him (and everyone else) to know that even after the body gives out (which still is a LONG way away) she will be hanging around because that's how it works, regardless of what anyone else thinks or believes. That's the deal, and since the Red Dog sees all that's all we need to know. Now get busy and book that trip to the beach...WOOF!!

The Chemotherapy Dilemma

We are facing a very tough decision as we approach Shiva's next scheduled chemo appointment later this week. As a few of you already know, the first round of chemo has taken a pretty heavy toll on the Red Dog. She has taken almost three weeks to begin to behave like her old self again, and our vet friend has told us that this most likely was caused by her white blood cell count dropping too low and depleting her bone marrow. She also said that this usually gets worse with each successive treatment. Since the Red Dog was feeling FINE before the chemo and is beginning to feel FINE again, we think she deserves to stay that way. If this were about us, we would do whatever we could to keep her around regardless of the effect on her...but it's not. This is about her and her quality of life. We would rather have a few months (or years, of course!) of the Red Dog in her full Red Dog-ness than a shadow of her former self for a little extra time. The non-existent stamina, the middle-of-the-night panting, the depression and the grass-killing pee are too much to put a wonderful and dignified creature such as Shiva through at this point in her life. Because of all this, we are planning to stop chemo and monitor her blood counts, CBCs and x-rays while giving her great food, lots of love and a full life every day. This truly is a lesson for us in the importance of quality time, regardless of quantity. All of your support and prayers are so appreciated and though of on a daily basis by all of us. Now the outcome is in God's hands, and we can live with that. Next step, beach trip to Cape San Blas, Florida!

Wet 'n Wild, Red Dog Style!

After much anticipation, here she is in living (lime green!) color (THANKS FOR THE POOL TIME AUNT RITA!!):

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Coming Soon: Wet 'n Wild, Red Dog Style!

Due to the size of today's video of the Red Dog taking her first three-legged swim in her fashionable new life jacket, Mr. Man is having to upload it to YouTube first, and then figure out how to imbed it in the blog or some such nonsense. Hopefully you will be able to see Shiva in all her waterlogged glory sometime before the pool freezes over!

Warm Fuzzies

The Red Dog has yet another friend to send love to as Sarah C. has sent her a blessing that she will treasure always. It is on the Red Dog's collar and that is where it will stay!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Aunt Amy Rocks!

Uncle Steve and the kids do too, but we know who the real rocker is down there in Spring, Texas! Our first video documents the initial reaction of her highness, the Red Dog, as well as Katy, Joey and Ajax when the contents of the care package are revealed:

The second captures the joy experienced by Daisy (the Black Dog) and Snoopy when they receive their wonderful squeaker-removal training devices. What fun!!

Still to come are the cats' reactions to their very own pirate ship. Stay tuned!

It's Time for a Swim!

For those of you who remember this, our wait is over...the lime green beauty has arrived and will be christened in Aunt Rita's pool tomorrow. Woooooohooooooooo!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Yet More New Friends for the Red Dog

Lately the Red Dog has met and mingled with some of the area's best and brightest, sweet people like Jessica and her boy Cash, as well as Caroline and Susan in Maryville (AND SHE RODE IN A CAR TO GET THERE!!!). She is glad beyond words that so many people love the Red Dog and recognize her for the wonderful girl that she is.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Queen For a Day?

More like forever. Three legs or four, I am. There is no other than the Red Dog. Let your fears be eased and click that thingy over there and become a follower. This I command you. WOOF!

Monday, June 1, 2009


The struggle continues here between the "captives" and "captors". The following video (smuggled out at great risk to the "captives" this evening) exposes the dangerous reality facing us here in the Red Dog's world...a place where up is down and anything is possible...PLEASE watch at your own risk!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mmmmm...Minty-Fresh Breath for Delicious Kisses

The Red Dog Has A New Hero

The Red Dog was lucky this evening finally to meet a lady who is both a survivor and a true inspiration. Charlotte has overcome so much with such equanimity that the Red Dog cannot help but be profoundly humbled...and she further has decided that Charlotte's husband Skip is deserving of the title "Best in Show - Best Husband" for sure!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pork Fest '09

This is a very special video for the Red Dog's Aunt Leslie in which she displays her enthusiasm and appetite for...pork! The Red Dog loves her newest addition to her personal pig pen, and all thanks for this go to Aunt Les, Tiki and Sophie. WOOF!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Red Dog-Required Addendum

The Red Dog has indicated that we would be remiss if we did not mention how beautifully she ran (showing-off, of course) for Sara and Corey. Furthermore, they commented that she ran like a four-legged dog. How cool is that, the Red Dog wants to know? IN ADDITION, she wants to be sure that everyone knows she visited her Uncle Stephen tonight and ran for him, too. The Red Dog says "sorry she didn't stay and play" to Uncle Stephen's pups Lucky and Sonny. We're hopeful this is all the Red Dog has to say because our hands are getting tired.

Visitors...We Have Visitors!!

The Red Dog is feeling very full of herself these days as she has been visited by a growing number of loyal followers. Of course she expects to see her Uncle Stephen on a regular basis, but still he deserves a "WOOF-out". (Get it? Woof-out? Like shout-out? Ooooh the Red Dog is funny!) Next came her new best friends JoAnn and Mary. She was happy to see them both times they came by and she hopes they continue to torture her mom and love the Red Dog quite often. Today was very exciting as she was visited by her first celebrity followers Sara and Corey. While the uninformed may ask "Who are Sara and Corey?", the animal lovers out there will least the Red Dog thinks so, and if you don't, you should! They are Mr. Man's heroes and inspiration to many in our area, as they have created wonderful things like this, this and this! They loved the Red Dog, by the way.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Help Our Friends

...upgrade their server at This is an awesome place infused with the Spirit of them reach their goal! The Red Dog commands you to love them, too! WOOF!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Red Dog Has a New Hero

Brittney the Bulldog is the Red Dog's new hero...check this out!! WOOF WOOF!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sugar and Spice

Despite some evidence to the contrary, the Red Dog wants to announce that she often is very sweet. She is rambunctious and likes to engage in good-natured ribbing, but deep down she is mush. Case in point:

Friends and Neighbors

Today the Red Dog is feeling even better, so she took Mr. Man for a drag down the hill to the back of Margaret's yard in search of you-know-who. Well, fortunately for our unnamed squirrel friend, he was not to be found and the Red Dog took a big...(ahem)...instead. After Mr. Man performed his act of civic servitude, she took him for an even more impressive drag back up the hill. The Red Dog then rested before her neighbor (and loyal follower) Leila stopped-by with cookies (made of chocolate) for the people. The Red Dog would like to explain to her friend Leila exactly how this hierarchy-of-being-think works...first, give unto the Red Dog that which is hers; then, if anything is left, everyone else may share the crumbs. Shiva suggests that she might want to try this cookie thing again with the proper ingredients! (Mr. Man would like to interrupt to tell Leila not to pay attention to the ranting of a three-legged dog and that the cookies are awesome!) Bah! If the Red Dog isn't happy, then nothing else matters, people. Feed the Red Dog, then everything else in your lives will fall into place.

Mr. Man would like to take this opportunity to tell Leila that the Red Dog already is spoiled beyond all recognition and that the chocolate and ginger people-centric cookies are wonderful and greatly appreciated. He wants to assure her that the Red Dog is in no way being neglected and both he and Shiva's Mom thank her very much (and she is welcome to make them more yummy stuff in the future!). They love having a good neighbor like her! He also thinks the celebrity status may be going to the Red Dog's head.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Quick Update from the Red Dog

As the Red Dog has reported previously, chemotherapy is not a particularly uplifting experience; however, she is feeling much more like herself over the last 24 hours. Her people have presented her with several new food options to try (she picked this and this so far) and have religiously applied the car ride principle with dramatic results. Her mood has lifted and a certain biologic function is returning to normal...mind you, it wasn't messy or anything like some other chemo side effects, it was more along the lines of non-existent for the first day or two. Happily, all is moving smoothly, if you get the Red Dog's drift. The Red Dog also is acting more like her old energetic self. In anticipation of the approaching tsunami of Red Dog-ness that has been normal day-to-day life prior to this cancer episode, Mr. Man has ordered this for her. Should be fun!

Run Forrest Run!

The Red Dog says BIG WOOF to everyone who ran by her house in today's Tennessee Sports Medicine EXPO 10K/5K! Tripods still can run, you know, just not quite as quickly as they could when they had that extra leg. The Red Dog was especially excited to see friends like Brian S., Rebecca M., Stacey S. and Dr. Lisa all inspire her!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Scientific Breakthrough!

The Red Dog would like to announce that, after long, arduous and rigorous study this evening, she has discovered the incontrovertible scientific truth that the side-effects of chemotherapy are mitigated or even eliminated entirely by the strategic application and implementation of the car ride principle. She just thought you'd like to know.

Chemo Update

While the Red Dog has fared better than most throughout this process, she safely can say that chemo sucks. Not in the galactic, toilet-hugging, all-encompassing suck that comes from forgetting that putting ice cubes in your bottled water while in Mexico might be defeating the purpose; rather, it's the subtle, low-grade suck that drains your energy, turns the sky a little gray and makes you look forward to sleep because tomorrow has to be better. She has had no gastrointestinal distress or other obvious symptoms of side effects, but she has been "blah" and low in energy. Fortunately, this generally lasts only a couple of days in our four-legged friends, so she should be back in full fighting-trim by the weekend.

The Red Dog also wants to thank her Auntie Monique in Atlanta for being so kind to her and her people. There are no words (well, she IS a dog after all) to describe the gratitude all of us feel for the sweetness and consideration she has shown. This is angel stuff, and she gets a big WOOF from the entire Red Dog family!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fun Fun Fun!

First of all, special thanks must go out to the following Red Dog peeps: Dr. Brian Rutherford and his veterinary technician (and wife!) Anna from Dr. Mitch's clinic who administered Shiva's first chemotherapy treatment today. They both are knowledgeable, patient and very kind. In addition, Brenda Rasch was there (as always) to instill calm and healing in the Red Dog. All of you helped to make it a very non-threatening and positive experience. BIG WOOF!

In addition, as part of her post-chemo "therapy", the Red Dog will be visiting one (ok, two) of her favorite places in the next few days. The first is Knoxville's Market Square Mall, a place where beautiful people such as the Red Dog can go to see (and sniff) one another in a lovely outdoor setting (and maybe try to sneak a bite of Tomato Head pizza!!) . The second is Mast General Store, the most dog and people-friendly retail experience the Red Dog has ever seen! She's especially interested in their wonderful selection of doggie supplies! Maybe they'll have a vest she can try. The Red Dog also appreciates the proper adoration accorded her by the store staff. They are most delicious!

Finally, thanks to all of you for being so supportive to the Red Dog and her people. Although she gets to see many of you on a regular basis, those distant friends mean just as much to the Red Dog. Here's to many more fun times with all of you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fun with Chemo

Because the Red Dog is not interested in a recurrence of the nasty osteosarcoma stuff, she has decided to get some chemo tomorrow. Her people have told the Red Dog that it is a gentle drug called carboplatin and it will be a 15-minute visit to the doctor's office. The Red Dog highly doubts this as no one EVER gets in and out of the doctor's office in 15 minutes! Whatever the case, Brenda will be there to give some Healing Touch to the Red Dog so it will be fine and good. The people want you to say prayers for her and them, too! WOOF!

Special Announcement

The Red Dog would like to announce the creation of a very special website that will help all of her doggie (and kitty) friends and their people...well, it's a secret because the Red Dog loves surprises! The Red Dog has commanded her people to buy this for her and they have done so. She will tell all the world about nasty things like osteosarcoma, sago palms (and all of their deadly little friends) and cats stuck in trees. It will be a fun online community where all of the Red Dog's followers can share their stories and advice! It will be good.

Monday, May 18, 2009


While we don't have video documentary evidence yet that proves the staples were removed today, we can confirm that the Red Dog was at Dr. Mitch's clinic and now can pass through an airport metal detector without inconvenient cavity searches!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Vee Haf Vays of Making You Talk

Be very afraid!

Psy Ops Continue

Sometimes, even the Red Dog's bounds of forgiveness are stretched beyond reason.

More "Captivity" Photos

The evidence mounts (including rare photos of the Red Dog and the Black Dog together)...note the strategic placement of the shin bone for maximum psychological impact...those bastards!

Flying Monkeys!

On top of everything else, they have resorted to torturing the Red Dog with what appear to be Flying Monkeys. Somebody please help!

The Captivity Continues

Oh the horror. It's all coming back to the Red Dog now...she has been their prisoner for YEARS! See Exhibit "A" above.

My Breath, It's So Fresh

...minty fresh so I can kiss you! This was taken in 2005 prior to the Red Dog becoming the White-Faced Red Dog...wasn't she hot? Of course, just like our friend Jim says, "white on the face makes me weak in the knees!"

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Votes Are In...

...and Black Obsidian wins in a landslide (just like Shiva's Mom said it would)! Thanks to everyone who commented, called or emailed their votes. We will take a measurement after her re-check on Monday and post a photo of the Red Dog in her new vest once it arrives. Thanks!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Red Dog Love to Her Peeps

The Red Dog would like to thank some more of her followers for their calls, messages and general support: Richard & Nancy, David & Hilary, Sean (Crawdaddy), Amanda & a special smooch to her aunt Rita (for the delicious, fresh pink pork!). There will be many more to come but right now the Red Dog has to go eat supper. TTFN! (WOOF!)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Much, Much Gratitude

As we've read countless stories of other canine amputee friends on the "Treatment and Recovery" forum at, we have come to the realization of just how lucky we (and the Red Dog, of course) have been through this process. While other dogs have to stay heavily medicated for 3, 4 or even 5 weeks, Shiva was off all pain meds at a week. While other dogs struggle with appetite, coordination and attitude, the Red Dog eats like a (pink) pig, pulls like a truck and demands a car ride at least once-a-day. Aside from Shiva's obvious magnificence, we have to give credit to Brenda for the healing touch treatments and to all of you for the prayers and good wishes. The support everyone has shown thus far has been nothing short of amazing. Now just pray that Shiva sails through the chemo like she did the surgery. Thanks! WOOF!

Btw...a "beauty" question from the Red Dog...which color will suit her lovely coat better...Red Currant or Black Obsidian? Please vote in "Comments". WOOF WOOF!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The Red Dog is just really happy to be here. Her parents love her and each day brings her a little closer to being able to catch that @&*#$! squirrel that taunts her from Margaret's yard next door.


The Red Dog's recovery progress continues unabated as she continues to eat, drink and be VERY merry. Her appetite is solid and her attitude is good, despite the long stretches confined to the b-o-r-i-n-g bathroom while her people are gone. She has established (through sheer force of will, of course) an daily ritual whereby Mr. Man conveys her to the Honda for an evening drive through the local regions surrounding her abode...her "queendom", if you will. This is becoming a very fun thing to do after a long, arduous day of resting and sleep. Her incision has healed at a rapid clip, and her lovely fur is growing quickly to cover the bare areas left from surgery.

Shiva also would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has joined as a follower or called to inquire about her progress. Even she didn't realize the depth of her fame and the impact her existence has had on the rest of the world. The Red Dog thanks you all and will keep YOU in her prayers, as well! WOOF!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Today Shiva violated Dr. Mitch's instructions by climbing (jumping) onto the couch. This is NOT because she doesn't love Dr. Mitch; rather, it is because the Red Dog's body sometimes is incapable of containing her full spirit. She was very sorry and hid her face so that she could hide her shame. Fortunately she seems none the worse for wear; however, her people will keep an even closer eye on her from now on. She also was taken for her daily car ride and stopped-by her uncle Stephen's house to say "hi" to him. There was much joy! She loves him almost as much as her own people.

A Reminder

The Red Dog would like everyone to know that she's not getting any younger over here and she needs more followers! To those who have joined, she will be forever grateful; to those yet to join, there always will be room for you; and to those who don't have a clue as to what she is talking about, GET WITH THE PROGRAM, PEOPLE!!!!! Come on, chop chop!


To clarify the previous post, the pathology results were on the tumor in the removed leg. There was an outside chance that the tumor could have been another form of cancer, and, although amputation still would have been the initial course of action, the ensuing chemotherapy regimen (and prognosis) would have differed.


The pathology results came in today, and the definitive diagnosis (as we feared) is osteosarcoma. While this is sobering, the recovery is going well and the odds are in favor of a good amount of quality time with the Red Dog before we see its ugly head again. Her chemotherapy protocol will be discussed at her two-week check-up next Monday, so we will keep you posted on that. Incidentally, while we are not fans of what chemo does to the body, the survival statistics for this disease without chemo are horrid (see the above osteosarcoma link for them). Just say a prayer and understand that the Red Dog sees all and will leave when she's damn good and ready...and not a minute sooner!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Special Recommendation from the Red Dog

The Red Dog would like to announce that she has read a book called "The Art of Racing in the Rain" and has decided it to be worthy of the title "Best Book Ever According to the Red Dog (which is the only opinion that matters anyway)" and requires all of her followers to read it right now. So hurry up and go get it...or should the Red Dog say "hurry up and go fetch it"? Sometimes the Red Dog makes herself laugh.

Happy Mother's Day

Shiva the Red Dog would like to love and appreciate her human mommy and her human "mammy" (grandmother t0 the English-speakers in the audience) for being so kind (except for the recent captivity, of course) and submissive to her. She knows it is easy to love the Red Dog, but they do it especially well! She also sends her love to all of the mommies everywhere because they make the (Red Dog's) world go 'round. WOOF!

Red Dog Appreciation Continues

The Red Dog would like to thank two of her favorite people for their love (and gifts, of course):
1) Mrs. G. for her tremendous generosity and concern...she is the best "adopted" grandmother the Red Dog could ask for; and
2) Aunt Donna for coming to visit this morning with those special treats the Red Dog ordered (unbeknownst to her owners) and for the pretty runner rug. It is important to note that tripod dogs fare much better on carpet or rugs than on hardwood or tile floors. Thanks!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Little Equal Screen Time

While we (rightfully) have focused the spotlight of this blog on Shiva, the Red Dog (who sees all), we must not neglect the other denizens of our house, and so we present you with the following video of Katy, Shiva, Joey & Ajax in "Just Hangin'":

We follow with a brief snippet of Daisy & Snoopy "Chilling-out":

And finally, we finish with Ajax and Speck strutting their stuff in "Mah Kittehs":


As promised, what follows are several videos documenting the Red Dog's post operative progress.

1) We begin with a quick look at the Red Dog (still sporting designer fishnet, the pain pump and looking very much like a three-legged red horse carrying a headless jockey) demonstrating the "3 days after surgery elevated tripod kibble consumption technique":

2) We continue with an up-close-and-personal view of Dr. Mitch's masterpiece on Shiva's right shoulder. The healing power of dogs is staggering:

3) Finally, we leave you with a musical interlude of sunshine, music, a smiling three-legger and a very special passing fan in "Sunny Day Stroll, Tripod Style":

The "Captors" Respond

Because of the unfortunate tone of the previous post from the Red Dog, we find it necessary to respond to her complaint. While her activities have been curtailed, anyone who has a "surgically-enhanced" tripod dog understands the critical nature of the post-op recuperation period. Aside from the shiny row of staples adorning Shiva's incision, she also has countless subcutaneous sutures holding it all together. Bleeding, torn tissue and even death could result from "forbidden" activities such as running, jumping and stair-climbing. We fully acknowledge our role in preventing irrational exuberance such as this. We humbly encourage the Red Dog to get over her own bad self right now.
With love,
The "Captors"

Emergency Red Dog Broadcast System

This is a message from the Emergency Red Dog Broadcast System. This IS an actual emergency as the Red Dog has found to her horror that the nice (yeah, right) people who live in her house and serve her ACTUALLY ARE HER CAPTORS!!!!!! Never before in the Red Dog's life has she felt this deprived of her liberty and she asks that escape plans be formulated immediately. She must go now as typing with one paw is hard and the man is coming this way.

Update on the Red Dog's Progress

We visited Dr. Mitch yesterday morning, where the pain pump and bandages were removed and her progress was assessed. At this point, two things are becoming clear: 1) Shiva is healing very quickly and well, especially considering her age, and 2) We are in deep trouble as we face the herculean task of keeping her "contained" for the next 5+ weeks. (Remember the old Sportscenter tagline "You can't stop her, you can only hope to contain her"? That's Shiva. With a bullet. A big, red one.) She has decided that one of the new benefits of her condition is the right to accompany us on any and all car rides, which should be really fun as we move into summer. She also has decided that antibiotics taste like one of the few thing(s) repellent to Golden Retrievers, and she will not eat her food if the little green buggers are present in the dish. This has created the new "Cream Cheese/Pill Blob" food group in the Red Dog's diet.

We are reimplementing as much of her old routine as possible, and last night she was able to sleep in her accustomed "Big Red Wedge" position between us...and it was good (for her). While this may seem like minuscule progress to the Red Dog, we hope that these small steps toward normalcy will keep her happy and sane until we are able to give back biggies like walks, swims and trips to mingle with her adoring public. Until then, please feel free to pray, send unsolicited gifts of rum and anything else that may keep all of us alive and speaking to one another for the next month-and-a-half. Look for a flurry of "After" videos to appear later tonight. Thanks for being the wonderful friends and followers that you are!


Sorry for the delay in posting...the Red Dog has been busy! Due to popular demand, what follows are several videos taken in the days leading up to surgery.

1) We call this one "Fired-up!" for reasons that will be self-evident (btw...she's going after her leash that is hung behind the door):

2) "Pool Fun", her last swim as a quadruped:

3) And finally, the last documented sighting of the now invisible "fourth leg" in "Surgery Day Drop-off":

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pleasant Dreams

The Red Dog has rejoined her parents in the Big Bed tonight, so she hasn't much to say...other than THANK YOU TIKI AND SOPHIE (AND MOMMY LESLIE, OF COURSE) FOR LOVING THE RED DOG!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Red Dog Likes Pork

The Red Dog would like to thank her Aunt Amy in Texas for shipping her the wonderful and supremely perfect gift of "fresh" pork for her enjoyment. There truly is nothing more wonderful than a soft, fuzzy pink pig clamped firmly in one's jaws. As you will see, not even Ajax the, ok...Greek Warrior kitty would dare try to steal the pink pig!

Btw...the big thing on Shiva's back (in the sexy fishnet) is her Stryker Pain Pump. She most likely will have it removed at her recheck tomorrow. We can tell she's feeling some discomfort since the pump ran dry this afternoon (it contained a 3-day supply), but we're hoping that she's ready to be weaned from it. Keep your paws crossed...we'll find out in the morning!

Important Announcement

The Red Dog directs you to disregard the whiny tone of the previous post. Those people knew what they were getting into a long time ago. All followers are commanded to visit to revel in the magnificence that is the three-legged dog. No explanation is necessary. WOOF!

God Help Us!

As predicted, the Red Dog is becoming more full of herself by the day. Last night she dragged a vet tech across the floor at Dr. Mitch's clinic where she had gone for a re-check, and today she has tried to jump on the couch and also charge the door upon the arrival of Tony the mailman. In addition, she seems to exhibit some anxiety as a side-effect to the Tramadol so we now have nothing to use as a sedative. The magnitude of our endeavor is slowly dawning upon us.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New Favorite People

The Red Dog would like to announce the addition of the following to her "Roster of Favorite People": 1) Dr. Mitch Rosenzweig, DVM and his entire staff at Veterinary Surgical Services in Knoxville and 2) Brenda Rasch, PT, PC, physical therapist and Healing Touch practitioner extraordinaire!

Dr. Mitch and his staff were compassionate and highly professional in their dealings both with Shiva and her people, and her condition was excellent when we picked her up yesterday. No question has been treated as unimportant and they have given us consistent and honest advice throughout the process. We give them three paws up (you know why we can't give them four)!

Brenda has provided a wonderful complementary approach as the Red Dog begins her healing process, including being there with her right after surgery (thanks Dr. Mitch!). Healing Touch can aid in post-anesthesia recovery and surgical site healing, and the physical therapy balance exercises help develop her coordination as a tripod. The Red Dog truly is humbled by the care all of the folks mentioned above have given her.

Our Two Cents

While the Red Dog may be bored, we are nervous and apprehensive as we undergo this long and arduous process. Although Shiva is happy to be home (she rested comfortably all night), we can tell she has moments of being confused and frustrated. Thank God dogs live in the moment or she might be as mental as us! Fortunately, her smile returns often, along with tail wags and the "twitchy-butt". Anyway, we expect slow, daily improvement as she recovers from surgery and acclimates to her new existence. She will return to the clinic Friday for removal of her Stryker Pain Pump and her bandages. At that point, her surgery site will be examined and she will be reweighed (did we mention that the Red Dog may be a touch overweight?). In two weeks, she will have staples and sutures removed and should be given a bit more latitude regarding activity restrictions. Full release, however, will not be granted until six weeks post-op. Please pray for us...we'll need it!

Waiting Sucks

The Red Dog would like everyone to know that this waiting to get better stuff S-U-C-K-S! It's boring and it's raining...blech! Thank God mom has agreed to be the Red Dog's PUH (Personal Umbrella Holder) while Mr. Man does the heavy lifting. Wish you were here!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Special, Very Special

The Red Dog (and her people) would like to express very special thanks to her Guardian Angel in Nashville for being so sweet and generous to her. Your kindness is more appreciated than you will ever know.

The Red Dog Has Landed

Shiva is home! So we arrive at the clinic to pick-up the Red Dog and the veterinary technician informs us that she has just taken another tech for a "run". "A run?" we ask with more than a little incredulity. "Yes...a run. They took her out for a pee and she took them for a run across the parking lot". There you have it...the Red Dog in a nutshell.

She is a bit painful and also a little unsteady on her feet, but she is very happy to be home. The pack also seems settled, especially BFF Katy. All in all, a big blessing for everyone (well, except for Shiva's leg). Thanks for all of the support!

Help Find a Cure

This is good must support or face the wrath of the Red Dog!

Wakey Wakey

Shiva woke fully around 8 pm last night and is on her way to coming home either this afternoon or tomorrow morning. She is experiencing some pain but is alert and functioning (ie, she peed...twice!). We will know more when we speak to the doctor around 2 or 3 this afternoon. Thanks for all of the continued thoughts and prayers.

As an aside, the Red Dog sees all and is pleased that her flock has grown. Now she asks that you go out unto the masses and convert the nonbelievers. She is benevolent and omniscient, and she judges no one (as long as they bow to her). Thanks!

Monday, May 4, 2009

And Then There Were Three...

Legs, that is. We just returned from visiting the new and improved Red Dog, Version 3.0 (Tripod Model), and she is resting comfortably. Of course, if you were enjoying Dr. Mitch's pain protocol you'd be comfortable too! Shiva will be kept sedated for the first twelve hours post-op to minimize pain and promote healing and we will pick her up tomorrow after lunch. Then it's two weeks of restriction before she once again is unleashed on her adoring public. A funny moment occurred when Dr. Mitch commented on how surgery took a bit longer than expected due to how much muscle the Red Dog has in her chest and shoulders. Those of you who know her best (especially the ones she's knocked on their butts) can bear painful witness to the truth of his words! Keep her in your thoughts and prayers and thanks for the wonderful support.

First Hurdle...cleared!

Shiva has passed her tests and is going into surgery as we speak...keep her (and us) in your thoughts and prayers. She should be out of surgery by around 2:45 and we'll be there!

Pins and Needles, Needles and Pins

Shiva currently is at the clinic going through a battery of tests that will determine whether or not she can have the surgery. If she receives an all clear, she will undergo surgery this afternoon; if not, she will come home...for a while. Pray.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Blogging 101

So we're beginning to figure out this blogging stuff and now Debra and I both are contributors...this way I won't start having an identity crisis every time I post something as Shiva's Mom!

Btw...thanks to all of you who have called and emailed with support and prayers for the Red Dog. Monday really is a big day and we've been trying very hard not to think too much about it. Shiva seems none the worse for wear (other than the obvious limp) now that she gets some Tramadol to go along with her meals. Mmmmm good!

Important Message from the Red Dog

It has come to the Red Dog's attention that only one person in the world has become an "official" follower of hers, and she would like all of her other subjects (the rest of the inhabitants of planet Earth) to know that it's high time they get on the stick and register! Who do they (you) think they (you) are? She knows they (you) are out there and it is time for each and every one of them (you) to step up and sign up! Get busy, people!

The Red Dog's Crew

In order to better understand a dynamic force of nature like the Red Dog, one needs to gain a better understanding of her followers, various miscellaneous hangers-on and pack members. With that said, we present Katy, Daisy, Snoopy, Joey, Speck and Ajax...the six wonderful little worlds that circle Shiva's star. Enjoy!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Beauty Queen

For those of you who have been clammoring for more pictures of the Red Dog (all, like, two of you), here's a little taste to hold you over.

Oh Happy Day!

If you've ever wondered what kind of idiot would try to walk four dogs at once, you're about to meet him...

Notice Shiva's slight limp (ahhhhh...hindsight).

Pay Attention to Limping Behavior

While many presentations of limping behavior stem from temporary causes such as bumps, bruises, sprains, etc., any limp that persists beyond a week should be seen by your veterinarian. This is especially critical if you have a large or giant breed dog, as they are MUCH more likely to develop osteosarcomas than smaller dogs. Ideally, examination should occur within the first 24-48 hours of onset, especially if the animal is non-weight-bearing on that limb. Once in the company of your vet, ask them for an x-ray (even if they don't offer one). This is the only reliable early method for spotting this type of cancer as it does not show-up on routine bloodwork and manifests from the inside of the bone. An unfortunate fact is that many cases are discovered after a pathologic fracture occurs...and at that point it's usually too late for treatment as the disease has metastasized into the lungs or other organs. The price of a few x-rays should mean nothing to you when compared to these facts: up to 85% of all bone cancers in dogs are osteosarcomas, these truly are the most painful of all tumors and survival time when not treated is 3-4 months. Just do it.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

1st Post - Osteosarcoma Style

Osteosarcoma. There's a sucker punch in the gut for dog lovers. No word in cancer's sparkling lexicon strikes fear into veteran dog owners quicker than that ugly s.o.b. Quick...stealthy...aggressive...hideously painful...and final...very, very final. Not to say that there's no hope...there is...but it's the kind of hope that comes when you're resorting to bargaining with death rather than being blissfully unaware of it. This is not the kind of miraculous hope we all wish for. It's the kind of hope that includes words like "amputation", "chemotherapy", "quality of life" and "median survival time". This is a rude awakening from our lovely cruise down "denial", that's for sure.

Anyway, surgery is set for Monday, although the Red Dog will have to undergo a final round of x-rays, blood work and urinalysis to be certain that the results of last Tuesday's Met-screening are correct and the disease has not yet metastasized into her lungs. She passes those tests and she gets an express ticket into Dr. Mitch's surgery suite...and then we hope for the best. This will be followed by two weeks of wondrously pain-free recovery (thanks to the absence of the tumor and the presence of some really good pain meds) and then her first trip to chemo-land.

If, on the other hand, any of the screenings turn-up with bad news then our world goes dim again. She would not be able to have surgery and would slide into the "palliative care" category. While the prognosis of this lovely disease is 3-4 months from diagnosis to death when left untreated, Shiva most likely would have less than that due to the very real likelihood that she would suffer a pathologic fracture of the diseased bone within the next couple of weeks. If that happens, it will not heal. That would mean the end...just like that. So we look forward to Monday!

Thanks to everyone for their prayers and support and we will keep you posted.